Posted: 19/01/2017 at 14:25
I have also had very positive experiences with DA roses and I really like the New English roses because of their flower shape / form, the scent (very variable) and the repeat flowering. They work very well in a mixed border.
I think that if the right plant is expensive I might just have to wait and save my pennies - what would be the point in buying one which is not right just because it's £5 cheaper?
However, (because they are expensive) I did visit the DA garden (and other gardens which make a feature of DA roses) about 6 yrs ago at peak flowering time. I did my own compare and contrast assessment of the most important (for me) features for very many of their roses & made simple notes and scores out of 10 which I refer to when buying.
It is also a good idea to try to research whether gardeners' experiences of an intended purchase match the blurb in the catalogue.
Also learn to read between the DA lines. 'Extremely Good Disease Resistance' and 'Extremely Healthy' mean that if the conditions are good you'll have a nice healthy plant.
Just 'Disease Resistant' or no mention of disease resistance probably means you'll end up treating it for black spot etc every year unless it's grown in absolutely perfect conditions with lots of TLC.
'Light scent' means you probably won't be able to smell it in the open air.
DA produce good roses and I've always received good healthy plants.They are, however, also good at marketing - so learn to read between the lines and try to see the plant you want in bloom to avoid costly mistakes