Perhaps my fondness for New Dawn stems from the fact that it was one of the cultivars in the garden where I first began to take an interest in roses. There were two plants – one on either side of the gate, and they grew up and over making the most beautiful natural archway. And apart from the very tail end of winter, it always had at least a few flowers on it. As for the hight of summer… absolute magnificence!
New Dawn was first bred by Somerset Rose Nursery in the United States in 1930. It was then introduced to market by Henry A. Dreer the same year. The New Dawn rose is adescendent ofclimber of Rosa Wichuraiana or commonly known as Wichuraiana rambler (that explains the thorns!)
New Dawn is also available in the market under the name of ‘Everblooming Dr. Van Fleet rose’. It has also been awarded ‘The World’s Favourite Rose’ award in 1997 by the World Federation of Rose Societies.
Growing New Dawn
While New Dawn is classed as a large flowered climber, it has a lot in common with ramblers. It is once flowering, the canes tend to be arching and pliable making it easy to train, and it also blooms on old wood rather than new.
One thing you need to do, is allow plenty of space. Once it gets established, if conditions are good then it will expand. Sometimes (like mine) too much, making it a yearly battle to keep it in check. With that said, it is very trainable and will climb nicely along the top of a fence, or upwards into an old tree.
Don’t be afraid to really take to it with the clippers after the flowering season is over. Mine seemed to thrive on a hard prune, and each year saw more and more blooms on it. I confess to never feeding it other than occcasional lawn clippings sprinkled around the base, but it never once complained. The only slight niggle I had with it, was it had a few too many thorns for my liking. So come pruning time, sturdy gloves are essential.
A bit more fragrance would have made this the perfect rose, in my eyes. But, the prolific blooms help to make up for that, and the very pale pink is magical. Especially when you have flowers in all stages on the bush… from pale pink buds, translucent pink flowers, and the fading to white with the older blooms.