David Austin Roses
In the world of gardeners, David Austin roses have a myriad of fans because of their beauty of form, disease resistance and repeat flowering. The species in general have long had a well-deserved reputation for their hardiness, beauty and wonderful fragrance but the unique and breath-taking beauty of form of the David Austins, plus their other qualities, has seen them become a household name among gardeners.
David C H Austin is the man behind 'David Austin' roses. He was born in 1926 and lives in Shropshire, England. Austin blended Old Garden Roses with modern shrubs and eventually bred wonderful plants which have a particularly rich perfume, combined with a wide colour range, an open shrubby growth and recurrent flowering. David Austin roses are sometimes called 'English roses' and are the result of specific crossings of floribunda, modern hybrid tea and old types. The modern plants have the delicate charm and fragrance of 'old' roses combined with the much wider colour range and longer flowering season of more modern types.
Many of the Austins are remarkably versatile. The variety 'Teasing Georgia' will be happy to grow as a shrub, drape itself over a fence or climb up a wall. This variety will also grow in partial shade, needing only four or five hours of sunlight per day.
Austin roses typically have multi-petalled old style forms. The blooms of 'William Shakespeare 2000' contain around 120 petals, arranged in quartered rosettes. The folding petals create an elegant mix of light and shade. These delicately folded petals produce a flower of great beauty. The petals are arranged to form one of ten basic flower shapes. The shapes include: deep cup, open cup, shallow cup, recurved, pompon, single, semi-double, rosette, quartered rosette and tea rose.
David's first rose 'Constance Spry' was introduced in 1963. Then, in 1967 and 1968 he introduced 'Chianti' and 'Shropshire Lass'. In 1969, he founded David Austin Roses in Albrighton near Wolverhampton, England. Since then, he has introduced over 190 cultivars.
By the 1970s, his blooms were fast gaining recognition and popularity and in 2010 he was named 'Great Rosarian of the World'. He has written a number of publications and has been awarded the Victoria Medal of Honour by the Royal Horticultural Society (2003). In 2004, he was awarded the lifetime achievement award from the Garden Centre Association and, in 2007, he was given an Order of the British Empire (OBE).
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English Roses'. This pocket-sized volume
contains valuable information on rose
cultivation along with practical advice
on preparation of the soil, pruning,
disease and pests. There are many
magnificent colour photographs.
His later varieties flower very freely and have better resistance to disease and more pleasing proportions than his earlier varieties. Although not recognised as a separate class by most international societies such as the Royal National Rose Society or the American Rose Society, the term 'David Austin rose' is commonplace in nursery and rosarian parlance.
In 2010 David Austin Roses were awarded their 15th Gold Medal at the Royal Horticultural Society's Chelsea Flower Show. Perfect Wedding magazine also voted them 'Best Wedding Florist of the Year' describing them as 'romantic rose specialists'.
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breeder of roses, this provides excellent
information on cultivation and propagation.
This is a companion volume to 'Old Roses'
and focuses on English roses, bred by
David to combine the the best of both types.
So the sumptuousness of the old type
is combined with the practical virtues and
strength of more modern varieties.
Individual varieties have particular fragrances which are virtually unique in the world of roses such as musk (Musk Rose) and myrrh. Five categories of English Rose fragrances are recognised. Some, however, combine elements from several fragrance groups.
There is a huge range as regards colour, spread and height and plants suited to rose borders or mixed borders abound. When used in mixed borders, their shrubby forms add great impact. The refined, shapely habit gives them a great versatility.
Most flower for eight to nine months (spring to autumn) and their soft colours complement any garden scheme.
Each year six or eight new varieties are introduced. In 2010/11, new varieties include Princess Anne, Cariad, Susan Williams-Ellis, Maid Marion, The Lady's Blush and England's Rose. Easy care varieties include Charlotte, Jubilee Celebration, Wild Eric, Darcey Bussell and Crocus Rose.