The Teddington Gardener

Shades of Copper and Flame…


The luminous Pat Austin

I’m reading through David Austin’s The English Rose for passages relating to this rose, introduced in 1995 and named for his late wife, Pat Austin. Writing on the choice of colour and introducing new colours in particular:

‘Here we are looking not simply for a variety of colour, but for good colours and those that are suitable for a rose. A colour that is entirely suitable for an iris may be less than ideal for a rose – particularly an English Rose. Dress up the rose in gaudy colours and she sometimes does not look right.

Shades of Copper and Flame: Because the Hybrid Tea has a tendency towards gaudiness, we have concentrated on breeding the English Roses with softer colours. When we do give attention to brighter colours, we try to ensure that these are in shades suitable for a rose. It is not easy to breed roses in these shades and they tend to come more by chance than design. A flame-coloured rose is seldom bred from two varieties of the same colour; it is more often the result of a cross between a red rose and a pink. It is important that such  colours should not simply be another colour, but a good one. ‘Pat Austin’ is an example of a rose of a lovely copper colouring.

Pat Austin has the brightest and most lively colour of all the English Roses.

The flowers are a little more dish-shaped than cupped, delightfully loose-petalled and held nodding on long stems. They have a strong Tea Rose fragrance with a warm, sensuous background. This rose forms a large shrub with elegantly arching growth that shows off the flowers to perfection. The foliage is attractively glossy, though a little less disease-resistant than we would have liked – but some allowances have to be made for a new colour. 120cm x 100cm/4′ x 3.5′. Variety Ausmum.

And have I mentioned that it is orange?

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