David Austin Roses – the who, what, why and when…

Now that the rose season is almost upon us, I’m refreshing my memory after long rose-less months, of what is to come!

These notes are culled from a series of presentations the year before last, covering all things ‘David Austin Roses’. If I find the pictures which accompanied the talks, I’ll attempt to add them at a later date. For now, I’m including some of my own photos (just the named varieties) with an extra gallery to finish of other beauties. This might be a little confusing in the context of the original presentation, but I hope at least that some of the information is sufficient on its own to be an interesting, if a little stilted, read. I’ll return to the topic of pest and disease control (organic measures too) – and pruning – as the season develops.

Gertrude Jekyll
Gertrude Jekyll



This talk has been named –


As in 2009 BBC Gardener’s World conducted a poll for the views to vote on their favourite flower.

Overwhelmingly the nation voted for the rose.

This talk attempts to

o   unravel the reasons why

o   examine how new varieties are created

o   how roses are grown and the time and effort that goes into all this

o   and demonstrate their versatility whilst

o   at the same time trying to dispel the common concerns of how to grow and look after them in the garden



A Shropshire Lad (above)

Crocus Rose (below)


Port Sunlight (below)


Much use is made in the David Austin gardens with simple rustic poles and brick pillars.

And if you are wanting a rose border on its own – plant in small groups or bold swathes where space and budget allow for the maximum wow factor.

Recommend planting in groups of 3 or 5 if space allows

It is better to plant fewer varieties in a small border than dot planting.

The height of English shrub roses can to an extent be controlled by pruning and variety selection. English roses can be controlled in height by pruning.

The same roses can be used in the foreground and the background – the only difference is height which can be controlled by pruning..


Mr David Austin is still very much involved in the family owned company at 88 –

He started the business in the 1960’s and the nursery is still based in the village of Albrighton in Shropshire, just north of Wolverhampton.

It was by accident that David Austin got into plant – his family were historically livestock farmed based next to the RAF base in Cosford. During the war the RAF commandeered quite of lot of the farmland – and after the war, the MoD didn’t give it all back. They had to diversify in terms of the farming business.

Albrighton has a history of plant breeding – the nursery James Baker and Sons were huge in the 1920’s in the development of perennial growing – all field grown – container grown plants are a recent development –

Russell lupins were popularised by James Baker and Sons which inspired David Austin as a young man to dabble in plant breeding as a hobby.

Mr Austin started crossing perennials and alpines – but didn’t get anywhere. Hopeless! (though his daughter Claire Austin took up the cause and has her own very successful nursery specialising in perennials and particularly irises, in the Welsh borders.)

The 1950’s saw a lot of attention on the new hybrid tea (HT) roses which were being developed in earnest at the time. They had marvellous colour ranges, much improved resistance to disease but had lost the scent and elegance of habit that the Old Fashioned roses used to have.

He therefore set about trying to combine the virtues of the modern HTs and floribundas with those of historic or Old Rose varieties which had a wonderful scent and elegance of habit but which had a limited colour range and could be disease prone and had little repeat flowering.

So he started by himself in a 8 x 6 shed and had a lot of false starts but then in his seedling patch a pin flowered rose appeared that seemed to meet his criteria

Beautiful large multi-petal flowers, strong scent, healthy and vigorous. It didn’t repeat flower but he knew he was on the right lines. This rose was Constance Spry and is was released to the trade in 1961.

So encouraged was he by this that he upgraded his shed to a 10 x 8. He continued to introduce a few more varieties (long since superseded) but in the early 1980’s beautiful yellow-flowered rose appeared – rich yellow, well scented, vigorous, healthy, something really special.

At the same time a pink sister seedling appeared.

But what was he to do with these new varieties. They were unnamed and nobody had heard of David Austin.

The big rose growers of the day like Harry Wheatcroft were selling HT’s and floribundas in the millions to retailers like Woolworths and nobody was interested in these new shrub roses being grown by an unknown.

David Austin approached the manager of a very famous nursery, Hillings based in Windlesham in Surrey – who has connections in the RHS and some strings were pulled so that he got into Chelsea Flower Show in 1984. A dark corner of the show too.

David Austin was the Star of the Show!!

The yellow rose he named after his friend Graham Thomas (author, rosarian, plantsman, consultant to the National Trust, botanical artist….). The pink rose he named Mary Rose and both are still sold today.

In 2009, 25 years after it’s introduction, the World Federation of Rose Societies awarded Graham Thomas the accolade “The World’s Best Rose”

Which is only awarded every three years and to roses of proven pedigree (New Dawn and Just Joey in the same club)

Today (2012) David Austin sells 4 million roses across the world and it all started from a 8 x 6 shed.

They are sold across America, Scandinavia, Russia, Japan…



The breeding aims are the same today as when David Austin started as a teenager.

He is looking for

  • Large multi petal flowers
  • Repetition of flowering
  • Scent
  • Hardiness
  • Disease resistance

The roses are still bred in site at Albrighton. This image (not shown) shows one of the breeding greenhouses – with all the mother plants with labels where they have been used for crossing.

Basically to create a new variety you have to cross the male part of the flower with the female part of the flower


The pollen is collected a few seasons in advance of the crosses being made. Because the male and female flowers may not flower concurrently therefore there could be timing issues involved and the flower is only right for pollination for a day… so you have to be ready with the pollen to be able to pollinate the mother flower.

The pollen is collected by hand by cutting of the stamens off the flower that is open – they are collected and heated for a short while so the pollen falls off.

This is collected and stored for up to 2 years

The next stage is transferring the pollen to the female part of the flower – again by hand. The petals and male parts are removed leaving just the female parts of the flower. On the child’s paintbrush is the pollen being transferred for the cross to occur.

David Austin Roses cross 140,000 roses each year, by hand.

If you take a step back from this – before you take your 140,000 crosses you have to –

  •  Identify the crosses you want to make
  •  Make provision for having sufficient pollen to be able to make the crosses
  •  Have sufficient mother plants to put the pollen on

IT is a HUGE exercise in thinking and logistics – just the computer entries are a labour of love…

If the cross is successful a HIP will result. Each hip contains between 4 and 30 seeds.

Not all crosses are successful.

The hips are then harvested by hand –pruned off the mother plants and are then cracked open with a wooden mallet and each seed removed from the pulp – by hand – and dried.

They collect 400,000 seeds.

These seeds are then sown into seedling plug trays and out of the original 400,000 seeds, 250,000 (a quarter of a million) will germinate each year. They initially appear a bit like cress).

These are sown under glass in the greenhouse at Albrighton and they grow to make a single seedling – anything between 8 inches and 3 feet in height according to the vigour of the variety.

That summer they will produce flowers and these flowers form the bases for judging whether they are worth taking on or not.

15,000 will be taken on for further investigation.

These have to be propagated vegetatively.

You want to maintain the genetics in that new seedling variety, so you cannot raised new plants again by seed – you have to keep the genetics identical and this is done by the vegetative process called BUDDING

You bud onto a root-stock known as a briar.

It is a variety of briar called Rosa Laxa

The briars are also seedling raised and bought in from a specialist producer.

They are planted in March – in rows in the trial fields. And they are earthed up like you would a potato.

The briars grow and the soil is blown out (my a machine) from around the stem (neck) of the rootstock.

The bud of the new variety must then be transferred from the rose stem to be propagated into the stem of the rootstock by means of a T shaped cut – hence t-budding.

The piece of material that you propagate is the dormant bud between the leaf stalk and the stem – it is tiny!

The pith is removed to leave just the bud, a strip to hold it with.

A cut is made in the top layer of the skin of the rootstock – in the shape of a T and folded back so the bud can be inserted

The dormant bud is slid into the rootstock stem.

And finally the bud is in place on the seedling understock.

A good rose budder will do this 4000 times a day. They start at dawn and finish at dusk. They are very skilled and travel the world doing their job.

There has to be no rain – or dirt – or impediment between the dormant bud and the pith of the understock or else the would will not heal and unite.

To hold the bud in place and protect it from the elements they put a soluble rubber patch around it and hold it by a staple. These will stay in place approximately one month.

The top growth of the briar is left on to confer goodness to the new bud until the following spring when it is removed. The new bush grows out from the initial tiny bud to make size – 18 months later when it is dug up from the file that Autumn/Winter when dormant.

And if the budding is successful the new variety grows on the rootstock.


We started with 140,000 crosses by hand

We collected and sowed 400,000 seeds

250,000 germinated

15,000 were selected and 235,000 went on the bonfire…

to cut a long story short, in 8 years time they might release between 3 and 6 varieties

The soil at the nursery is very sandy and the roses in the trial fields are not sprayed against disease. Because the soil is sandy they have to work hard to flourish – so if there is disease about and they are prone to disease it will show.

David Austin want to see if they get a disease.

If they get a disease – they go on the fire

If they suffer in the winter – they go on the fire

SO when David Austin release a new variety you can be pretty sure – in a decent garden soil – it’s going to do very well.

Mr Austin is still very actively involved in the breeding programme at the Nursery. He ultimately decides which varieties will be released.

And the new varieties are launched each year at RHS Chelsea Flower Show


One of the aims with David Austin Breeding is scent. A perfumier is employed to assess new plants during the trial process.

Like wine tasting, scent is very subjective

There are 5 types of scent –

  •  Tea
  • Old rose
  • Fruit
  • Musk
  • Myrrh

WHAT is a scent – it is actually an oil that is contained within the flower that has to evaporate in order to be able to smell it.

The scent of a rose can be produced from different parts of a bush. In some varieties in can come from the leaves and the stems. In some it is the reverse of the flower.

MYRRH Comes from the stamens and is apparent only when the flower reveal the anthers.

Predominantly it is from the flower petals.

Strength of scent depends on the flower stage and importantly the weather conditions.

Everyone’s perception is different so some find some scents strong and others cannot smell it at all

Whilst desirable, scent is difficult to achieve and if a rose is lightly scented but excellent in every other way then it may still be introduced.


Available from mid June (2012). They are this year’s Chelsea releases – the results of crosses made in 1994/5. All have good vigour and are healthy.

Tranquility – whites are difficult to breed. Beautiful white flowers with light apple fragrance. Grows to 4 feet.


More details in the 2012/13  – and later handbooks.

The Lark Ascending
The Lark Ascending

The Lark Ascending – cupped, light apricot blooms in clusters of 10-15 flowers. Light tea/myrrh scent. Will be excellent in mixed borders associated with shrubs and perennial. Vigorous, up to 5’

Boscobel – below



Boscobel – named for English Heritage after Boscobel House where the future Charles II hid up the Oak Tree to literally save his neck. Deep salmon flowers with myrrh fragrance with hints of elderflower, pear and almond – 3’

Heathcliff (below) – reds are also difficult to breed. Handsome crimson, fully double flowers. Tea/old rose scent with some hints of cedar wood. 3 and a half feet.


Josephine Hooker


Josephine Hooker was the granddaughter of the renowned plant hunter and Curator of Kew, Sir Joseph Hooker

Josephine was a very keen gardener until her passing at the age of 103.

This is totally exclusive to the Garden Centre Group and once they have sold, they have sold. No more will be budded.

Nice medium fruity scent

Vigorous habit

Nice red hue to stem

Shiny foliage

Height 3-4 feet

Ausfirst – Plant Breeders Rights – dues paid in every country they sell in, costing £30,000 rose. Their own police force to check production worldwide against licences/royalties paid.


NEW varieties introduced in Chelsea in 2011 – It can take a few months for new varieties to become available at the Garden Centre so would just like to take the opportunity to tell you about the beautiful roses launched by David Austin last summer and are now available.

William & Catherine – classic multi-petalled white – named (at the last minute) for the Royal Wedding last year. Bushy habit reaching 4’, myrrh fragrance

Fighting Temeraire – JMW Turner’s painting of Nelson’s warship. Unusually for a David Austin rose, a semi-double variety with large flowers approximately 5 inches across that are strongly scented of fruit – lemons. Best in a mixed border since it has a vigorous, rangy habit reaching 5 feet in height and width.


Lady Salisbury – named to mark the 400th anniversary of Hatfield House, own by Lady Salisbury, herself a rose lover. Very healthy and free-flowering. Lightly fragrant – to 4’

Queen Anne – named to honour the 300th anniversary of Ascot racecourse, founded by Queen Anne. Old rose scent – 4’ Thin petalled flowers so best in warmer climate.


Wollerton Old Hall – a Shropshire House near Market Drayton. Large goblet shaped flowers with strong myrrh fragrance. Vigorous and healthy and may make a short climber, though 5’ as a shrub.


Wollerton Old Hall (above)

Mixed borders

Versatility is one of the reasons the Rose was VOTED the NATIONS FAVOURITE FLOWER.

English roses are great planted in mixed borders and here are a few images of how stunning they are mixed in with shrubs and perennials.

Crocus Rose
Crocus Rose

Crocus Rose and phacelia tanacetafolia

Golden Celebration  compliments Campanula lactiflora

Gertrude Jekyll – looks good with with Epilobium (white willowherb) and Geraneum Brookside.


Gertrude Jekyll – alone – above

A beautiful mixed border. Lots of lavender though they prefer lighter more free draining soil than roses which love clay..



Soil preparation the first key point to consider. If a rose is going to last 20 plus years, spending 20 minutes preparing the soil is time well spent.

Any average soil is fine, even clay. Pure chalk is tough going. All roses, but especially in sandy soil, will appreciate the incorporation of organic matter into the soil beneath the root – mixed in with the subsoil – it is harder to add organic matter after planting though mulching has many advantages.

Dig your hole, put the top soil to one side, get your fork into the subsoil and break it up and mix in plenty of organic matter.

Plant, firm in and water well. Plant deeply, so that the graft union is below the soil. Depriving it of light reduces incidence of suckering.

USE OF MYCORRHIZAL fungi when planting.

Something that started in the orchid industry after years and years of research.

We do recommend for use when planting a new rose but also great for overcoming rose sickness/replant disease. (Used in Bowes Lyon rose garden at Wisley).

If you have a rose growing in the same position for years – tens of years – the soil becomes sour – and not least just exhausted. New roses won’t prosper if planted there. Options were to disinfect the soil, replace large quantities of soil with fresh or plant something else.

Nobody has actually found out what causes rose sickness but the current thinking is that there are naturally occurring microorganisms in the soil, some beneficial, some harmless and some harmful.

Over the lifetime of a rose, the more harmful fungi build up so when you remove the rose, those harmful fungi remain. Mycorrhizal fungi is a packet of the good guys and you are addressing the balance back in favour of the rose.

How to apply.

Sprinkle the granules into the bottom of the planting hole – remove the new rose from its pot and place directly onto the granules – they must be touching the rose roots. Back fill with soil, firm and water in as normal.

Like a seed, you have fungal spores within the granules which germinate and send out their own fungal root system – that acts as a secondary root system for the roses which confers more vigour onto the roots resulting in more nutrient uptake and water uptake – therefore increasing the vigour of the plant.

ASPECT – sun is good but semi shade – 4 hours sunlight acceptable

WATERING – water until established

AVOID planting near competing tree roots (or hedges) with the exception of vigorous ramblers that can scramble through tree. Test the soil…

FEED – March and June with a handful of proprietary rose food. Can also liquid feed with high potash food (tomorite OK) or foliar feed with seaweed extract.


A lot of what has ever been written about pruning is about trying to obtain that one perfect bloom for the exhibition bench and not about a happy garden worthy plant.

The first thing David Austin team do in the New Year is go through their 2 and a half-acre show gardens armed with petrol hedge trimmers and prune all the shrub roses into a mushroom shape…not advocating this for all domestic situations but you get the idea.

If you get it wrong it is not the end of the world!

What some people get wrong is overpruning English roses when young. This encourages softer growth that is less likely to take the weight of the flowers. You need to retain the shape but allow the shoots to go woody in the early years. You may support flowers in the early years before this has happened and it may take 3-5 years.

Thereafter selective thinning of older branches from centre of the bush (for air circulation) and to allow fresh new shoots to take their place.

Many English roses are much more relaxed that often stiff HTs so if they do rest a flower on a neighbouring plant, or a path – how lovely!

Some varieties are more lax than others – Summer Song or The Ingenious Mr Fairchild, so bear this in mind.

WHEN – pruning from the end of January to March (Scotland more likely in March) before new growth got going. If wind rock is a possible problem, a little tidying up in the autumn but usually, once a year is enough.


Main roses diseases are – what? – rust, blackspot, powdery mildew and downy mildew. Most of these may make the bush unsightly but won’t kill them, so it’s not disastrous if plants get infected.

With all diseases, prevention is better than cure… Roses are more likely to get a disease if they are stressed, much like us.

That is why planting well is the key.

Selecting a healthy variety is also important which tends to be newer varieties hence date of introduction in the David Austin handbooks you have.

Innate, genetic resistance can be lost over time as disease organisms mutate – it is always better to ask advice in rose selection for better varieties.

Some older disease prone varieties are still sought after – still very pretty – which is fine is you know in advance. Baron Girod de L’ain, with white flushing to crimson petals is beautiful but a martyr to mildew.

Sometimes David Austin take matters into their own hands and that is why we see new varieties replacing older roses that time has shown don’t come up to scratch. Wisley 2008 and William Shakespeare 2000 are example of this.

With all common rose diseases the spores are in the air – and sadly there isn’t a rose which is 100% disease resistance.

Early in the season, the leaves have a way cuticle which acts as a natural barrier – which during the course of the growing season is eroded by the weather – which is why roses tend to get more diseases at the end of the season.

By spraying – and the chemicals sold today are not so toxic so are more preventative than curative) you are applying a chemical barrier to the leaf. However the weather will wash the chemicals off so you have to reapply.

Diseases mutate too and can become resistant to certain chemicals so it is best to alternate one chemical with another over a growing season to prevent this and ensure maximum protection.

Start spraying immediately the leaves are open in the spring, though not when frosty, for squeaky clean roses.

Chemicals – Roseclear Ultra, Fungus Fighter, Bayer Disease Control

Hygiene is also KEY. If a rose is diseased and drops its leaves in the autumn, that leaf litter basically reinfects the plant the following year.

You have either to remove the leaf litter from the soil surface of apply a mulch over the top (acting as a physical barrier).

PESTS – mainly aphids – spray (or squish on small-scale). proprietary contact and systemic insecticides to give them a dose of poison when the tap into the plants vascular system, fatty acids to suffocate them. Natural predators – there has to be something for them to eat first, so ladybird populations lag behind aphids – at first.

Deadhead in the season encourages re-flowering (but watch out for once only, summer flowering roses that give hips in the autumn – removing the flowers will remove the chance of hips too).

Hybrid teas are more angular and stiff in habit so prune to an outward bud to get a vase-shaped bush with air circulation in the middle. You can butcher HT’s and floribunda and will come to no harm!


Back to the versatility of the rose – English Roses can be grown as climbers.

When people come to buy a climbing plant, for a 8-10ft wall or fence, they may not first consider a rose.

However the English roses fulfils the criteria for an 8-10ft area – and has scent, repeat flowers and has the benefit of being furnished from head to toe with flowers (traditional climbers and ramblers can be gaunt at the base).


The Pilgrim – above and below

The Pilgrim
The Pilgrim

The Wedgwood Rose is a recent introduction – and actually one we would recommend is best grown as a climber. It has enormous 3-4 inch flowers which are beautifully scented.

Mortimer Sackler (below)


Beautiful pink roses, dark stems, virtually thornless, repeats well with beautiful scent. A healthy alternative to Zephirine Drouhin.

Mortimer Sackler is a wealthy US anglophile – his wife bought the chance to name a rose in a charity auction. Sackler Bridge in Kew, various galleries.


Although it flowers only one, because it was Mr Austin’s first introduction, Constance Spry is still available.

It is a very vigorous rose and best grown as a climber.

At Pixar Studios in Los Angeles, there is a hedge is 300m long. They have found that production goes up 18% when the rose is in flower.

Graham Thomas (below)


Very important to match the vigour of the rose to the variety of situation – eg 60’ Kiftsgate on an 8’ rose arch is a disaster.

But in the right situation Kiftsgate can look wonderful.

Training climbers/ramblers horizontally or in a spiral encourages flowering.

Basic difference between a rambler and a climber is flower structure. Ramblers have large heads of multi clustered flowers and they generally only flower once in the season (one magnificent display).

Climbers have fewer but larger flowers and more often repeat flowering.

Having said that David Austin have bred a few ramblers that repeat flower –

Malvern Hills being one, and Snow Goose (below) another.


Repeat flowering Rambler, Snow Goose (above) Fragrant too…


It doesn’t necessarily mean continual flowering. A rose’s first flush is almost always the best, with the most spectacular flowers. With David Austin varieties you deadhead them and another flush will appear in 3-4 weeks – deadhead again and again another flush will appear. In a good season you should get 3-4 flushes of flower.

Even the vigorous ramblers have their place – if you wanted to cover a roof or scramble through a tree a vigorous rambler like Francis E Lester.

Pruning of climbers and ramblers – use a common sense approach. Prune out or tie in branches growing in the wrong direction plus dead and crossing wood. Ramblers don’t need much pruning if not wayward.

Climbers – prune back previous flowered shoots after flowering if you can be bothered! Occasionally remove old stems and tie in replacement younger shoots.


Many of the English Roses can make fine displays in pots.

If you haven’t a big garden, or have a terrace or patio by the house, you can grow in pots and containers.

BUT do start with a large pot – don’t consider potting on as it gets bigger.

Roses have very deep questing root systems. They soon exhaust the compost.

When you plant use a robust compost – we recommend 50% John Innes No 3 and 50% peat based growing media. The John Innes has loam and holds more nutrients and water.

Roses in pots are a labour of love – keep consistently watered and fed and generally choose the more compact varieties.

Benjamin Britten (below) – lovely scent and eye-catching colour.


Grace – below


Grace – lovely arching habit and quilled petals

Wildeve – a very healthy variety

Extending the SEASON

Roses flower through the summer months but some varieties also give hips

Standard Roses

These are very costly and time-consuming to produce so there are never an overabundance in the market but it puts the flowers and scents right in your face. Excellent punctuation in a garden scheme, adding height and can be used in informal and formal settings.

2-year-old stems which are triple or quadruple budded with the variety. Not all varieties are compatible and easy to suffer damage in the nursery.

In the home

Back to versatility

There are David Austin breed specifically for cut flowers, though Garden Varieties can be excellent for the home if you wish to cut for that purposes – Queen of Sweden is the Best Garden Variety

Our favorites

These are some of our favourite David Austin English Roses.

Crown Princess Margareta – Large shrub or small climber, with good scent.  More details in the hand book


Crown Princess Margareta – displaying different tones as the flowers mature



Crown Princess Margareta (above)

WISLEY 2008 – Amazing flower structure, healthy good scent

Munstead Wood (not pictured) – Best selling deep crimson rose – beautiful velvet flowers and old rose scent.

Gertrude Jekyll
Gertrude Jekyll

Gertrude Jekyll – Voted favourite rose by BBC Gardeners World Viewers. The most fragrant old rose scent. Rose oil dearer than gold – 30,000 petals to produce 1oz oil.

Kew Gardens
Kew Gardens

Kew Gardens (above) – a shrub rose – virtually thornless, repeats well and flowers like fury!

The Lady’s Blush – Very beautiful with lemon and white centre, lightly scented, very healthy and repeats well


Molineux (above) – very healthy, scented rose


Queen of Sweden (above) – Best for cutting – beautiful flower

Golden Celebration
Golden Celebration

Golden Celebration (above)- Very popular yellow rose, huge flowers, fragrant. Named for Queens Golden Jubilee.

Winchester Cathedral/Mary Rose (below) – Whilst David Austin Nursery spends £1 million a year breeding new varieties and carries out 140,000 crosses each year, sometime nature does it for them!!


Mary Rose, introduced in the same year as Graham Thomas – one year in the growing fields (not the trial fields) threw out a beautiful white-flowered shoot – which they propagated and named Winchester Cathedral. Occasionally pink marking on Winchester Cathedral marking its origins.

The Generous Gardener – huge goblet shaped flowers, very healthy and vigorous – very good as a climber. Bright red young foliage

Darcey Bussell (below) – beautiful and graceful as you would expect – great Name and more well-known if she becomes a judge on Strictly.


Maid Marion – not an overly well-known rose though it should be – was still in flower last November at David Austin show gardens. Compact, continually in flower, good scent, healthy.

Summer Song
Summer Song

Summer Song (above) – No slide can do this justice – no colour like it in the rose world – brick burnt orange colour. Strong fruity fragrance with large flowers. A sprawling habit so stake in early years.

Harlow Carr
Harlow Carr

Harlow Carr (above) – A very tough particularly healthy, free-flowering variety. Exceptionally bush and strong old rose scent

And finally Brother Cadfael – (not pictured)  Beautiful large globular, clear pink paeonie like flowers.

And we’re done.



This was the end of the presentation, which was delivered over a series of summer evenings. I’m finishing with a gallery of more David Austin’s finest…

A collection of Austin roses below – confirming the variety of form and colour in the David Austin portfolio…

Royal Jubilee (below)


Tea Clipper (below)


Morning Mist (below)


James Galway (below)


Scepter’d Isle (below)


Jubilee Celebration (below)


Falstaff (below)


The Alexandra Rose (below)


Charlotte (below)


Jude the Obscure (below)


Princess Alexandra of Kent (below)


Abraham Darby (below)


Sir John Betjeman (below)


Evelyn (below)


Geoff Hamilton (below)


Princess Anne (below)


Alan Titchmarsh (below)


L D Braithwaite (below)


Teasing Georgia (below)


Sister Elizabeth (below)



6 thoughts on “David Austin Roses – the who, what, why and when…

  1. Reblogged this on The Teddington Gardener and commented:

    The roses all abouts are quietly slumbering, perhaps a few buds breaking into leaf in the milder spells, but all potential – preparing for a season of colour and scent. I’m reminding myself of some of this by re-posting some of my earlier rose blogs – this one is a potted history of David Austin Roses.

  2. Beautiful images! I would love to see hips included in the mix. I don’t know if any of the Austin roses have some? Are they big enough for culinary use?

    1. Hi there – and my apologies for the delay in replying. Certainly The Generous Gardener has large rosy round hips – there are photos on one of my Christmas posts here in these pages. Wild Edric, being a Rugosa hybrid would be another. I’ll have a think about others, as often they are deadheaded so assiduously and late in the season too, for that last hurrah, that the possibility of a hip harvest is foregone. Best wishes in the meantime, Martin

      1. Hi, I found this through a web search for roses with hips!

        I’m an American with the same question. Wild Edric is not available in the US.

        Here’s what I’ve found so far that others have listed as producing hips:
        Generous Gardener
        Crown Princess Margareta
        Graham Thomas
        The Endeavour
        Shropshire Lad (I rejected this one for being “almost thornless”–the whole reason I want roses is to plant them under my downstairs windows to deter burglars. Hips are just a bonus)

        Have you found any more?

  3. Your photos are beautiful! Princess Anne looks like she is reaching out saying “I love you!” Thank you for sharing them!

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