I’ve a rose workshop this Tuesday, 23rd February, at Petersham Nurseries – and this piece on the breeding program at David Austin seems quite relevant, so here it is again….
David Austin roses would seem to have the most extensive, comprehensive and probably expensive rose breeding program of any rose nursery in the world (I may be biased but it likely to be true!). After making between fifty thousand and sixty thousand crosses each year – one rose with another and more complicated crosses from previous explorations – in their acreage of glasshouses, those rose deemed to have potential are planted out, in rows like this in the Trial Fields (this is just one), whereupon then they are watched and assessed, weekly, and results recorded for seven years or more.
Walking through this particular field, across the road from David Austin’s family home – he can likely see this over the hedge from an upstairs window – it is clear they have a business for many, many years ahead. We can try to guess the parentage of some of these…
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