I don't think it would be an over-statement to say that David Austin is probably the most important and influential breeder of modern times. David Austin roses have reignited a fierce passion for roses world-wide and introduced a whole new generation of gardeners to this most beautiful of blooms. Born in 1926, on a farm in the English Midlands where he still resides, David started his breeding programme with the objective of combining "the best of the old with the best of the new". His first releases were crosses between Gallicas and Floribundas producing "Constance Spry" in 1961 and "Chianti" in 1967. Two lovely roses but only once flowering, the main aim was to produce reliable "repeaters". This was achieved in 1969 with the release of The Canterbury Tales series. Around about the 1980's David Austin started to use the brand "English Roses" but such is our association with the man and his roses that these wonderful roses are simply and affectionately called "David Austin's" or just plain "Austin's".
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International success was achieved in 1983 with the release of "Mary Rose" and "Graham Thomas". In 2009, 26 years after release, "Graham Thomas" was voted the "World's Favourite Rose" by the World Federation of Rose Societies. Many other awards followed for both the man and the roses. "Princess Alexandra of Kent" and "Munstead Wood" are two recent releases which have received top awards for fragrance. David Austin has been awarded an OBE, the Victoria Medal of Honour by the Royal Horticultural Society, the Dean Hole Medal by the Royal National Rose Society, an Honorary MSc from the University of East London and a lifetime achievement award from the Garden Centre Association in 2004. In the family owned rose nursery where David Austin now works along side his son, David junior, roughly 300,000 rose seeds are planted every year in order to find the next magical Austin to delight rose lovers around the world. Modern Austin roses have the desirable characteristics of good vigour and fragrance but to me their very best feature is that they are at their most beautiful when fully open. Simply irresistible!
Austin. A gorgeous shrub rose with deeply cupped, very fragrant blooms in shades of warm apricot and pink that repeat all season. A disease resistant plant that could be used as a small climber. PVR 1985.
Just in case you have ever wondered, this rose is named after Abraham Darby who was an English Pioneer of the Industrial Revolution.
Colour: Apricot / Pink Habit: Upright Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 2m x 1.5m
Austin. A short bushy rose with modest growth habit. The cupped flowers expand to loose, multi-petalled rosettes in shades of apricot and apricot pink. Relatively trouble free with the added bonus of fragrance. 1990. PVR.
Colour: Apricot / Pink Habit: Upright Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 0.75m x 0.6m
Austin. Showy double, cupped red rosette blooms with a hint of orange. Very fragrant and vigorous strong growth. Definitely a 'standout' as was the English Composer this rose is named after. PVR. 2001. Deciduous
Colour: Red / Orange Habit: Upright Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 1.5m x 1.5m
Austin standard. Beautiful flowers of rich salmon start as red buds which open first to pretty cups, gradually developing into blooms of classic rosette formation. The delightful myrrh fragrance has a hawthorn character with hints of elderflower, pear and almond. Dark green foliage on a vigorous healthy bush. Deciduous
Colour: Salmon pink Habit: Upright Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: Std
Austin. Richly fragrant, huge, fully double, globular flowers head of softest pink. Drop dead gorgeous in fact. Strong bushy growth habit excellent repeat flowering habit. Named after a fictional monastic sleuth and is far more showy than the name suggests. 1990 TM
Colour: Pink Habit: Upright Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 1.1m x 0.9m
Austin. Named after the breeder's dad this vigorous rose has large cupped double blooms of apricot-yellow which smother the bush. The colour fades gracefully with age. Good strong fruity fragrance. Repeat flowers. Strong upright habit. 1973.
Colour: Apricot / Yellow Habit: Arching Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 1.5m x 1.5m
Austin. Another excellent rose from David Austin of England. The large double blooms are a shade of yellow that I would describe as old gold. Very fragrant so plant where you will enjoy the perfume. Broad spreading vigorous growth and good disease resistance. Plenty of blooms. PVR. 2001.
Colour: Yellow / Gold Habit: Upright Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 1.4m x 1m
Austin. To those of you who know and love the rose Graham Thomas you will recognize that his genes are very much part of the parentage of Charlotte. Soft yellow cupped blooms with a delicious fragrance. Flowers continuously. A rose of superb quality. 1993. PVR.
Colour: Yellow / Yellow Habit: Upright Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 1m x 1m