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. The light crimson buds open to reveal large, deep velvet crimson blooms that are beautifully fragrant. The blooms are double, full and cupped and can only be described as 'yum'. Repeats well and shows good disease resistance. PVR. 2010.
Munstead Wood was the name of Gertrude Jekyll's garden in Surrey. Gertrude Jekyll was an accomplished and influential garden writer and designer 1843-1932.
Colour: Red Habit: Upright Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 90cm x 75cm
Austin Std. The light crimson buds open to reveal large, deep velvet crimson blooms that are beautifully fragrant. The blooms are double, full and cupped and can only be described as 'yum'. Repeats well and shows good disease resistance. PVR. 2010.
Colour: Red Habit: Upright Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: Std
Austin. Strong sturdy stems carry large showy flowers throughout summer. These are initially blood-red and then fade to tones of purple with age. The fragrance is extremely strong. This rose is happiest with rich soil and likes regular feeding. 1987 PVR.
Colour: Red Habit: Upright Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 1.1m x 75cm
Austin. An exquisite rose named after David Austin's wife. Bright copper inner petals are highlighted by pale coppery yellow outer petals on deeply cupped blooms. A strongly fragrant, sensuous rose well worth growing. 1999. PVR.
Colour: Apricot / Red Habit: Upright Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 1.2m x 1m
Austin. Perdita has a strong growth habit, dark green foliage and large showy blooms that are deliciously scented. The flowers are deeply quartered and coloured a pretty apricot pink. Really lovely. 1983. PVR.
Colour: Apricot / Pink Habit: Upright Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 1.1m x 0.75m
Austin. Well the name says it all really as Pretty Jessica is indeed very pretty. The bowl shaped flowers have masses of petals in shades of musky pink and oh the sweet perfume. Dense compact growth with mid green foliage. 1983. PVR.
Colour: Pink Habit: Upright Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 1m x 90cm
Austin. Large, double and full blooms of glowing pink with an outer rim of paler pink petals. Strongly fragrant with just a hint of lemon as the blooms fades. Good disease resistance and plenty of blooms throughout the season. Certainly fit for a Princess. PVR. 2011.
Named after Princess Alexandra of Kent who is a keen gardener and a cousin of Queen Elizabeth the II.
Colour: Pink Habit: Upright Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 1m x 0.6m
Austin. Has a character that is very different from any other rose, having a very special beauty. The young flower is deep pink, almost red, gradually fading to a pure deep pink as the bloom matures. The undersides of the petals have a pleasing hint of yellow. The petals are rather narrow and unusually substantial. Deciduous
Colour: Pink Habit: Compact bushy Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 90cm x 60cm
Austin. Quite a small rose overall but highly desirable for the richly fragrant blooms that are coloured a deep wine red gradually fading to purple as they age. Flowers continuously throughout the summer. 1982. PVR.
Colour: Red Habit: Upright Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 60cm x 90cm