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 truly beautiful rose with large dark green foliage and a robust healthy growth habit. The blooms are large, full, double, fragrant and coloured a bright crimson. Very elegant in full flower. Repeats well. Named after a character in a Thomas Hardy novel. 1998. PVR.
Colour: Red Habit: Upright Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 100cm x 90cm
Austin. As I am a fan of single roses I love the simplicity of the elegant rose. The outer tips of the petals are shaded a clear pink that fades towards the centre. Beautiful golden stamens and a nice soft fragrance complete the picture. 1992. PVR.
Colour: Orange / Yellow Habit: Upright Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 1.3m x 1.1m
Austin. Named to honor Alnwick Gardens in Britain and what a beautiful rose this is. Fully double, deeply cupped blooms in a rich warm pink. Lovely fragrance with a hint of raspberries. A classic English Rose. 2001. PVR.
Colour: Pink Habit: Upright Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 1.5m x 1.2m
Austin. Fully double salmon pink blooms with a strong fruity fragrance and a very floriferous (i.e. flowers a lot) habit make this rose one to add to the must have list. Strong, healthy, disease resistant foliage. Named for the ship that Captain Cook sailed to New Zealand - I think he would approve. PVR.
Colour: Pink / Pink Habit: Upright Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 1.2m x 1m
Austin Std. Fully double salmon pink blooms with a strong fruity fragrance and a very floriferous (i.e. flowers a lot) habit make this rose one to add to the must have list. Strong, healthy, disease resistant foliage. Named for the ship that Captain Cook sailed to New Zealand - I think he would approve. PVR.
Colour: Pink / Pink Habit: Upright Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: Std
Austin. Bears rich yellow flowers, which pale over time. Their formation is most pleasing, having a neat outer ring of petals enclosing an informal group of petals within. There is a strong, wonderfully rich fragrance with a hint of lemon. It forms a low, bushy and nicely rounded shrub, with rather shiny foliage. Deciduous
Colour: Yellow / Lemon Habit: Upright bushy Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 1.2m x 1.2m
The Poets Wife
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Austin. An exquisite rose with slightly domed flowers that form a tight rosette. The colour is a deep, rich crimson softly aging to royal purple. Very free flowering with powerful fragrance. Nice compact small bush. 1990. PVR.
Colour: Red / Purple Habit: Upright Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 60cm x 60cm