This weekend I had the delight of visiting David Austin Roses in Albrighton, England.
I have been rather a rose fiend for several years now, and I’m particularly in love with David Austin’s roses, in California I grew several dozen varieties. David Austin is famous for mixing the form and fragrance of old garden roses with the modern ability to repeat bloom. Unlike the common hybrid tea rose, whose beauty focuses on the bud shape, David Austin Roses (or English Roses as they are also called) try to capture the beauty of the old-fashioned roses seen in old paintings and cherished by our great-grandmothers.
For me, visiting the nursery where these magnificent roses are bred and nurtured was a bit of a pilgrimage. Unfortunately, I knew that we would be too early in the year to see the roses in bloom, that is about 6 weeks away. Nevertheless I wanted to see the gardens while we were nearby during our Easter holiday, and even without the roses in bloom it was great to see the gardens bursting with life…
there are wonderful sculptures in the garden by his wife Pat Austin…
the garden centre and see all of the varieties waiting to be “adopted”…
and I even got a peek at the greenhouses where the new varieties are being grown and tested…
In his book The English Roses, Mr. Austin said they grow 250,000 new seedlings a year! Of these, only a handful of new varieties are introduced every year, usually at the Chelsea Flower Show in London.
Here is the page with all of the snapshots from the visit:
and here is my gallery of roses from my old garden in California, most of the roses are David Austin Roses, although there are some old garden roses and there are a few other varieties included as well:
And here are a few of favorite photos of David Austin Roses from that gallery…
Evelyn and Tamora:
Jude the Obscure:
William Shakespeare 2000:
Comtes de Champagne: