‘Double Knock OutÂ®’ Rose, inducted into the World Federation of Rose Societies Hall of Fame is my husband’s favorite rose. He requested, when we moved back to Illinois, that I plant one right outside of his pool room. Last year it was infected with Rose Rosette Disease, a tiny mite that originated from the multi-flora wild rose. The microscopic mite is so tiny it’s all but invisible to the naked eye. All or shall we say any rose can be susceptible that’s why we must remain vigilant watching for infection in our gardens and remove any infected plants immediately. carefully. It can be transmitted by the wind. Signs of it are a witches broom growth reddish type growth beginning at the top of your plant. A sure sign is lots of thorns. As of yet there are no cures but some roses are resistant like ‘Top Gun’, and some of the ‘Rosa Rugosas’.
‘Top Gun’ Resistant To Rose Rosette Disease
‘Double Knock Out’ with RRD
Last year my rose apprentice Drew Carroll and I thought we had completely removed this bush but undoubtedly we had not. It came back clean from the root and after I came back from the Biltmore Rose Trials the strange growth appeared again so we were wrong. I went to leading RRD expert Dr. Mark Windham’s class at the Southern Il. University Extension Class at Decatur, IL to a packed class of the Master Gardeners and the Stephen F. Decatur American Rose Society and this is exactly how he instructs removal of Rose Rosette Disease safely and effectively.
It would be difficult to determine what he loves more: talking to people about roses or roses. This much is true, his total dedication and love for roses is what belonging to the American Rose Society is all about.
Frank DeVries is All About Education
In 2015 the Chicago Flower & Garden Show was 10 days long! Frank’s commitment was to be at the show to answer any and all questions the public may have about growing roses debunking the idea that roses are difficult and persnickety. Through education we worked to show attendees how easy it is to grow roses. Frank’s dedication and love for roses and people is what makes growing roses fun & easy.
Everyone Signs Up For The American Rose Society Newsletter!
Frank DeVries is a member of the Sauk Trail Rose Society and during the show since 2014 if he could he would pick me up at 7:30 A.M at the hotel and we would drive to Navy Pier. He had a special place to park so we didn’t have so far to walk. He paid for the parking at Navy Pier out of his own pocket. We stayed all day until 4:30-5:00 P.M. working promoting the American Rose Society and educating folks about how to grow roses. We signed up folks to receive the American Rose Society Newsletter and trial memberships all day. Then he dropped me off at the hotel and drove 1-1/2 -2 hours home in Chicago’s rush hour traffic.
Keep Talkin’ Roses
Then he came back the next day for 10 days all to promote our beloved American Rose Society. That’s how much Frank loves roses, educating folks about how to grow roses and signing up folks for American Rose Society Membership, and because we both believe folks love and want roses and will grow them if they learn through education they can be easy to grow. That’s what Frank did to support his rose society and help me sign up ARS membership each year, because we both believe the member benefits are so beneficial.
Rose Docents Have Come As Far As From WI!
Frank supported each volunteer that would come to assist the docents that worked at our table. Everything that Frank is about is what makes growing roses all about a sense of belonging to a community. If you are a member of the American Rose Society because of Frank or want to belong please send me or Frank a message or send him a friend request because over the last four years he has signed up no less than a 1000 names for membership, you see because he loves people even more than he loves roses. Frank DeVries is the most self-less caring person I have ever met and has given more of himself to promote and educate people working beside me signing up and educating people about roses since 2014 than anyone else I know. Thank-you Frank.
Roses For Every Garden
My ‘Roses For Every Garden’ presentation was Thursday, at March 21, 10:45 A.M. The conference room was almost full and we had a great group. We talked about roses that are best suited to your USDA plant hardiness zone and by determining what your goals are to plan for success. Points we covered are benefits of membership in the American Rose Society and using the Handbook For Selecting Roses and how beneficial the rating system is before purchasing your roses can be.With an exciting new five-day format and a jam-packed schedule of things to do, see, and learn; we interpret the unique role flowers, plants, and gardens play in our rose gardens as companion plants. During the show, â€œFLOWERTALES: we visited and took pictures of many plants for you to enjoy and add to your garden. We want to hear from YOU!
Full House of Attendees!
We explored with attendees in an interactive and highly visual presentation what visitors want to achieve in their gardens with roses. Today, there are so many types of roses to choose from that suit all lifestyles. We explored the exciting, easy care varieties of roses, suitable for busy lives that include environmentally friendly and minimal care plants. Remarkably, many gardeners perceive roses as difficult to grow and are hesitant about adding roses to their garden landscapes. We dispelled that myth through education.
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“So many individuals have told me they want to add roses to their landscape but are hesitant due to lack of knowledge. Volunteers like American Rose Society Frank Devries are all about educating folks it’s easy to grow roses.” ~ Susan Fox
Guest Post by Dr. Charold Baer of the Portland Rose Society; the story of how her husband Rich Baer’s photo of the ‘Peace’ Rose was selected to be the ultimate USPS symbol of love & celebrate the birthday of the world’s best selling, most popular rose.
Meet the rose photographer who gives his whole heart & soul, Rich Baer
When you have completed a specific task, or project, do you ever wonder if it was good enough? Was it the best you could do? Did you give it your whole heart and soul? Was it a reflection of your inner passion? Did it stimulate anyone? Was it worthwhile? Certainly we have all had those doubts about our efforts, particularly when they involve our creativity, or our art. Such is the case with the talented rose photographer who lives in our house.
‘Takes One To Know One’ Says the Mr. to His Mrs
Rich is precise and very picky when he is photographing a particular rose specimen, or any rose specimen for that matter. He says that he inherited that trait from living with a perfectionist for fifty years. (What? I guess that I better figure exactly who he thinks he has been living with for most of his adult life.) He frequently spends hours just deciding when to photograph a rose to capture it at its peak performance and then he grooms it so that it would out do any average queen of show rose. Of course, the lighting has to be just right, so there be even another delay. It has always been an interesting time consuming process. However, the process is certainly much easier these days since digital cameras became the rage. He used to take 40-50 slides of a single shot with varying apertures to get exactly what he wanted. Now, he shoots the picture, checks it out and either keeps or discards it based on what he sees and wants. At least with digital it does not cost 75 cents for every image that gets rejected, so taking several shots is still the norm.
Rose Cover Girls For 47 American Rose Magazines, 3000 photos, and he’s a philantropist!
The Peace Rose Image Selected , obviously the process has worked for him. His rose photographs have been enjoyed by others for more than 40 years. He has 47 American Rose magazine covers; over 3000 photos in articles, catalogues, newspapers and text books; note cards; and calendars. His photographs have assisted several local and national organizations in their fund raising endeavors, including the Davis Center at Fellows Riverside Garden in Youngstown, Ohio.
Why do Four Year Olds Have ’65 Roses’ aka Cystic Fibrosis?
Another highlight of his was being part of a major fund raiser for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.A four old boy with the disease had difficulty pronouncing it and asked his mother why he had 65 roses. Thus, the name of the fund raising enterprise became 65 roses. Many photographs were published annually in a journal as a fundraiser and he was fortunate enough to have contributed many images to be used for this great cause. But still the question remained, is it good enough? But still the question remained, is it good enough?
Tom Carruth, rose hybridizer hero got on the horn and changed history
About a year and a half ago, Tom Carruth, previously a very successful hybridizer for Weeks Roses and currently the Curator of the Huntington Garden, received a call from the United States Post Office. They wanted to produce a commemorative stamp of the Peace rose. They asked Tom if he had any good photographs of the Peace rose. He responded that he did not, but that he knew of someone who had many of them. The Post Office official called Rich and asked for several images from which to choose. The photograph of the Peace rose that appears on one of the Portland Rose Societyâ€™s note cards has always been a favorite of ours. Thus, that photo plus several others were sent to the individual. Months later, the individual contacted Rich to let him know that they had made their selection and it would become the commemorative Peace* rose stamp. The photo that they selected was our favorite, but they chose to only use the inner part of the rose. Even with the diminished image, the commemorative stamp is quite striking. The major problem was that they did not know when it would be issued and everything had to be kept confidential until that was determined.
A few weeks ago, Rich heard from the American Rose Society that they were going to have a ceremony announcing the issuing of the commemorative Peace rose stamp on April 29th. Rich immediately checked on the Post Office web site and found that indeed, the Peace rose commemorative stamp was there and would be issued in 2018. It is, of course, a forever stamp so you can buy a ton of them, which we will definitely do when they are available.
So, even though the artist in Rich continues to ask the questions regarding the quality of his work, it seems that they have been answered one more time and this time with an official â€œstampâ€ of approval! ~ Mrs. Charold Baer
David Austin who passed away peacefully at 93 years at his home in Albrighton in Shropshire on December 18th 2018 often described himself as a self-taught rose breeder. During his 60+ years he introduced into the rose world the concept of old garden rose form but with the added advantages of repeating blooming and delivered in a wider range of colors. This rose magic was a consummated marriage between Old Garden Roses and Modern Hybrids, opening up a new classification which David had wisely christened â€œEnglish Rosesâ€. Like the treatment received by most entrepreneurs, Davidâ€™s vision was not a easy victory rewarded by instant acclamation!
On the contrary, the climb to his successes were sluggish
but his perseverance for achievement was persistent and always confident. Rose growers throughout the world owe a great deal of gratitude to David Austin for the gift of â€œEnglish Rosesâ€ and the joy and pleasure his varieties have instilled in countless countries. Indeed it can be said of David that he had a fan club of much greater magnitude and significance than some rock stars of the music world. One day his â€œEnglish Rosesâ€ may be recognized and granted the classification of ‘Hybrid Austinii’?
David Charles Henshaw Austin, OBE, VMH, DMH 1926-2018
â€œThe Wisdom to See, The Courage to Actâ€
Rose breeder extraordinaire who created and gave the world the gift of â€œEnglish Rosesâ€ to enjoy, promoted them around the world and yet remained a modest humble man in England during the golden age of roses of the 20th century providing well over 230 hybrids of exquisite beauty and fragrance.
Even ‘Maker of Heavenly Roses’ Fails to of Describe The Marvel of David C.H.Austin
Losing a unique spirit that provided the world of roses with a
lasting legacy barely comes close to comprehending the true meaning and measure
of the accomplishments of David Austin. Rose breeders have often been referred
to as The Makers of Heavenly Roses. And even that description would fail
miserably to characterize the outstanding lifetime work of David Austin and his
tangible contributions to the evolution of roses. His life is a wonderful story
well worth telling for generations to marvel at his achievements.
Davidâ€™s Teenage Years
David Charles Henshaw Austin was born in 1926 to Charles Austin,
a farmer, and his wife, Lilian Austin living in Shropshire, England, where they
worked the land that would eventually later became Davidâ€™s rose nursery. His
developing skills in horticulture were the result of a family friend, James
Baker, who managed a local nursery and taught him the basic skills. It has been
reported that David was initially drawn to lupins.
Roses Not Sheep Breeding Was For Austin
However, at Shrewsbury School where he received his
education, David became entranced with copies of the magazine, Gardens
Illustrated, which he had discovered in the school library. Little did young
David Austin realize that this discovery would point him in the direction of
dedicating a lifetime to roses. After leaving school in 1943 David worked the
land his family had farmed for 800 years growing barley and potatoes and tending
sheep. He soon realized that his calling was dreaming of plant-breeding and not
his sister as a 21st birthday present gave him a copy of Old Garden Roses by
Edward A. Bunyard initiating his inner passion and love for roses as a hobby.
Despite his fatherâ€™s objections, David had chosen a career in flowers with
emphasis in roses. But the telltale signs of rose breeding loomed large in his
dreams, especially when, in his early twenties he ordered his first few plants
and discovering his preference for old garden roses rather the fashionable and
popular modern hybrids while recognizing the best attributes of both.
married Patricia Braithwaite, a sculptor and painter in 1956 who helped him
establish the business in 1969. They had two sons – David, who now works in the
family business (as does his son, a third generation David) and James (Jim) who
is a professor of neutral computing at the University of York.
‘Constance Spry’ the Progenitor of ‘English Roses
And so began a rose journey filled with accomplishments, achievements and honors. The flame that lit the rose candle initiating the journey ahead of David happened in 1962 when a hybrid shrub rose raised by David Austin named â€˜Constance Spryâ€™ (a British writer and society floral designer) received rave reviews at the Royal Horticultural Societyâ€™s show at New Hall in Westminister. Crossing of a 1845 Hybrid Gallica, â€˜Belle Isisâ€™ with a 20th century Floribunda, â€˜Dainty Maidâ€™ had given birth to â€˜Constance Spryâ€™ appropriately assigned the international registered codename â€˜AUSfirstâ€™.
But the continuing journey to ultimate
success was fraught with barriers. Many nursery men initially thought such
varieties would not sell. Ignoring his detractors David made the marketing
decision to sell his varieties by himself converting the kitchen table in his
home in Shropshire as distribution central.
Three Varieties Gained Praise In 1983
Recognition of Davidâ€™s creativity and
genius was slowly picking up, but his fortunes changed significantly in 1983
when he introduced three varieties, including a yellow climbing rose with a
fresh tea fragrance, which he named for the well loved horticulturist Graham
Thomas. These three varieties were praised by the press and colleagues, and the
attention transformed his business. â€œEnglish Rosesâ€ had finally arrived.
The Marriage of Old & Modern Roses Had Begun
unique marriage of old roses with moderns had began and by the start of the
21st century he had created well over 200 hybrids embraced and loved by rose
growers all over the world. David Austin Roses quickly developed into a
thriving company which boasted of products sold in almost 50 countries
generating revenue of about $23 million in 2011 through direct sales, garden
centers and licensees.
Because of strict plant quarantine laws
in the USA imports were controlled through a distribution center in Texas.
Anecdotally Steve Jobs, the co-founder of Apple, ordered hundreds of â€˜Constance
Spryâ€™ to adorn a spectacular 100 meter walkway at Appleâ€™s corporate
headquarters in California. In the UK rose enthusiasts visited the nursery or
bought Austin roses by mail order.
Davidâ€™s literary talents started in
1988 with the publication of The Heritage of Roses followed five years
later by the first edition of The English Roses. Then in 2014 came The
Breathing Earth, a collection of his poems drawing on his life experience
and love of nature.
Popularity Worldwide Grew for Austin Roses
In 1990 his eldest son, David J. C.
Austin, joined the business developing David Austin Roses into a global
company, extending their UK operations into Europe, the USA and Japan. In 1992
a new breeding program was adopted – varieties specially for the cut flower
trade. Although the first varieties were released in 2004, yet once again David
and his son met with some resistance to this new innovative approach. However,
today the cut roses have become very desirable and special as personal gifts,
to adorn wedding events, and have featured prominently in celebrations such as
the most prestigious Royal Weddings. Varieties most often mentioned as especially
appealing as cutflowers are: â€˜Abraham Darbyâ€™, â€˜Eglantyneâ€™, â€˜Fishermanâ€™s
Friendâ€™, â€˜Jude the Obscureâ€™, and â€˜Sophyâ€™ s Roseâ€™.
Still Remains A Family Business
While David Austin Roses has flourished
with great success, it still remains a family business. For instance, Richard
Austin, David Seniorâ€™s grandson, and son of David Junior, joined the company in
2010 continuing his father and grandfatherâ€™s passion. The David Austin family
affectionately referred to David Senior simply as â€˜Mr Aâ€™.
most rose breeders of his time David admitted that the quest for the perfect
rose was a never ending task, and he always insisted that there was much work
yet to be done. When asked a few years ago if he was planning to retire, David
replied â€œNo, Iâ€™m just as excited about breeding roses now as I was when I
started doing it as a hobby as a 15-year-old. I think my latest roses are some
of the best Iâ€™ve ever produced, but theyâ€™re not perfect. I want to breed a
really good crimson rose and continue improving the disease resistance of our
roses. Thatâ€™s what drives me on – my love of roses, and knowing there are still
better ones to come.â€
Some Famous Quotes Â byÂ DavidÂ C.H.Â Austin
â€œA rose without a fragrance was only half a
â€œThis idea of crossing the old roses with the
modern seemed to me to be such a good thing to doâ€.
â€œI was never that influenced by what other people
said or thought. Iâ€™m sightly dyslexic, and I think I make connections that
other people donâ€™t.â€
â€œI was still an amateur with very little thought of
becoming a professional nurserymenâ€
â€œThere are so many leads – many of them blind
alleys. You need great patience and the skills to recognize what is really
outstanding. Every time I make a cross, I think there is always something more
beautiful to come.â€
â€œThere is nothing more exciting than having 350,000
seedlings growing that no one has ever seen before.â€
â€œEvery day, I marvel at my good fortune to have
been able to make a life out of breeding roses. My greatest satisfaction is to
see the pleasure my roses give to gardeners and rose lovers around the worldâ€.
â€œMost of these wonâ€™t ever be releasedâ€ he said in
2016 pointÂing to row upon row of colorful roses from which he would eventually
select only half a dozen or so new varieties. â€œThe rest get dug up and
composted ….. Thereâ€™s no point in being sentimentalâ€
â€œ…. if I had to chose just one, I think pink
â€˜Olivia Rose Austinâ€™ named after my granddaughter has to be one of the best
Iâ€™ve ever bred.
Some Famous Quotes Michael Marriott, his longtime colleague and company rosarian
â€œHe had gone around to other
rose nurseries [in England] and tried to get them to grow them for him. They
all rejected him out of hand.â€
â€œHe used to say that the
easiest way to kill a rose was to give it a bad name.â€
â€œHe lived and breathed them
all the time. He had little time for other things and was not a particularly
social man. He was quite shy and very happy to dedicate his life to roses.
Recognition of His
â€œHe was loath to be drawn on favorites, but admitted to havÂing a weakness for the â€˜Claire Austinâ€™ variety named after my daughter and is an outstanding white rose.â€ â€œBut if I had to chose just one, I think pink â€˜Olivia Rose Austinâ€™ named after my granddaughter has to be one of the best Iâ€™ve ever bred.â€Â ~Â DavidÂ C.H.Â Austin
Order of the Bristish Empire
The Order of the British Empire, or OBE, is an
award granted by the government of the United Kingdom and awarded, typically in
person, by the current king or queen of that nation to individuals who have
performed excellent work in arts, sciences, public services and charitable
RHS Victoria Medal of Honor
The Victoria Medal of Honour (VMH) may be awarded
to British horticulturists deserving of special honour by the Society and is
awarded for life. Only 63 medals may be held at any one time, in recognition of
Queen Victoriaâ€™s reign.
RNRS Dean Hole Medal
The Dean Hole Medal is the highest award that the
Royal National Rose Society makes and is awarded â€œFor Outstanding Service to
the Society and the World of Rosesâ€.
RHS Award of Garden Merit
To qualify a plant must be available horticulturally, be of outstanding excellence for garden decoration or use, be of good constitution, not require highly specialist growing conditions or care, not be particularly susceptible to any pest or disease, and not be subject to an reversion.
â€˜A Shropshire Ladâ€™
â€˜The Generous Gardenerâ€™
â€˜Lady Emma Hamiltonâ€™
â€˜Lady of Shalottâ€™
24 Gold Medals
Worldâ€™s Favorite Rose 2009
Worldâ€™s Favorite Rose 2009Â ‘GrahamÂ Thomas’
Award of Garden Excellence
Technical Significance of English Roses
David Austin settled on the name for his creations
by evoking the fact that the Scots had their own roses and so did the French,
so why not the English. This brilliant marketing plan helped capitulated his
varieties into prominence.
The progenitor of â€œEnglish Rosesâ€ was born in 1961
from a cross of a 1845 Hybrid Gallica, â€˜Belle Isisâ€™ with a 20th century
Floribunda, â€˜Dainty Maidâ€™. That rose was named â€˜Constance Spryâ€™ appropriately
assigned the international registered codename â€˜AUSfirstâ€™. The significance of
that cross between what was a non recurrent flowering Gallica as seed parent
and a repeat flowering modern Floribunda as pollen parent hopefully would
combine the delicate charm, form and bouquet of an old garden rose with the
habit and repeat flowering inherited from a modern rose – at that time an
unconventional approach to rose breeding!
But the cross was not completely successful in
ensuring repeat flowering for â€˜Constance Spryâ€™ was at best only summer
flowering. Then in 1967 Austin introduced another summer flowering shrub
â€˜Chiantiâ€™ hybridized using as seed parent the 1948 prize winning Floribunda
â€˜Dusky Maidenâ€™ with the pollen parent the Hybrid Gallica â€˜Tuscanyâ€™. And again
in 1968 Austin introduced another cross between an old garden rose and a modern
repeat flowering variety, â€˜Shropshire Lassâ€™ born from â€˜Madame Butterflyâ€™, a
classic 1918 early Hybrid Tea with â€˜Madame Legras de St Germainâ€™, an 1846 Alba.
Alas they too were only summer flowering.
With this triumvirate of potential genetic
material, Austin finally developed the first varieties that were indeed repeat
flowering but markedly inherited the charm, elegance, fragrance and form of
garden roses. They were the â€˜Wife of Bathâ€™ and â€˜Canterburyâ€™. Having been forced
to read â€œThe Canterbury Talesâ€ by Chaucer in school, most scholars can only
recollect that the Wife of Bath was a most unattractive lady with perhaps a
front tooth missing or at least a very large space between her front teeth.
Hardly an appropriate name for such a lovely rose! In producing this rose
Austin has used an early 1890 Hybrid Tea, â€˜Madame Caroline Testoutâ€™ as seed
parent with pollen derived from the cross of â€˜Ma Perkinsâ€™ with â€˜Constance
Spryâ€™. Similarly â€˜Canterburyâ€™ with recurrent flowering capability and old
garden elegance was the result of the seed parentage of a cross between
â€˜Moniqueâ€™ (a 1949 Hybrid Tea) and â€˜Constance Spryâ€™.
At this juncture David coined
the term â€œEnglish Rosesâ€ to symbolize a new breed of roses, not a new
classification for they were shrubs under the existing international
registration scheme. By the time â€˜Graham Thomasâ€™ and â€˜Mary Roseâ€™ were
introduced at the Chelsea Flower Show in 1983, â€œEnglish Rosesâ€ had gained
acceptance and popularity throughout the world. Since that time David Austin
has introduced over 200 varieties. This marketing strategy was nothing less
than a brilliant idea which captured the attention of the rose
Properties of an â€œEnglish Roseâ€
1. A Beautiful Flower
The form and brilliance of the blooms is cloned
directly from Old Garden Roses retaining their best qualities. They may be
cupped, quartered, or rosette shaped and come in an attractive array of
delightful colors, mostly pastels although there are a few stunning dark reds,
with many small petals that the light tends to bounce off and be forever
captured within the flower itself.
2. Pleasing Growth Habit
Plants have a natural shrub-like growth that blends
into the overall garden display without overpowering other companion plants. On
the contrary, they create that perfect English garden look oozing with
tranquility and passive ambiance.
3. Attractive Foliage
Behind every great flower is great foliage and
â€œEnglish Rosesâ€ are no exception to that concept.
4. Wonderful Array of Fragrances
Outwardly â€œEnglish Rosesâ€ are first noticed for
their elegant and delicate charm. But the smell quickly seduces the gardener to
their inner intense power. The fragrance range stretches from Tea Rose
fragrance to Musk to Myrrh and to many different fruit flavors adding to their
overall popularity and acceptance.
5. As Cut Flowers
Every gardener has a desire to bring the fruits of
their labors into the home rather than allow the weather to cut short the life
of their roses. â€œEnglish Rosesâ€ amplify that urge while providing even the
amateur flower arranger a golden opportunity to create beauty within the home.
This aspect of â€œEnglish Rosesâ€ as cut flowers has spawned a new sales activity
within David Austin Roses, that of providing the florist trade and the
public the ability to purchase certain varieties tested to be long lasting with
overnight service. This activity has caused a sensation as the cut roses have
become very desirable and special as personal gifts, to adorn wedding events,
and have featured prominently in celebrations such as the most prestigious
Postscript from the Author
The sad part of this great story is that while David Austin has been recognized with various honors for his work, â€œEnglish Rosesâ€ still remain classified as Shrubs by the International Registrar for Roses. For such a wonderful and widely accepted groups of evolutionary roses the stigma of the word â€œShrubâ€ does not do justice to the superlative work of David Austin. Efforts were made at the recent World Rose Convention in Copenhagen in July 2018 to recommend a new classification recognizing David Austinâ€™s work as Hybrid Austinii based on the historical precedence of the existing group known as Hybrid kordesii. After all the classification scheme currently adopted is a mixture of both botanical names and popular commercial selling names. The proposal failed to be adopted and so prevented a formal recommendation to the international registrar, the American Rose Society. Perhaps some day in the not too distant future, the rose world will finally recognized the true significance of this evolutionary development in the history of the rose. But for the moment we must be content to call them Shrubs but can constantly remind the world they are ‘English Roses’.
The David Austin Rose Garden at Albrighton, Englandï»¿
The garden started life in 1969 as stock beds for sourcing propagation material but visitors wanting to see a particular rose in flower were shown these roses and the garden gradually grew with the size of the nursery. Initially it was just the Long Garden, with a wide of different varieties â€“ David Austinâ€™s English Roses, Old Roses, Modern Shrub Roses. Species and many climbers and ramblers trained up the pillars and along the wooden beams connecting them.
Next came the Victorian Garden
with beds in concentric circles filled with English Roses, repeat flowering Old
Roses and climbing roses trained over arches. The Lion Garden has had a number
of different guises over the years and is currently a mix of English Roses, Old
Garden Roses and perennials with the surrounding walls covered with Climbers.
The magnificent stone lion carved by David Austinâ€™s late wife Pat Austin lives
at the far end.
The Renaissance Garden used to
be the site of the original breeding greenhouses over 30 years ago. New ones
were built on the other side of the hedge so this area is purely for David
Austinâ€™s English Roses. There is a central canal with a very distinctive
crenulated double border on each side. The roses here are pruned quite hard and
so stay quite short as opposed to the much more informal beds towards the
outside with curved paths and lightly pruned roses.
Right at the top of the garden
is an area dedicated to Species roses and their near hybrids underplanted with
early flowering daffodils and narcissi. The final garden is separate from the
main area; it is an acre paddock of true Species roses, the aim being to plant
as many as possible of the 160 or so thought to exist. So far there are over
100 and very splendid they look in the summer with the flowers and in the
autumn with the hips.
The main garden covers 1.5
acres and contains about 5,500 roses and several hundred perennials. The first
flowers are seen in late April or early May with the early species like R.
sericea pteracantha, R. hugonis and the Banksias. It is at its truly
magnificent best usually from mid-June for about 6 weeks and then again in
September into October and even November.
Naming Logic to Austin VarietiesÂ
With an appreciation of literature and history,
David Austin gave such memorable names to his roses as â€˜Charles Darwinâ€™ (with
yellow cupped blooms), â€˜James Galwayâ€™ (a climber with dense pink rosettes),
â€˜Dame Judi Denchâ€™ (orange blooms with ruffled petals) and â€˜Roald Dahlâ€™ (whose
orange-red buds open up to peach rosettes).
Some varieties were named after people whom Austin
admired including â€˜Mary Webbâ€™, â€˜Benjamin Brittenâ€™, â€˜Edward Elgarâ€™, â€˜Charles
Rennie Mackintoshâ€™, and â€˜Darcey Russellâ€™, while others had a sense of mischief
such as â€˜Fishermanâ€™s Friendâ€™, â€˜Teasing Georgiaâ€™, and â€˜Queen Nefertitiâ€™.
His early varieties, which he cleverly christened
â€œEnglish Rosesâ€, often had Chaucerian names such as â€œThe Friarâ€™, â€˜The Aquireâ€™,
â€˜The Prioressâ€™ and â€˜The Canterburyâ€™. Yet it was not until 1983, when he
introduced â€˜Graham Thomasâ€™, a bushy rose with cup-shaped, rich yellow scented
blooms, and â€˜Mary Roseâ€™, a delicious pink with a classic old-rose fragrance
that they really made their mark, taking roses out of the rose garden and into
the mixed border where they have since become signature plants in innumerable
herbaceous planting schemes
David Austin had an early propensity to name many
varieties after characters from The Canterbury Tales such as â€˜The Friarâ€™, â€˜The
Prioressâ€™, â€˜The Yeomanâ€™, â€˜Canterbury and â€˜The Wife of Bathâ€™, his family members
and historical icons. Shakespearean characters were represented by â€˜Prosperoâ€™,
â€˜Cressidaâ€™, â€˜Wise Portiaâ€™. From Thomas Hardy novels the varieties were â€˜Tess of
the dâ€™Urbervillesâ€™, â€˜Mayor of Casterbridgeâ€™, â€˜Jude the Obscureâ€™.
Commissions from various businesses and charities:
â€˜Evelynâ€™, â€˜Financial Times Centenaryâ€™, â€˜Radio Timesâ€™. David also also named
them after friends, relatives, and famous English horticultural figures: â€˜Geoff
Hamiltonâ€™, â€˜Charles Austinâ€™, â€˜Lillian Austinâ€™, â€˜Pat Austinâ€™, â€˜Graham Thomasâ€™,
& â€˜Gertrude Jekyllâ€™.
The choice of â€˜Robert Burnsâ€™, the Scottish poet, was pleasing especially coming from an Englishman! Other European hybridizers were somewhat slow to recognize the evolution of roses created by David Austin, but soon quickly realized their sales potential and emulated his work and developed their own versions of Davidâ€™s pioneer work. They choose such generic groups names as â€œRenaissanceâ€, â€œRomanticasâ€, ‘Generosas’, and ‘Country Roses’.
Memories of David C. H. Austin
Credit: The author gratefully acknowledges the assistance of David Austin Roses for providing access and use of certain images
Wordless Wednesday is dedicated to a rose called ‘Children’s Hopeâ„¢’ with a mission to contribute to the Children’s Brain Tumor Foundation. It’s perfect for small space and container gardening. And it’s perfectly named. Here’s Weeks Roses description of their rose and what it looks like in the garden from every angle.
Their mission is to improve treatment, help with quality of life and the long-term outlook of children with brain and spinal cord tumors through research, support, education, and advocacy to families and survivors.
Each sale of the ‘Childrenâ€™s Hopeâ„¢’ rose helps to achieve this mission with a portion of the proceeds going back to the foundation. The foundation contribution is an added bonus to your purchase as you are also getting a blooming machine of a rose!
Each little medium red pompom-like flower is produced in big clusters on a perfectly even rounded plant. The shorter compact habit makes this selection ideal for a smaller spot in the landscape or as a focal point in a decorative pot on a balcony or patio. If this describes what youâ€™re looking for in the garden, donâ€™t look any further as ‘Childrenâ€™s Hopeâ„¢’ has shown excellent performance in most climates of the country with very good disease resistance.
Medium red with light smoke on the edge
Slight tea to fruity
Pointed & ovoid
Old fashion, decorative & very double
Small, around 1Â½-2 inch diameter, in large clusters