Correct Safe Removal Of Rose Rosette Disease

Rose Rosette Disease Safe Removal

‘Double Knock Out®’ 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

‘Top Gun’ In Gaga’s Garden | Resistant To Rose Rosette Disease Bred by Tom Carruth Roses

‘Double Knock Out’ with RRD

Posted by Susan Fox on Friday, October 4, 2019

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.

How To Remove A Rose With Rose Rosette Disease

Posted by Susan Fox on Friday, October 4, 2019

Rose Volunteer Of The Year Chicago Flower & Garden Show Flowertales: The Story Grows On

Frank DeVries Getting Ready For an Interview
Frank DeVries Getting Ready For an Interview

Flowertales: The Rose Story Grows On

We welcomed spring at the Chicago Flower & Garden Show this week, March 20-24th. This year’s theme is “FLOWERTALES: The Story Grows On”. This year I want to honor American Rose Society (ARS) Member, Frank DeVries, of the Sauk Trail Rose Society.Each spring the sun shines a little brighter because of people like Frank DeVries. He began working with me to educate folks about how to grow roses in 2014 when we had the first blooming rose garden at the Chicago Flower & Garden Show in over a decade called ‘Miracle on the Pier.’.

Frank DeVries Thomas Bolden of The Sauk Trail Rose Society Palos Heights, Illinois

Frank Devries & Thomas Bolden of Sauk Trail

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 Answering Rose Questions
Frank Devries Answering Rose Questions

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.

Sauk Trail Rose Society Docents from left to right Thomas Bolden | Center Susan Fox | Right Frank Devries
Sauk Trail Rose Society Docents from left to right Thomas Bolden | Center Susan Fox | Right Frank Devries

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.

Diane Sommers Vice President American Rose Society Working As a Rose Docent

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' This Year's Rose Presentation at Chicago Flower & Garden Show
‘Roses For Every Garden’ This Year’s Rose Presentation at Chicago Flower & Garden Show

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, “FLOWERTALES: we visited and took pictures of many plants for you to enjoy and add to your garden. We want to hear from YOU!

American Grown Flowers | Roses
American Grown Flowers | Roses

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

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‘Peace’ Rose: Stamp Of Approval By Dr. Charold Baer

Rich Baer's Photo of the 'Peace' Rose

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.

Mr. & Mrs. Rich Baer, humble, perfectionist rose photographer
Mr. & Mrs. Rich Baer, humble, perfectionist rose photographer

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

'Peace' The most popular rose in the world | A photo by Mr. Rich Baer
‘Peace’ The most popular rose in the world | A photo by Mr. Rich Baer

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 Society’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.

The American Rose Stamp Ceremony
The American Rose Stamp Ceremony

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 “stamp” of approval! ~ Mrs. Charold Baer

Dr. Charold Baer, Awarded American Rose Society's 'Outstanding Consulting Rosarian' by the Portland Rose Society
Dr. Charold Baer, author of this article, Awarded American Rose Society’s ‘Outstanding Consulting Rosarian’ by the Portland Rose Society

The Life & Times of David C.H. Austin by Dr. Tommy Cairns

David C. H. Austin & Bertie
David C.H. Austin
David C.H. Austin

The Creator of “English Roses”

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 “English Roses”. Like the treatment received by most entrepreneurs, David’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 “English Roses” 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 “English Roses” may be recognized and granted the classification of ‘Hybrid Austinii’?

David Charles Henshaw Austin, obe, vmh, dhm 1926 - 2018
David Charles Henshaw Austin, obe, vmh, dhm 1926 – 2018

David Charles Henshaw Austin, OBE, VMH, DMH 1926-2018

“The Wisdom to See, The Courage to Act”

Rose breeder extraordinaire who created and gave the world the gift of “English Roses” 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.

David’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 David’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 sheep!

Fortuitously 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 father’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.

David’s Adult Years

David Austin 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”
‘Constance Spry’ the Progenitor of “English Roses”

‘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 ‘Constance Spry’ (a British writer and society floral designer) received rave reviews at the Royal Horticultural Society’s show at New Hall in Westminister. Crossing of a 1845 Hybrid Gallica, ‘Belle Isis’ with a 20th century Floribunda, ‘Dainty Maid’ had given birth to ‘Constance Spry’ appropriately assigned the international registered codename ‘AUSfirst’.

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.

Graham Thomas’ Launched “Engish Roses”
Graham Thomas’ Launched “Engish Roses”

Three Varieties Gained Praise In 1983

Recognition of David’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. “English Roses” had finally arrived.

The Marriage of Old & Modern Roses Had Begun

This 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.

Welcome to David Austin Roses
Welcome to David Austin Roses

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 ‘Constance Spry’ to adorn a spectacular 100 meter walkway at Apple’s corporate headquarters in California. In the UK rose enthusiasts visited the nursery or bought Austin roses by mail order.

David Austin's 'ENGLISH ROSES'
David Austin’s ‘ENGLISH ROSES’

David’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.

'The ROSE' by David Austin
‘The ROSE’ by David Austin

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: ‘Abraham Darby’, ‘Eglantyne’, ‘Fisherman’s Friend’, ‘Jude the Obscure’, and ‘Sophy’ s Rose’.

David, Jr. with His Father
David, Jr. with His Father

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 Senior’s grandson, and son of David Junior, joined the company in 2010 continuing his father and grandfather’s passion. The David Austin family affectionately referred to David Senior simply as ‘Mr A’.

Like 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 “No, I’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 I’ve ever produced, but they’re not perfect. I want to breed a really good crimson rose and continue improving the disease resistance of our roses. That’s what drives me on – my love of roses, and knowing there are still better ones to come.”

Some Famous Quotes  by David C.H. Austin

“A rose without a fragrance was only half a rose.”

“This idea of crossing the old roses with the modern seemed to me to be such a good thing to do”.

“I was never that influenced by what other people said or thought. I’m sightly dyslexic, and I think I make connections that other people don’t.”

“I was still an amateur with very little thought of becoming a professional nurserymen”

“There 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.”

“There is nothing more exciting than having 350,000 seedlings growing that no one has ever seen before.”

“Every 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 world”.

“Most of these won’t ever be released” he said in 2016 point­ing to row upon row of colorful roses from which he would eventually select only half a dozen or so new varieties. “The rest get dug up and composted ….. There’s no point in being sentimental”

“…. if I had to chose just one, I think pink ‘Olivia Rose Austin’ named after my granddaughter has to be one of the best I’ve ever bred.

Some Famous Quotes Michael Marriott, his longtime colleague and company rosarian

“He 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.”

“He used to say that the easiest way to kill a rose was to give it a bad name.”

“He 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 Accomplishments

“He was loath to be drawn on favorites, but admitted to hav­ing a weakness for the ‘Claire Austin’ variety named after my daughter and is an outstanding white rose.” “But if I had to chose just one, I think pink ‘Olivia Rose Austin’ named after my granddaughter has to be one of the best I’ve ever bred.” ~ David C.H. Austin

Order of the British Empire
Order of the British Empire

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 efforts.

RHS Victoria Medal of Honor
RHS Victoria Medal of Honor

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 Victoria’s reign.

RNRS  Dean Hole Medal
RNRS Dean Hole Medal

RNRS Dean Hole Medal

The Dean Hole Medal is the highest award that the Royal National Rose Society makes and is awarded “For Outstanding Service to the Society and the World of Roses”.

RHS Award of Garden Merit
RHS Award of Garden Merit

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.

‘Darcey Bussell’


‘Kew Gardens’

‘Scarborough Fair’


‘Strawberry Hill’

‘A Shropshire Lad’


‘The Generous Gardener’


‘Teasing Georgia’

‘Gertrude Jekyll’

‘Golden Celebration’

‘Lady Emma Hamilton’

‘The Mayflower’

‘Munstead Wood’

‘Graham Thomas’

‘Lady of Shalott’


.Mortimer Sackler’

‘The Pilgrim’

‘Port Sunlight’

‘Princess Anne’


24 Gold Medals

RHS Chelsea Flower Show
RHS Chelsea Flower Show

World’s Favorite Rose 2009

World’s Favorite Rose 2009 ‘Graham Thomas’

World Federation of Rose Societies Hall of Fame Rose
World Federation of Rose Societies Hall of Fame Rose

Award of Garden Excellence 

'The Wedgewood Rose'
‘The Wedgewood Rose’
'Teasing Georgia'
‘Teasing Georgia’
‘Queen of Sweden’
‘Queen of Sweden’
'Lady of Shalott’
‘Lady of Shalott’
'Falstaff' Shrub - English
‘Falstaff’ Shrub – English
'Mary Rose’
‘Mary Rose’

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 “English Roses” was born in 1961 from a cross of a 1845 Hybrid Gallica, ‘Belle Isis’ with a 20th century Floribunda, ‘Dainty Maid’. That rose was named ‘Constance Spry’ appropriately assigned the international registered codename ‘AUSfirst’. 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 ‘Constance Spry’ was at best only summer flowering. Then in 1967 Austin introduced another summer flowering shrub ‘Chianti’ hybridized using as seed parent the 1948 prize winning Floribunda ‘Dusky Maiden’ with the pollen parent the Hybrid Gallica ‘Tuscany’. And again in 1968 Austin introduced another cross between an old garden rose and a modern repeat flowering variety, ‘Shropshire Lass’ born from ‘Madame Butterfly’, a classic 1918 early Hybrid Tea with ‘Madame Legras de St Germain’, 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 ‘Wife of Bath’ and ‘Canterbury’. Having been forced to read “The Canterbury Tales” 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, ‘Madame Caroline Testout’ as seed parent with pollen derived from the cross of ‘Ma Perkins’ with ‘Constance Spry’. Similarly ‘Canterbury’ with recurrent flowering capability and old garden elegance was the result of the seed parentage of a cross between ‘Monique’ (a 1949 Hybrid Tea) and ‘Constance Spry’.

At this juncture David coined the term “English Roses” to symbolize a new breed of roses, not a new classification for they were shrubs under the existing international registration scheme. By the time ‘Graham Thomas’ and ‘Mary Rose’ were introduced at the Chelsea Flower Show in 1983, “English Roses” 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 “English Rose”

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 “English Roses” are no exception to that concept.

4. Wonderful Array of Fragrances

Outwardly “English Roses” 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. “English Roses” amplify that urge while providing even the amateur flower arranger a golden opportunity to create beauty within the home. This aspect of “English Roses” 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 Royal Weddings.

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, “English Roses” 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 “Shrub” 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 Austin’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, England
The David Austin Rose Garden at Albrighton, England

The David Austin Rose Garden at Albrighton, England

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 – David Austin’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 Austin’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 Austin’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 Varieties 

With an appreciation of literature and history, David Austin gave such memorable names to his roses as ‘Charles Darwin’ (with yellow cupped blooms), ‘James Galway’ (a climber with dense pink rosettes), ‘Dame Judi Dench’ (orange blooms with ruffled petals) and ‘Roald Dahl’ (whose orange-red buds open up to peach rosettes).

‘Dame Judi Dench’
‘Dame Judi Dench’

Some varieties were named after people whom Austin admired including ‘Mary Webb’, ‘Benjamin Britten’, ‘Edward Elgar’, ‘Charles Rennie Mackintosh’, and ‘Darcey Russell’, while others had a sense of mischief such as ‘Fisherman’s Friend’, ‘Teasing Georgia’, and ‘Queen Nefertiti’.

His early varieties, which he cleverly christened “English Roses”, often had Chaucerian names such as “The Friar’, ‘The Aquire’, ‘The Prioress’ and ‘The Canterbury’. Yet it was not until 1983, when he introduced ‘Graham Thomas’, a bushy rose with cup-shaped, rich yellow scented blooms, and ‘Mary Rose’, 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 ‘The Friar’, ‘The Prioress’, ‘The Yeoman’, ‘Canterbury and ‘The Wife of Bath’, his family members and historical icons. Shakespearean characters were represented by ‘Prospero’, ‘Cressida’, ‘Wise Portia’. From Thomas Hardy novels the varieties were ‘Tess of the d’Urbervilles’, ‘Mayor of Casterbridge’, ‘Jude the Obscure’.

Commissions from various businesses and charities: ‘Evelyn’, ‘Financial Times Centenary’, ‘Radio Times’. David also also named them after friends, relatives, and famous English horticultural figures: ‘Geoff Hamilton’, ‘Charles Austin’, ‘Lillian Austin’, ‘Pat Austin’, ‘Graham Thomas’, & ‘Gertrude Jekyll’.

The choice of ‘Robert Burns’, 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 David’s pioneer work. They choose such generic groups names as “Renaissance”, “Romanticas”, ‘Generosas’, and ‘Country Roses’.

Memories of David C. H. Austin

Memories of David C.H. Austin
Memories of David C.H. Austin
Greeting Queen Elizabeth at Chelsea 2016 on her 90th birthday
Greeting Queen Elizabeth at Chelsea 2016 on her 90th birthday
David with David, Jr. with Dame Judi Dench at Chelsea 2016 talking about her newly named rose
David with David, Jr. with Dame Judi Dench at Chelsea 2016 talking about her newly named rose
David C. H. Austin & Bertie
David C. H. Austin & Bertie

Credit: The author gratefully acknowledges the assistance of David Austin Roses for providing access and use of certain images

‘Children’s Hope’â„¢| Plant A Rose Help A Child

‘Children’s Hopeâ„¢’ Mega-Sized Candelabra

‘Children’s Hopeâ„¢’

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.

“We all have hopes and dreams. For children, it’s to be healthy so they can play. The Children’s Brain Tumor Foundation *helps get sick children back to good health.

‘Children’s Hopeâ„¢’ bred by Tom Carruth in the Garden June, 2017

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.

‘Children’s Hope’ Spray

Each sale of the ‘Children’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!

'Children's Hope' Rose Bush
‘Children’s Hope’ Rose Bush

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 you’re looking for in the garden, don’t look any further as ‘Children’s Hopeâ„¢’ has shown excellent performance in most climates of the country with very good disease resistance.

'Children's Hope' Planted in April 2017
‘Children’s Hopeâ„¢’ Planted in April 2017, already covered in sprays of candelabras

Rose Name:

Children’s Hope™



Patent #:




Flower Color:

Medium red with light smoke on the edge


Slight tea to fruity

Bud Form:

Pointed & ovoid

Flower Form:

Old fashion, decorative & very double

Flower Size:

Small, around 1½-2 inch diameter, in large clusters

Petal Count:

over 45

Stem Length:


Plant Habit:


Growth Habit:

Rounded & bushy

Foliage Color:

Glossy dark green

Disease Resistance:

Very good


Tom Carruth


Sweet Chariot x (Goldmarie x Baby Bloomers)

Introduced By:

Weeks Roses

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