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

Garden Legends David C. H. Austin Snr Epic Rose Legacy Lives On

A Tribute to David Austin
‘Litchfield Angel’; ‘Princess Alexandra of Kent’; ‘Abraham Darby’
His Roses Grown & Photographed by Susan Fox

David Austin Roses Announced: “It is with great sadness that the Austin family announces the passing of David C. H. Austin Snr OBE VMH, rosarian and founder of David Austin Roses. David Snr died peacefully at his home in Shropshire, in the U.K on Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2018, surrounded by his family. He was 92.” If you would like to share your memories and condolences with David Austin Roses, please email them to:

David C.H. Austin | ‘Graham Thomas’

The Father of English Roses

“He will be remembered as one of the greatest rosarians and rose breeders of all time who is responsible for creating the world’s first horticultural brand. With over 240 varieties to his name, he was still absolutely passionate about developing new varieties of English Roses until the very end. He died already knowing what the future may hold, having planned and undertaken the next crosses, which will hopefully create a new rose that will be introduced in nine years’ time.” David Austin Roses

Garden Legends Live On By Designs & Impressions They Leave on The Earth | Our Hearts and Minds

According to Shropshire Star reporter Rory Smith, David Austin Junior, son and managing director of the company for the last 25 years said: “My Father – or Mr A as he was affectionately known within the wider Austin family – was a remarkable man.

David Austin, of David Austin Roses in one of his greenhouses in Albrighton, U.K.

The article goes on to state: “His presence will be sorely missed within the global family company that he created. But the passion he instilled will continue and we will hold true to my father’s vision when he founded the company almost 50 years ago.”

“His love for the art of rose breeding was truly inspiring – he loved nothing more than seeing the pleasure that his roses gave to others.

The company said although it would be a difficult time for the family, the business would continue as usual.

“We will continue to honour Mr Austin Snr’s memory with vigour and passion in all that we do and in the plants that we love,” they said.

The Future

The Shropshire Star article went on to state that David Austin Roses said: “Our success is very much built on our family’s values and ethics and we have no plans to change this. And in the future a special rose could be bred in his name.”

“It is difficult to contemplate a rose that justifies Mr Austin Snr’s name as this would suggest that his ambition had been reached. It is, however, something we would very much like to do in time.”

American Rose Society Calendar of Roses 2018 | Photographers | Roses

‘Dick Clark’ in the American Rose Society 2018 Calendar

The American Rose Society prints a calendar each year. They choose pictures from roses submitted from members and sell the calendars to support the American Rose Society. Anyone can buy them and they are very reasonably priced at $15.00. I just bought 7 of them and I probably will buy more because they make perfect gifts. Today I thought I would share my pictures that will be in the American Rose Society 2018 Calendar, and these are the pictures by other members:

Roses For Each Month | American Rose Society Calendar 2018

Most of us use our phones for planning and scheduling but it helps to have one physical calendar to be able to see and write down plans for what everyone is doing for the year. If you are going to have one print calendar make it the most beautiful one available, make it the one from the American Rose Society. 

My next picture chosen was ‘Abraham Darby’ on the January, 2018 page by David Austin Roses

‘Abraham Darby’ by David Austin Roses 2018 ROSES Calendar

ROSES Calendar COVER: ‘Grand Dame’ by Jane Ann Long

JANUARY Major: ‘The Charlatan’ Photo Cliff Orent.
Minor: ‘Abraham Darby’ Photo Susan Fox.
Minor: ‘Canasta’ Photo Mara Friedlander;
Minor: ‘Chicago Peace’ Photo Debbie Friedlander.
Minor: ‘Stranger’ Photo Teresa Mathers.

MAJOR: ‘Bouquet Parfait’ Photo Dona Martin.
MINOR: ‘Easy Does It’ Photo Sue Tiffany.
MINOR ‘Gold Medal’ Photo Richard Bennett;
MINOR: ‘Disneyland Rose’ Photo Kim Harris;
MINOR: ‘Mister Lincoln’ Photo Tom Mayhew.
MAJOR: ‘Dr John Dickman’ Photo Richard Bennett.
MINOR: ‘Love and Peace’ Photo Teresa Mathers.
MINOR: ‘Jacqueline du Pré’ Photo Elena Williams;
MNOR: ‘Aromatherapy’ Photo Scott Becker;
MINOR:‘Watercolors Homerun’ Photo Tina VanCleave.

MAJOR: ‘Reunion’ Photo Richard Howard.
MINOR: ‘Purple Splash’ Photo Scott Becker.
MINOR:‘Iceberg’ Photo Mary Chang;
MINOR: ‘Cl Candy Land’ Photo Jamie Becker;
MINOR: ‘Lovers Lane’ Photo Vicki Agee.
MAJOR: Stanwell Perpetual’ Photo Lou Evans.
MINOR: ‘Social Climber’ Photo Harlow Young*
MINOR: ‘Mermaid’ Photo Susan Brandt Graham;
MINOR: ‘Strike It Rich’ Photo Richard Howard;
MINOR: ‘Fragrant Cloud’ Photo Stan Griep.

MAJOR: ‘Abby’s Angel’ Photo Kathy Kozemchak.
MINOR: ‘Flower Girl’ Photo Richard Bennett.
MINOR: ‘Sunny Sundays’ Photo Richard Howard;
MINOR: ‘Tiddly Winks’ Photo Stan Griep;
MINOR: ‘Touch of Class’ Photo Craig Jansen.

MAJOR: ‘Julia Child’ Photo John Mattia.
MINOR:’Dick Clark’ Photo Susan Fox.
MINOR: ‘Dublin’ Photo Bill Kozemchak;
MINOR: ‘Rainbow Sorbet’ Photo Mariette Riedell;
MINOR: ‘George Burns’ Photo Teresa Mathers.

MAJOR: ‘Playgirl’ Photo Rich Baer.
MINOR:  ‘Cajun Moon’ Photo Cindy Dale.
MINOR: ‘Sunsprite’ Photo Elena Williams;
MINOR: ‘Miss Congeniality’ Photo Jamie Becker;
MINOR: ‘Rose de Rescht’ Photo Elena Williams.

MAJOR: ‘Darcy Bussell’ Photo Bill Kozemchak.
MINOR: ‘Rainbow Knockout’ Photo John Mattia.
MINOR: ‘Dream Come True’ Photo Stephen J. Feltoon;
MINOR: ‘Floranne’ Photo Linda Burg;
MINOR: ‘Hannah Gordon’ Photo Clive Nickerson.

MAJOR: ‘Honey Dijon’ Photo Vicki Agee.
MINOR:  ‘Prairie Sunrise’ Photo Elena Williams.
MINOR: ‘Lucille Ball’ Photo Cliff Orent;
MINOR: ‘Marilyn Monroe’ Photo Dona Martin;
MINOR: ‘Honey Perfume’ Photo Judy Frederick.

MAJOR: ‘Dark Desire’ Photo Harlow Young.
MINOR: ‘Crescendo’ Photo Gregg Ganas.
MINOR: ‘Sunglow’, Photo Linda Burg;
MINOR: ‘Prospero’ Photo Dona Martin;
MINOR: ‘Paul Ecke, Jr’  Photo Kathy Kozemchak.

MAJOR: ‘Dona Martin’ Photo Tom Mayhew.
MINOR: ‘Tess of the D’Ubervilles’ Photo Mary Chang.
MINOR: ‘Sterling Silver’ Photo Lou Evans;
MINOR: ‘The McCartney Rose’, Photo Reese Amorosi;
MINOR: ‘Glitter Girl’ Photo Teresa Mather

About the American Rose Society

*If you haven’t checked out the American Rose Society, current President of the American Rose Society, Pat Shanley believes in sustainable rose gardening and is dedicated to every aspect to growing better roses. She also oversees the magazine the “American Rose” magazine, along with Executive Director, Laura Seabaugh. This magazine is completely dedicated to promoting gardening, education, preservation and appreciation of the rose. The American Rose Society is one of the few societies left that continues to publish a print publication 6 times a year along with several newsletters/bulletins and provides each member with a “Handbook for Selecting Roses” and “Creating a Beautiful Rose Garden” booklet. 
Former president & rose education advocate Jolene Adams believes that the only way to dispel the myth that roses are difficult to grow is rose growing education. The American Rose Society is dedicated to providing you the gardener with education on how to grow better roses. If you haven’t check them out. Rosarians are standing by to answer your questions. 

*Correction: Please note the calendars printed the rose: ‘Social Climber’ with Susan Fox as the photographer however the rose was submitted and photographed by Harlow Young.





A Light Prospective of Roses | American Rose Convention 2015 | Syracuse, New York, Sept. 10-13

John Mattia holding ‘Dona Martin’  and his American Rose Magazine cover feature ‘Veterans Honor’ winner of the Digital Photography Hybrid Tea Award Winning ‘Veterans Honor’

John Mattia | holding and his American Rose Magazine cover feature 'Veterans Honor' winner of the Digital Photography Hybrid Tea Award Winning 'Veterans Honor'
John Mattia | Holding ‘Moonstone’ and his American Rose Magazine cover feature ‘Veterans Honor’ winner of the Digital Photography Hybrid Tea Award Winning ‘Veterans Honor’

The American Rose Society National Convention is September 10-13, Syracuse, NY at the Holiday Inn, Syracuse

Photography Panelist Sally Long | Award Winning ‘Dick Clark’

Sally Long | 2015 American Rose Society Convention Photography Panelist |Her Double Delight Preview
Sally Long | 2015 American Rose Society Convention Photography Panelist |Her Double Delight Preview

Photography Moderator and American Rose Society National Chair of Photography

Curtis Aumiller and his award winning ‘Sally Holmes’

Curtis AumillerModerator and ARS National Chair of Photography | 'Sally Holmes'
Curtis AumillerModerator and ARS National Chair of Photography | ‘Sally Holmes’

Photography Panelist Bill Kozemchak | Award Winning Bev Parish’

Bill Kozemchak Photographer | 'Bev Parish' Winning Master Class Arrangement Class photo from 2013
Bill Kozemchak Photographer | ‘Bev Parish’ Winning Master Class Arrangement Class photo from 2013

Susan Fox and her award winning ‘Neil Diamond’

Susan Fox | 'Neil Diamond' 2nd Place Hybrid Tea Award Winner in 2014 American Rose Society Photography Contest Novice Class
Susan Fox | ‘Neil Diamond’ 2nd Place Hybrid Tea Award Winner in 2014 American Rose Society Photography Contest Novice Class

 Y’all come see us!

IMG_0545Chris Van Cleave of Rosechat Radio| Susan Fox | Teresa Byington of A Garden Diary

The American Rose Society leadership invited the worlds leading authorities on roses to come and they’re all coming. That’s just a fact. Simply stated the most famous hybridizers and rose authorities in the world will be there: Michael Marriott, David Austin Roses of the UK.

'Munstead Wood' David Austin Rose voted a Biltmore Rose Trial Most Fragrant Rose of the 2014 #BiltmoreRoseTrials
‘Munstead Wood’ David Austin Rose voted Most Fragrant Rose at the 2014 International #BiltmoreRoseTrials

Will Radler, creator of the original Knock Out® Rose who changed the world’s landscape forever introduced by The Conard-Pyle Co./Star® Roses Company;

'Radrazz' Double KnockOut Rose
‘Radrazz’ Double KnockOut Rose

Alain Meilland from Meilland International, whose family “got into roses” around 1850, creator of the worlds most famous rose, ‘Peace’; and roses that continue to make an impact across the world.

'Peace' by Meilland Roses, the most popular rose in the world
‘Peace’ by Meilland Roses, the most popular rose in the world

Thomas Proll, Lead Breeder of Kordes Roses, Germany; Steve Hutton, President and CEO of Conard-Pyle Co./Star® Roses; Dr. Dave Byrne, AgriLife Research Horticulturist of Texas A&M; and Dr. Jim Sproul, General Director, Rose Hybridizers Assoc., Bakersfield, CA. This meeting will include the swearing in of the new American Rose Society president Ms. Pat Shanley and the newly elected Vice President Mr. Robert Martin, who will also be doing a presentation on showing roses. And we will thank Ms. Jolene Adams and current officers for their service. If you can come to this convention I can truly say this is the most outstanding line-up of speakers I have ever seen at a convention. Come join us whether you are interested in roses, gardening, learning or socializing there’s lots for you to do. And we would love to meet you. The dates are September 10-13, 2015, Syracuse, New York at the Holiday Inn, Syracuse. If the hotel is booked they have an adjoining hotel and many others in the area. Or plan a day trip. Call ARS if you need any details or contact me via this post.

The name of the photography presentation that I am so honored to have been asked to be a part of is:

Getting That Award-Winning Rose PHOTO

American Rose Society Fall Convention: Friday, September 11, 2015: 1:15-2:15 Syracuse, NY, Holiday Inn, Syracuse

Corona Tools, is sponsoring a special surprise for attendees to the photography session

'Julia Child' by Weeks Roses featured this shot of 'Julia Child' in The American Rose Society 2014 Calendar
‘Julia Child’ by Weeks Roses featured this shot of ‘Julia Child’ in The American Rose Society 2014 Calendar

The moderator of our photography presentation will be Curtis Aumiller, ARS National Chair of Photography from Camp Hill , PA. The panelists are Bill Kozemchak, Levittown, PA; Sally Long, El Cajon, CA; and John Mattia, Orange, CA., I was asked to be part of this panel and I am ecstatic about it.

Corona Tools Needle Nose Pruners
Corona Tools Needle Nose Pruners

My Rosechat friends Teresa Byington and Chris VanCleave are the Rose Show Award Presentation Master of Ceremonies as well so we will be doing a live twitter feed that night promoting the event via Rosechat and twitter. Especially if you live anywhere close so that you can make this a week-end or a day trip just check out the schedule below. I guarantee you will make friends for life.

American Rose Society Convention Schedule-At-A-Glance

Pat Shanley To Be sworn in as New ARS President

Susan Fox | Pat Shanley at The Biltmore Rose Trials
Susan Fox | Pat Shanley at The Biltmore Rose Trials

2015 Star® Roses and Plants/Conard-Pyle collection of roses featured at The Chicago Flower & Garden Show

Star Roses on Parade
Star Roses on Parade

Our new Executive Director of the American Rose Society Laura ‘Sees’ Roses Seabaugh, and John Beaty, of Beaty Fertilizer Company, maker of Mills Magic Rose Mix fertilizer sponsor of the Chicago Flower and Garden Show.

Susan Fox | John Beaty | Laura Seabaugh
Susan Fox | John Beaty | Laura Seabaugh

 ‘Elle’ A Meilland Rose

'Elle' featured for the month of April, 2015 with a quote from Alain Meilland, Meilland Roses International,
‘Elle’ featured for the month of April, 2015 with a quote from Alain Meilland, Meilland Roses International,

People Make Plants Come Alive at IGC

P. Allen Smith & me holding his beautiful rooster Edwin at #G2B14 in Little Rock, AR

P. Allen Smith & me holding his beautiful rooster Edwin at #G2B14 in Little Rock, AR
P. Allen Smith & me holding his beautiful rooster Edwin at #G2B14 in Little Rock, AR

Do plants give life to people or do people give life to plants? It’s the age old chicken or the egg causality dilemma, “Which came first, the chicken or the egg?” At The Independent Garden Show last week in Chicago, August 19-21, I had reason to ponder this theory. When I post pictures of the people behind the plant scene y’all say, “What’s with all the people?! We want to see plants and roses! Show us what new plants are there!” OK. Then when I post the newest plants inevitably y’all say “Who was there?!” Here is my theory:

Kate Porter from David Austin Roses, UK
Kate Porter from David Austin Roses, UK

People give life to plants

The Independent Garden Show Jeff and Cheryl Morey, Show Owners and their Management Team know and apply this theory quite well and brought us a world class event in the most idyllic setting along the beautiful shores of Lake Michigan at Navy Pier, captivating the gardening world with new and exciting things we want to see, offering information we are eager to learn, while entertaining us and engaging the larger audience via multi-channels of social media.

Jeff kicked off the show by interviewing key note speaker Martha Stewart in a comfortable morning talk show setting where Martha was at ease sharing pictures of her garden and tips to a standing room only crowd.

Martha Stewart Live with Jeff Morey at IGC
Martha Stewart Live with Jeff Morey at IGC


Here are 3 takeaways from Jeff Morey’s talk with Martha Stewart:

  • Folks want plant variety that only an Independent Garden Center offers
  • Smaller plants are a much better value for today’s gardener and for the financially strapped shopper her advice is “they’ll grow.”
  • She knows time is also of short supply so easy care plants are essential


Jerry Amoroso, Mr. Rose of Weeks Roses
Jerry Amoroso, Mr. Rose himself, truly a ‘Class Act’ of Weeks Roses




Here are the key people behind the scenes that give life to the plants that you love: Weeks Roses was there with Karen Kemp-Docksteader and her sales team including NE Sales, Jerry Amororso who I coined, Mr. Rose himself. They were debuting their 2015 rose collection including famous Downton Abbey’s ‘Anna’s Promise’.





David Austin Team at IGC, Kate Porter from the UK & Shellie Reese, Tyler
David Austin Team at IGC, Kate Porter from the UK & Shellie Reese, Tyler

Kate Porter, commercial & projects manager for David Austin Roses had flown over from the UK and Shellie Reese from the Tyler, Texas office was there as they showed the David Austin beautiful new collection of roses. The David Austin Team was constantly busy with new orders. Their “Simple-to-Grow Roses” Campaign and demand of English roses is growing in the US and I witnessed it in action while I was at their exhibit.

David Austin Rose 'Carding Mill'
David Austin Rose ‘Carding Mill’ at the Independent Garden Show in Chicago




Shannon Springer Up Close with New Proven Winner shrub rose 'Livable La Vida'
Adorable Shannon Springer Gets Up Close with New Proven Winner shrub rose ‘Livable La Vida’

The Proven Winner’s Team was there with so many beautiful plants. Of course I saw that doll Shannon Springer who was at P. Allen Smith’s Garden 2 Blog 2014 event with me. And I can’t forget ‘John Vodka’, (Josh) and wonderful Jeanine Standard! These folks are all the people that bring us the plants that we love. Tony Abruscato, owner of The Chicago Flower & Garden Show, Greenmark PR and The Seedkeepers Thank-you one and all!

Jeanine Standard of Proven Winners kindly said "Susan you get on over there by 'Vermillionaire and I'll take your picture" So here it is! Great picture Jeanine! ;)
Jeanine Standard of Proven Winners kindly said “Susan you get on over there by ‘Vermillionaire and I’ll take your picture” So here it is! Great picture Jeanine! 😉








Tony Abruscato, Mr. Chicago Flower & Garden Show and I pause for a minute to take in all the excitement at the great show!
Tony Abruscato, Mr. Chicago Flower & Garden Show and I pause for a minute to take in all the excitement at the great show!

Tony Abruscato, owner of The Chicago Flower & Garden Show as we put our heads together already talking about the show in March! There were so many wonderful people there that are behind the scenes that make the plants that you love come alive everyday. Look for the album that I will post to Facebook with more plant pictures.

Shannon Springer of Proven Winners and Sue Markgraf of Greenmark PR
Shannon Springer of Proven Winners and Sue Markgraf of Greenmark PR



Chris Thier from Laguna Ponds, Star of P. Allen Smith's G2B Happy Dance Video, See the video on my home page!
Chris Thier from Laguna Ponds, Star of P. Allen Smith’s G2B Happy Dance Video, See the video on my home page!



Garden Girl Gloves
Garden Girl Gloves