" Everyday, 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 worldwide." - David Austin Snr.
When my mum , Lori van der Meer, told me she was getting some David Austin roses my first response was “oh lovely… what are those?”
David Austin is not a well known name for most Manitoban gardeners but over the next few weeks I hope to get you better acquainted with not only the name but the care and background of some of the roses.
But let's just start with the basics, who is David Austin and what are his roses like?
David Austin was born in Shropshire in 1926. Even as a young child he was fascinated by growing things and would go to visit his friends' nursery during school breaks. He set on roses when he was in his early 20s and fell in love with the Old English roses which were falling out of fashion to the Hybrids which had a wider variety of colours and could repeat flower. He set about to create a rose that had the fragrance and beauty of the Old Roses with desirable attributes of a hybrid.
It took some time for him to succeed but he finally created his first rose ‘Rosa Constance Spry’ named after the famous floral designer.
Nurseries did not want to stock his roses because they felt they were too ‘old fashioned’ and so he began to sell his roses from his home in Shropshire. He struggled for a few years because there were so many other Rose Nurseries to compete with but he eventually succeeded and became famous for his repeat flowering ‘English Roses’
In 1983 David experienced his first real breakthrough when he introduced three English Roses at the Chelsea Flower Show one of which ‘Rosa Graham Thomas’ has continued in popularity even until today.
Although not officially recognized as a separate class of roses his roses are known widely as ‘austins’ and have been separated into four groups
David Austin continued to work with roses his whole life, as did his son and now his grandsons. David Austin died recently in 2018 but his gardens and roses are famous to rose enthusiasts around the world.
Coming up soon will be
Check out all the roses we have in-store this year! Product: David Austin Roses