David Austin and Me

For the past 20 years I have had a secret crush. His name is David Austin. He lives in England. He grows roses. Actually, he creates roses. He even created a new kind of rose … English roses … blending Old Garden Roses for form and fragrance with modern roses for repeat blooming and increased range of color. To me that is the perfect combination! Who wouldn’t be smitten!

My favorite one (for the moment) is Charlotte or is it Gertrude Jekyll … or it could be Mary Rose or Crocus Rose on any given day. All are beautiful, charming and sooooo fragrant.

Recently I had the pleasure of speaking with Michael Marriott of David Austin Roses on Rose Chat Radio who talked about the new releases for 2013. Listen here.

NEW RELEASES

Wollerton Old Hall

Wollerton Old Hall

Wollerton Old Hall is the most fragrant new variety and, indeed, one of the most fragrant of all English Roses. Its distinctive strong myrrh scent has a delicious citrus element. Plump buds, with attractive flashes of red, open to form beautiful chalice-shaped blooms of soft apricot, eventually paling to cream. It forms a particularly healthy and bushy shrub with few thorns.

Lady Salisbury

Lady Salisbury

Lady Salisbury exhibits great Old Rose charm, with some of the character of the Alba Roses. Rich rose pink buds open to reveal pure pink flowers, which gradually become a softer shade as the flowers age. There is a light fragrance. ‘Lady Salisbury’ flowers with remarkable continuity from early summer on.

Fighting Temeraire

Fighting Temeraire

Fighting Temeraire is a very different English Rose. The fully open flowers are very large at 4” to 5″ across, each with only 12 petals. The flowers are a rich apricot color with an area of yellow behind the stamens which later pales to a soft yellow-apricot.

England’s Rose

England’s Rose

England’s Rose is a particularly tough and reliable variety. Deep glowing pink flowers are held in large clusters, the outer petals eventually reflexing back to reveal an attractive button eye.

The Lady’s Blush

The Lady’s Blush

The Lady’s Blush is a charming semi-double variety with delicate natural beauty. The flowers start as elegant pointed buds and develop into rounded cups in pure soft pink with a creamy white eye and often a white stripe.

Queen Anne

Queen Anne

Queen Anne is a rose of classic Old Rose beauty, but rather more in the direction of the Centifolias or Bourbons. The medium-sized flowers are pure rose pink, the outer petals only slightly paler than the central ones. In habit, ‘Queen Anne’ is quite upright and bushy, with few thorns.

DAVID AUSTIN GARDENS

Visiting this amazing garden is definitely on my “bucket list”.

If you’d like to see a recent video of the David Austin gardens in England, watch this…


I am adding several of these new roses to my garden next year…

  • England’s Rose
  • The Lady’s Blush
  • Lady Salisbury

And, here’s the man himself….

Thank you Mr. Austin for such beautiful additions to our gardens!

David Austin

Follow David Austin Roses on Twitter @DavidAustinHome.

Gertrude Jekyll

The lesson I have thoroughly learned, and wish to pass on to others, is to know the enduring happiness that the love of a garden gives. -Gertrude Jekyll

Gertrude Jekyll (29 November 1843 – 8 December 1932; last name pronounced / JEE-kəl) was an influential British garden designer, writer and artist. She created over 400 gardens in the UK, Europe and the USA and contributed over 1,000 articles to Country Life, The Garden and other magazines. She wrote over fifteen books, ranging from Wood and Garden and her most famous book Colour in the Flower Garden.

Gertrude was instrumental in the creation of the English Country Garden style (my personal favorite). This style moved away from the highly formal Victorian garden toward a greater freedom in planting and the inclusion of a wider variety of plants. Attributes included brick paths and herbaceous borders planted with lilies, lupines and lavenders (YES!). She worked almost exclusively with Edwin Lutyens, a British architect, who she met in 1889 and commissioned to design her own house.

Fun Fact: Her brother, Walter, was a friend of the author, Robert Louis Stevenson; his name may have been borrowed for the title of his famous Jekyll and Hyde story.

Hope she had something other than this dress to garden in ... maybe some Wellies too.
Clematis Montana over Gertrude's workshop window at Munstead Wood in Surrey, England.
The beautiful and very fragrant David Austin rose that bears her name.