David Austin introduced a brand new class in roses in 1969. By hybridizing already existing hybrids with old world species of typically English roses he built the foundation for an ever expanding collection of high performing roses never seen before.
David Austin worked to create the appealing forms of older species with the hardiness of modern hybrids, maintaining and enhancing fragrance genetics and increasing the color range to include every hue possible. Floriferous, incomparably fragrant, with clear pure color, each bloom is a masterpiece of artfully arranged petals. The paler shades appear translucent while the darker colors seem to embody the velvety perfume itself. Adding new depth and texture to rose collections, David Austin Roses have become a unique contribution to rose culture, worldwide.
Reflecting parentages of Noisette, Bourbon, Hybrid Perpetual, Floribunda and Tea, many distinctive styles have emerged, including those that are button- eyed, some cupped and those that have quartered centers. Some varieties bear huge full blown blooms with 100 petals; others are semi-urn shaped like tea hybrids. Several types are graced with neat recurving petals and some have blowsy mop heads; even a miniature rose has been added. Growth habit ranges from 6-10 ft tall plants that can be used as controllable climbers to tidy 3- 4 ft. bushes which make great landscape roses planted en masse. Given the right conditions, David Austin Roses will bloom from the first warmth of spring, produce endlessly during the summer and if pruned, continue on till the last autumn rays of sunshine.
Widely grown now in public and private gardens, they are available at nursery centers in most climate zones as bare root and potted plants. We at Bulb and Bloom consider David Austin roses symbolic of all that is desirable in any rose for form, fragrance, cultivation and beauty. We have used them in many different settings from patio pots to whole landscaping projects and are always gratified by wave after wave of perfect blooms from spring through fall. If you haven’t tried growing these wonderful plants yet consider our top ten list of star performers. For unusual David Austin Roses, see Vintage Gardens.
Top Ten David Austin Roses
1. FAIR BIANCA
Not just a favorite David Austin but an all class favorite White. Camellia-like, perfect porcelain cup of at least 60 petals holds a fragrance of lemon, anise, and lavender, 5ft bush bears well spaced large clusters of medium size blooms. Clear, very white Make wonderful cut flowers for weddings and. gorgeous in mixed rose bouquets. Highly recommended as the first David Austin to try.v
2. EVELYNPeach petals subtly flushing from center pastel to bright then almost apricot beige, developed specifically as Crabtree & Evelyn’s rose fragrance. Large shrub or small climber with continuous bloom of cupped big roses with a remarkable scent.
3. GRAHAM THOMASVigorous free standing 10 ft. climber or shrub, known for disease resistance. Shiny pale green leaves on sturdy stems make a full and handsome plant, bearing rich pure yellow cup - shaped roses with 100 petals. Fruity scent, constant bloom. An exceptionally performing Austin.
4. HERITAGESoft clean pink opens to a shell like cup of many petals. Smells of plum, pepper and honey. Almost thornless 7ft. climber or dense bush is in bloom for months with perfect roses for arrangements and garden showcasing.
5. ABRAHAM DARBYTwo color apricot with golden center blushes out to pink at the outer layers of petals. A 6-8 ft. vigorous plant that is ever- blooming in the summer months. Arching canes spread to 5ft width .Ruffled and quartered roses nod gracefully in large clusters exuding the lemony-myrrh fragrance of old fashioned roses.
6. BELLE STORYVery unique David Austin type. 35 petals of pale pink centered with a darker pink and a surprising large inner golden crown of anthers. 4ft. canes with small dark green leaves re-bloom continuously with happy sweet cinnamon -clove scented roses. An exclamation point for pink- rose lovers.
7. TESS OF THE D’URBERVILLESCrimson -Red large deep cup shaped rose with out- curving petals, borne on robust spreading branches. Heavy blooms face outward among large dark green leaves; has light fragrance. Grows well as a short climber with an informal elegance.
8. PERDITAOne of the oldest David Austin roses but one of the best. Pale pink-apricot that blends outward to ivory fading to a pink tinged cream. A medium sized fully quartered rosette when mature, presents dozens of clustered buds that brim with myrrh-tea fragrance. This medium growth shrub is disease resistant and a beauty in the garden. Unforgettable as a cut flower or a bride’s bouquet.
9. THE INGENIOUS MR. FAIRCHILDLilac-Pink upstanding petals form a crisp peony-like rose. The hardy arching branches bear dozens of raspberry-mint scented blooms all season long in this delightful color. A bushy companion shrub to more delicate purple and lavender hybrids in your garden or a summer follow up for real Peonies.
10. GLAMIS CASTLEWhite, pure to creamy unabashedly ruffled cup shape. Perfect in beds or borders, growing to only 4x3 ft. with waves of full-sized blooms which have the English rose fragrance of myrrh. Named for the Queen Mother’s home. .
GROWING DAVID AUSTIN ROSES
Whether free standing or planted against a structure or fence all David Austin roses can be pruned and shaped to suit desired width. Low growing bushes like Glamis Castle will add dense bloom as an under story in a rose garden or accent a pathway. Patio gardening with pots of shorter roses is always successful and large pots will support even the taller roses but more care to maintenance is necessary.
Color choice is another way to plan and the true clear hues of Austin Roses makes this easy. The apricots and peaches, pinks with cream or white, golden yellow and lemon yellow blend effortlessly with other varieties of roses. Adding textured form and interest, Austin whites are brilliant among other whites or colors. Crimson, rich but not overpowering, enhances other reds while violet-pink undertones in some of the pure pinks will accent silver pink or blue purple tones in the garden. Because of the uncommon shape of the blooms, one-color displays of mixed rose classes can be an elegant and complex landscape feature.
Planting and Care