I can remember way back in the late ’60s earning pocket money packing rose catalogues for Harry Wheatcroft who was at that time the number one grower and place to buy roses. We always had roses in my parents garden and no surprises little has changed. We have an abundance of them.
The main change from those far off days half a century ago is that there are many specialist rose growers, but the one for me that stands out head and shoulders is David Austin Roses.
David Austin Roses has been in existence since 1961 breeding and selling roses on their family Shropshire farm. They are one of the top rose breeders in the World. We bought our first rose from them earlier in 2020 and what an absolute beauty it is. I have always loved Roald Dahl’s stories and when I saw this exquisite shrub rose I immediately ordered it.
It arrived within a couple of days well packaged in a pot in pristine condition. I transferred iy into a larger teracotta pot and positioned it on the patio in partial shade where it seems to love it.
There were three bursts of flowering and although it was continuous there were surges throughout the year. The blooms are quite stunning as you can see – these are photo’s my wife Joanna took for her Instagram account @joannasgardenpics.
The scent is listed ‘light fragrance’ but I would class it as ‘stunning heavenly fragrant’. As a first rose from David Austin this was a huge hit and a second different variety was placed on order.
Princess Alexandra of Kent, another tea rose, was selected as a similar shape but different colour and again we were delighted with the professional service we received from David Austin.
Lady of the Lake is an English Rambling rose bred by David Austin. The reason I bought it was due to a connection with my other my hobby. I play in a brass band and my band, City of Cardiff Mellingriffith has a very talented conductor and composer, Christopher Bond, He wrote a solo piece dedicated to me called ‘The Lady of the Lake’ which I premiered in the Welsh Open Entertainment Contest in February 2019.
Although I wasn’t initially buying the rose for the right reason it turned out to be a wonderful serendipitous choice!
Lady of the lake produces an abundance of ‘medium fruity’ fragranced flowers about two inches across. The most interesting aspect of this little gem is that the flowers vary in colour and when a new one opens it is always a stunning surprise.
The latest rose I have bought from David Austin Roses is a more traditional shape and I went for a different colour – bright yellow. Valencia, a hybrid tea rose, is described as a copper yellow with a strong sweet smell. Unlike the other roses, we bought this recently as rootstock, which again arrived quickly and superbly packaged to ensure it was in prime condition. This will flower this year and I will post some photos and share my thoughts on the results later this year.
The most recent addition and possibly the best so far is ‘Scarborough fair’ – another shrub rose for the patio which has delicate light to mid pink blooms. I really like this as each bloom is a slightly different shade and the fragrance is absolutely stunning.
No doubt we will be finding more space in the garden in 2021 and beyond, for more roses and David Austin Roses will be our first choice supplier.
If you would like to see all the current stock of roses available at David Austin Roses please follow the link here…