Visions of Beauty:
The Romantic Quest of David Austin Roses

David Austin Roses

That magic is more easily seen than described, and is more than the mere sum of a rose’s parts. Beyond traits like loveliness and healthy bloom yield per season, “it is the way all of the above work together,” Michael says. “We want all of these positive characteristics, but see magic only when everything adds up to something that’s absolutely breathtaking.” When asked about his own favorite David Austin roses, Michael mentions several, including Munstead Wood, Lady of Shalott, Gertrude Jekyll, Princess Alexandra of Kent, and The Generous Gardener, but is reluctant to choose from among the many varieties he has worked with over the past three decades.

David Austin Roses

“My list can vary by the day,” he says. “A fresh memory of scent and off I’ll go in another direction.” For fragrance, though, he favors the classic Old Rose scent of Gertrude Jekyll, and the Buttercup, he says, “for its elusive, truly delicious and rather exotic perfume.” David C. H. Austin himself, Michael relates, always says he hasn’t a favorite, but when pressed, might include Olivia Rose Austin and Princess Alexandra of Kent.

Text Cynthia Reeser Constantino

To learn more about David Austin Roses, read “David Austin Roses: A Romance with the Garden” on page 69 of the March/April 2017 issue of Victoria. Also, see David Austin Roses’s list of most fragrant varieties.

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  1. This current issue is jam-packed with wonderful articles – especially this one which centers around David Austin’s roses!

    I have never had much success with roses and after seeing this article, I have decided to give it another try. As I love all flowers in the orange-peach colouration, I fell in love with his “Lady Of Shalott” variety shown in this issue’s article. Perhaps by coincidence, I was just watching a DVD of Miss Marple’s “The Mirror Crack’d From Side To Side” where the Tennyson character of the Lady of Shalott is mentioned..

    Needless to say, I saw this as a sign and will buy a few of this variety and hope that they will flourish here at my home!

    Thank you Victoria for publishing this wonderful article as I am so motivated now to try my hand at growing roses again! I also just purchased 2 of David’s books on about his lovely flowers!

    God bless !

    Brandon Hartford
    Te Deum Cottage

  2. I used to work for Heirloom Roses in St. Paul, Oregon. It was a marvelous treat when David Austin visited to see all his own root, virus free Roses grown and sold there. He reminded us that so many feel Roses are problem plants and are hard to grow. They are really easy!

    The best things you can do are 1) dig a deep enough hole (as they like to stretch out their roots). 2) Water them with a good, deep soak a few times a week, instead of a little every day. 3) Don’t get their leaves wet (this encourages disease), and be careful not to burn their roots with too strong a fertilizer.

    David Austin was so kind, gracious and funny. His Roses are very easy to grow. I’m no longer afraid of Roses and find them to be an easy going, happy flower that loves to grow, drama free. I find miniature Roses to be the difficult ones. But one can always rely on a great David Austin Rose for easy care and a Beautiful, fragrant plant.

  3. I love david austin Rose’s, I wish I could afford to buy every single one,David Austin was the best, I admire his work

  4. Thank you Marie Carter ! I am fairly new to rose growing and having a bit of marvelous success with DAvid Austin’s Desdemona. You give me hope to go on and try more. I will follow your advice.

  5. Yesterday I was a david Austin Rose
    Tea Time with Rose tea at Rose Garden

    i went to the bookstore to buy yesterday

  6. I love roses one of God’s most beautiful creations! I also love David Austin and wished I could have met him he was a man with a beautiful vision there are no other roses as beautiful as his! I have many different roses of his Gertrude jykell Olivia rose janes Galway ancient mariner the wedgewood and others they bring such great joy to my heart! I’m thankful for such a special man and his love for roses! Growing and caring for his roses are a pleasure and good for the soul! Carol


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