Combining the qualities of old roses and modern roses, David Austin's creations have seduced fans around the world since 1960.
Large pompoms of soft-colored petals, a rich and voluptuous fragrance: English roses are recognizable at first glance. A name is essential then, that of David Austin, the English nurseryman who has created more than 200 varieties since the 1960s.
Back in the days when "modern" roses were blooming, those sturdy roses with stiff stems bearing colorful but scanty flowers, he had the idea of crossing these hybrids with old roses. The result: shrub or climbing roses, with supple stems, topped with large fragrant flowers. English roses were born.
Five types of English rose scents
For David Austin, the scent is half the beauty of a rose. He is therefore particularly worked on all his creations, and each new rose bush is validated by a perfume expert.
The scent of a rose does not only come from its petals, its stamens can also impart a scent of musk or cloves.
Experts have also classified the scents of roses as five dominant types evoking tea, myrrh, fruit, musk or the classic scent of ancient rose.
Care of English roses
English roses do not require special growing conditions. Like classic roses, they appreciate good exposure and cool, moist soil (mulching recommended).
Sold bare-rooted, they will be planted between November and March, in soil amended with decomposed manure or compost, 50 cm away from other plantings.
Add a little fertilizer in early spring to promote flowering and cut each rose by a third in winter.
New English roses
Each year, new creations are added to the catalog of David Austin. 2013 saw the birth of “The Lady Gardener”, the first English apricot-colored hybrid rose.
'The Albrighton Rambler' is a resistant vine variety with small pink flowers.
"Carolyn Knight" features orange double flowers with notes of honey and almond.
As for "Thomas à Beckett", it is a particularly resistant shrub rose, whose carmine roses exude the classic scent of old roses.
Visuals: The Albrighton Rambler © David Austin, Thomas a Beckett © David Austin