The Shepherdess, 2009, by David Austin
Modern roses are lovely, but you will often see the wistful expressions of those who have just sniffed a beautiful rose and found it's as scentless.
Sometime around 1946, when he was just 20, “a copy of George Bunyard's book on old roses” gave David Austin the idea of crossing the beautiful old scented roses, which had all but died out, with modern roses.
Bouquet of David Austin roses with lady's mantle
Austin hoped he could restore the fragrance of roses. For fifteen years he cross-bred the wide colour range and repeat-flowering qualities of modern roses with heavily scented old roses - gallicas, damasks, and albas. He introduced his first variety in 1963, and the scent of the roses he called English Roses wafted through the garden world.
Not for them the shapely, scentless blooms of the hybrid teas which have an exquisite, virginal appearance. Austin roses show more decolletage and are deliciously fruity, laced with lemon or mysterious with myrrh. The rose called The Generous Gardener scents the air with a complex fragrance that is a blend of musk, myrrh and sweet old rose. Heady stuff, and irresistible.
David CH Austin and David JC Austin
The son of Shropshire farmers, Austin now oversees one of the world’s largest garden rose breeding programmes with his son, David. He has introduced more than 200 hardy varieties. Their fragrance is wordlessly lovely.
The Austins know how to grow roses. Their website is full of information, including how to train climbers and how to prune roses.
In June 2007, for his services to horticulture, David CH Austin OBE was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire in the Queen's birthday honours list.
When you contribute to this website,
TAKE OFF IN A BRITISH
ENJOY SIPPING WHISKY
EXPLORE THE ENGLISH GARDEN
THE BLACK SUIT IS HERE
David CH Austin, OBE
The rose called the Generous Gardener
Roses carry their fragrance in volatile oils and alcohols which evaporate during the day and are replenished at night. Their perfume is strongest in the morning.
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