This week I was lucky enough to go on an industry visit to David Austin Roses at Albrighton in Shropshire. Always having been enthralled not only by the brand but by the wonderful stand at Chelsea I was excited to go and learn about the story behind the roses and see the beautiful gardens. The morning started with an introduction by Michael Marriott explaining how they go about creating new variants of rose. The greenhouses were full of plants and the perfume of roses hung in the air.
We then walked over to the trial fields where new plants are put through their paces in difficult conditions. Here they stay for a number of years before they pass the test and can go to market.
And then the part I had been waiting for, to go and explore the gardens and see the wonderful roses. If one word could describe these gardens it would be ‘floribunda’ – a mass of stunningly beautiful and incredibly scented roses.
After lunch we were invited to visit Mr Austin’s own private garden which was not only beautiful but adorned by the most wonderful sculptures created by his late wife who was clearly an extremely talented artist. I even got to meet the man himself which was an incredibly humbling experience.
And finally back to explore the perennial garden. I found I was drawn to two particular variants of rose time and time again – Queen of Sweden and Boscobel. It’s time for me to make a new space in the garden!
Do you have a favourite David Austin rose? I’d love to know, leave me a comment below.