David Austin roses: characteristics and history

There is no rose lover who can resist having this wonderful variety in their garden. And it makes perfect sense: David Austin roses are one of the most spectacular types of planting roses out there. But not only therein lies its incredible appeal. In addition, the so-called English roses are the result of years of dedication of a lover of this flower. A man, David Austin, who set himself the challenge of creating a variety that today is considered essential.

In the world of rose lovers, David Austin roses are a true cult object. Something that is extremely curious if we take into account that they have been with us for just six decades. A time that we could consider brief, but that is not at odds with having managed to rise as authentic collector’s roses.

But what makes David Austin roses simply extraordinary? There are quite a number of objective facts, to be sure. But, in addition, behind each petal hides one of the love stories for the most special and worth knowing flowers that exist.


David Austin roses owe their existence to the man who lent his name to this type of modern rose. Put like that, it might just seem like he was the one who discovered them. However, the thing goes further: David Austin is the father of English roses. And we assign paternity to him because it was he who, after years of hybridization and work, shaped this variety of roses.

At first glance, we might believe that it does not have much merit. But the incredible thing is to know that Austin was neither a botanist nor a biologist. In reality, he was just a hobby horticulturist who set himself the challenge of getting the perfect rose. An apparent utopia that would unite the best of old roses, characterized by their shape and perfume; and hybrid tea roses, which, in addition to being colorful, bloom several times a year.

David Austin managed to fulfill part of his dream just a decade after setting himself this challenge. In 1961, he would see the light of his first variety of roses: Constance Spry. A climbing specimen in honor of a true master of floral art who, although she met part of the challenge, had something pending: getting it to bloom more than once a year. And he succeeded in 1969, when the first two varieties with his name were launched on the market that also achieved this purpose.

From then until now, David Austin’s collection of English roses is more than prolific. So much so that, today, he has more than 190 different varieties of English roses with another peculiarity: their names. And it is that Austin decided to baptize each one of them with the name of a distinguished personality of horticulture, British literature or, even, singular pages of his history.

And now the most curious detail of these English roses. Despite Austin’s hard work and dedication, the major rose associations do not recognize these varieties as such. Something that draws a lot of attention and that, however, has not managed to detract from its interest as cult rose bushes.


Now that we know the history of David Austin’s roses, it’s time to understand what makes them so special. The list of virtues of these rosebushes is not short, and not only from an aesthetic point of view. The different hybridizations that have given rise to English roses have not only affected the appearance of the flower. They also have a direct impact on the cultivation of this type of rose bush.

But let’s see in detail what advantages English roses have over other varieties. The last push, perhaps, to fall madly in love with them.

1. They maintain beauty at any time of their life, one of the main characteristics of David Austin roses

As we said, aesthetics is undoubtedly one of the main reasons for growing these rose bushes. But not only because roses are especially striking. It is that, in addition, the shape of the flower evolves in the different phases of its life. Something to appreciate for those looking for tips for growing perfect roses.

One of the most demanded varieties of English roses. Get here this André le Notre English rosebush

Although when it is closed it looks like a conventional rose bud, when the flower opens, the show begins. As with old roses, the petals are arranged in rosettes at an early stage. A very striking shape, since the rose has a spongy appearance and is rich in volume. As the life of the rose progresses, its shape changes by opening up that rosette to a completely different shape.

And, although it may seem somewhat minor, nothing is further from reality. Thanks to this evolution, English roses maintain their spectacularity intact until the very moment they wither.

2. They have a longer life than other cut roses.

Let’s break an important prejudice: English roses are not delicate. We can believe it letting ourselves be carried away by its appearance, but the reality is quite different. This resistance, even in hot conditions, is what makes them essential flowers in arrangements or even bridal bouquets.

If we often wonder how to keep a bouquet of flowers longer, it is clear: English roses will allow us to fight against time.

3. They have great color versatility, another characteristic of David Austin roses

Another of the incredible virtues of David Austin roses. Although some species of roses are only one color, the great asset of English roses is that the color range is immense.

Another wonderful variety of English roses – the Alain Souchon rose. meet her here

4. They can bloom several times in a year

With proper care, our English roses will give us their precious beauty even on two occasions: in spring and in autumn. A characteristic of hybrid tea roses that, however, is also maintained in David Austin roses.

5. They are much more resistant to pests

One of the benefits that makes the cultivation of English roses incredibly easy is that they are extremely robust rose bushes. With few exceptions, they present a substantially greater resistance to pests. A very important issue since these annoying visitors have a direct impact on how to care for the roses.

Make no mistake: resistance is an interesting plus. Because if something characterizes the rose bush, in general, it is that it is the obscure object of desire of a good number of insects such as aphids or red spiders. And not only that: it is also susceptible to fungal diseases such as powdery mildew or rust.

Confess it, do you also surrender to the beauty and virtues of David Austin roses? Be clear: not doing it is simply impossible.

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