David Austin Junior Guides Us Though The David Austin Cut Rose Collection
3 generations of the David Austin family: David C H Austin, founder David J C Austin Jnr, Managing Director Richard Austin, Head of Marketing
At The Real Flower Company we were so proud when in January 2015 we were invited to join the small and exclusive band of authorised growers of David Austin roses. Company founder David C. H. Austin has been developing and breeding the most exquisite roses in the world since the early 1940s, inspired by a desire to create a more beautiful rose than any he had seen before by combining the fragrance and elegance of old roses with the colour range and resilience of a newer generation. David Austin Roses are renowned for breeding beautiful roses for the garden and now also create exquisite roses for the floristry industry. More recently he has been joined in the family business by his son David and grandson Richard, but the company’s mission to produce and maintain a collection of roses of exuberant beauty and memorable fragrance remains.
We caught up with David Austin Junior to find out more about the secrets of rose growing and to discover his own favourites from the David Austin Wedding Collection.
Making a Statement
At David Austin we are not influenced by fashion or trends but have tried to create a beautiful palette of shades for florists to work with. The whole collection is frankly amazing – the beauty of the roses blows your mind and the fragrance is extraordinarily complex. Most roses you see for sale as cut flowers are hybrid tea, with lots of small buds that hardly open. Our roses are very different – much more dramatic, which means they can act as the centrepiece of an arrangement and make a powerful statement. In some ways they are more similar to peonies in their generosity and exuberance.
David Austin roses need to be looked after properly, which is why we authorise only a very small number of growers across the world – a select band that of course includes Rosebie Morton at The Real Flower Company. All our roses are bred by David Austin in the UK, though The Real Flower Company grows our roses on their sister farm in Kenya. Our work doesn’t stop when we hand over authorisation to a grower – we continue to do tests and trials on the farm to ensure quality is not only maintained but improved. The roses need to be able to travel and to be resistant to diseases such as botrytis – as well as preserving the individual beauty and fragrance we perfected during the breeding process.
A Matter of Timing
To look their best, our roses need to be handled carefully and supplied at just the right time. In a perfect world for a Saturday wedding, you need to take delivery on Tuesday. This allows time for the roses to open so that on the wedding day they are fully open and looking magnificent. Some varieties will need to be held back, ideally in a cold store, for a day or two; others need to be gently warmed at room temperature from the moment you receive them.
Pick of the Bunch
Graceful and radiant – the epitome of sunshine – Beatrice has a strong scent of myrrh with hints of fruit and almonds. But it’s when you actually work with Beatrice and watch her blooms open fully from a ruffled cup to a shapely, golden rosette that you understand the passion and sense of perfectionism that inspire our mission. It’s a purely emotional reaction.
Keira is nothing if not romantic – perhaps because no two roses are the same, with an unpredictability of colouring that can change from blush pink through marshmallow to cream even within the same bloom. She is very robust, with the air of a traditional English rose and a beautiful fragrance. But dress her with certain foliage and she can look surprisingly modern.
This was David Austin’s first white cut rose and she remains an extremely popular choice. Her creamy buds open fully into saucer-shaped rosettes that reveal a multitude of petals, making them extremely photogenic. The fragrance is clean and fresh, with a hint of lemon.
A very extravagant-looking rose, with unassuming pink buds that open into dramatic rosettes simply packed with petals. Each bloom has areas of gold, apricot and raspberry, with a fruity, almost sweet scent that complements the colours. Just beautiful!
Tess & Darcey
Red roses can disappear within an arrangement but both Tess and Darcey shine through. There’s something about these deep red roses that seems to appeal to men – maybe it’s a sense of strength and confidence, or power and passion! Although only a light fragrance with hints of tea and sandalwood, both varieties have great endurance and last very well.
This is our most popular wedding rose – not just because of the romance the name evokes, but also thanks to her perfect sculptural form and a delicate apricot hue that is thoroughly modern. She was the first of our cut roses to be released after more than 15 years of intensive breeding.
Another of our most popular roses, Constance has a lovely ballet-shoe pale pink centre blending into a deeper pink at the rim. It’s a rose I absolutely love.
Kate maintains a more cupped shape than some of the other Wedding Collection roses, and her deeper magenta tones make for a dramatic statement. In some ways she epitomises the David Austin mission of combining a modern colour palette with an old-rose look characterised by an abundance of wavy petals.
One of our newer roses, it is already becoming a popular choice for weddings. In shades of creamy white, Purity has a natural and delicate personality. With a fresh and distinctive fragrance and a gentle, informal look, Purity is a most beautiful rose
Capability’s hot pink hues and strong fragrance make a wonderful combination. A characterful and relatively new addition to our collection, Capability is both eye-catching and distinctive.
Because of her large blooms, Miranda is a show stealer. In two shades of candy pink, with a cherry-blossom richness at the centre, this rose is simply divine.
Carey is romantic. The old-rose blooms are cupped, full bodied and full of character, with a strong scent that incorporates fruit, sandalwood and tea.
Charity is a wonderful rose with a strong fragrance. Her subtle, ballet-shoe pink blooms and prominent lime-green stamens complement each other beautifully to give her a personality that is all her own.
David Austin Delivered to Your Door
The Real Flower Company has collaborated with David Austin to design a range of beautiful luxury bouquets, all hand-tied and using only the best stems. Explore the collection here – and order before 4pm for next-day delivery.
If you are a florist and are interested in finding out more about David Austin cut roses you can get in touch with our trade team here. Our David Austin roses are all premium quality and the freshest available.
Want to learn more about roses? Check out DIY Gardens rose guide here.