The Origins of David Austin Roses' Names

If you are a rose-lover, you should have heard David C. H. Austin(1926-2018). David Austin is the greatest British rose breeder,  his name is synonymous with roses in the 20th century and beyond. In 1961, David instroduced his first rose. Over the past 60 years, there are now over 280 rose varieties bred by David Austin, each one making a fantastic contribution to any garden.

Do you know how David Austin named his roses?

  • Family

David named some roses varieties after his family members. In 1973, David introduced an apricot rose by his father's name "Charles Austin". Although this kind of rose has been discontinued by David Austin company, but Charles Austin(1973), as parent plant, breeds some good varieties, which includes two very famous varieties: Graham Thomas(1983) and Golden Celebration(1992).

David Austin Roses Naming 1
  • Shakespeare

David got the most inspiration by Shakespeare's writings. In 1987, he released William Shakespeare(1987), but market reaction is not good for this variety. In 2000, David introduced another dark red rose, to make it different from the 1987 version, this rose is named William Shakespeare 2000 (2000). And in Shakespeare’s birthplace Stratford, they planted a large bed of William Shakespeare 2000(2000) to express respect and love for Shakespeare.

In these roses, Juliet(1999) is known as the ‘£3 million rose’. It was the first of David Austin’s cut roses to be released. After over fifteen years of intensive breeding, Juliet combines the beautiful cupped rosette form of old roses with a very contemporary colour. Juliet(1999) is not Sweet Juliet(1989), Juliet(1999) is only available to growers in the florist industry.

    David Austin Roses Naming 2
    • Chaucer

    Geoffrey Chaucer was an English poet and author. Widely considered the greatest English poet of the Middle Ages. And Chaucer must be one of David Austin's favorite poets.

    David Austin Roses Naming 3
    • British Celebrities

    David Austin also named some roses after British celebrities, including poet, novelist, artist, actor and outstanding gardener.

    Constance Spry(1886-1960) was a British educator, florist and author. Her influence in floristry remains strong in the modern era. In 1961, David Austin's first rose introduction was named after her and is considered to be the foundation of his "English rose" series.

    Graham Stuart Thomas(1909-2003) was an English horticulturist and best known for his work with garden roses. In 1983, David Austin named Rose Graham Thomas(1983) after his name. And this rose is the most awarded variety in all DA roses: 43 awards won!

      David Austin Roses Naming 4


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