David C.H. Austin OBE
David Austin was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire in The Queen's Birthday Honors List for services to horticulture.

‘I am honored and delighted to be awarded an OBE for services to horticulture in the Queen's birthday honors list. Every day, I marvel at my good fortune to have been able to make a life out of breeding roses, but of all the many days in my professional life, this is surely the most special. It is always a source of great satisfaction to see the pleasure my roses give to gardeners and rose lovers worldwide’. David Austin 16th June 2007
David CH Austin and David JC Austin
David Austin lives in Shropshire where he oversees one of the world’s largest garden rose breeding programmes.

With his eldest son David JC Austin, he owns one of Britain’s leading rose nurseries, David Austin Roses Ltd. David Austin is still very active at the nursery, dividing his time between the breeding programme and writing.

His rose gardens at Albrighton are home to over 800 varieties including the National Collection of English Roses and are open to the public.

Today, English Roses are grown in almost every rose-growing country in the world.
History of David Austin Roses
David Austin was born in 1926 on the farm where he now lives. He is the son of a farmer and began farming before going into business as a nurseryman in the early 1960s.

From an early age, he has been interested in gardening and first turned to plant breeding through a friend of his father's, Mr. James Baker of Baker's Nurseries. James Baker was introducing new varieties of hardy plants, including Russell's lupins, phloxes, delphiniums and so on. In the 1940s, a copy of George Bunyard's book on old roses gave him the idea of crossing old roses with modern roses. The old roses - that is the gallicas, damasks, albas, etc. - had all but died out at that time. His objective being to create new roses in the style of old roses, thus combining the unique charm and fragrance of old roses with the wide color range and repeat-flowering qualities of modern roses. He was also particularly interested in producing well formed shrubs that would make good garden plants.

The first variety he introduced was Constance Spry in 1963, followed by Chianti in 1967 and Shropshire Lass in 1968, they only flowered once in early summer. From these, he developed repeat flowering varieties with similar flowers, the first group being introduced in 1969 and included Wife of Bath and Canterbury. He called these English Roses, as the name seemed to symbolise roses. When Graham Thomas and 'Mary Rose' were introduced at Chelsea in 1983, English Roses quickly gained popularity both in this country and the rest of the world. Since that time he has introduced over two hundred varieties.

David Austin started David Austin Roses in 1969, largely with the objective of introducing English Roses, as other rose nurseries were not particularly interested in them at the time.

David Austin was awarded the Victoria Medal of Honour by the Royal Horticultural Society in 2003 for his services to horticulture and the Dean Hole Medal by the Royal National Rose Society. He has received an Honorary MSc from the University of East London for his work on rose breeding. He received the lifetime achievement award from the Garden Centre Association in 2004

The inspiration for the English Roses
Hedging roses

English Climbing Roses

Roses for large pots



22 October 2016