Sunset Shades and Lazy Days

David Austin (1926 – 2018) was considered one the great rose breeders in the world and his legacy lives on in the roses he created that we can now enjoy in South Africa.

An English rose breeder, David Austin took the old garden roses with fragrance and only a seasonal flush of blooms and crossed them with repeat-flowering modern roses such as hybrid teas and floribundas to get masses of scented roses in a wide range of colours. The results are some of the most stunning roses on the market.

David Austin’s English Roses have proven themselves over the years in South Africa to be vigorous and hardy roses. The climbing and shrub rose types flower profusely in October with a continuous but lesser supply of blooms during the summer and autumn months. The flowering ability of the bush roses is comparable to those of Hybrid Teas and Floribundas. Exceptional flowering ability is stated in the descriptions of each variety.

Imogen – bears pretty, lightly-scented, pale-yellow blooms fading almost to cream. The many, delicately frilled petals are arranged around a button eye. It forms a sturdy, quite upright shrub with glossy foliage. Named after the character in Shakespeare’s Cymbeline. Height 1.5m.

The Poet’s Wife – beautifully formed, deep-cupped blooms of a deep cream with a touch of yellow and a rich fruity fragrance. Free-flowering on a compact naturally-rounded bush – superb for beds, borders and large pots. Height 1.1m.

Golden Celebration – large, deep-cupped flowers of an unusual deep and rich golden-yellow with exceptional fragrance. Flowers are held on strong upright canes which start arching. The foliage is dark glossy green which shows off the flowers to perfection. Suitable for training over arches and pergolas. Height 3m+.

Graham Thomas – lovely, cupped flowers of a glistening yellow and with a strong scent. Self-supporting free-arching bushes with healthy leaves that make a good background for flower beds, walls and fences. May only bloom in the second year. Height 3m.

Jude the Obscure – vigorous shrub that grows with strong arching main branches with large flowers resembling the typical English Rose shape. It is powerfully perfumed and of a colour which is a match to one of South Africa’s favourite roses ‘Just Joey’. Height 3m.

Bathsheba – apricot-yellow buds open to shallowly cupped, many-petalled rosettes. They are a beautiful blend of subtle apricot pink and soft yellow giving overall impression of apricot with creamy outer petals. There is a superb floral myrrh fragrance with hints of honey and tea. The name was inspired by the heroine from Thomas Hardy’s Far from the Madding Crowd. Height 2m+.

Lady of Shalott – young rich orange-red buds open to form chalice-shaped blooms filled with loosely arranged petals. The salmon pink upper side contrasts beautifully with the golden yellow reverse. A young plant quickly forms a small shrub with arching stems. Fragrant and long-lasting for a vase. A pleasing freestanding specimen also ideal for training up on low fences. Height 1.5m.

Pat Austin – named after David Austin’s wife, the large blooms are deeply cupped so that the contrasting colours between the two sides of the petals give a most attractive effect. A vigorous fragrant shrub with arching canes and a multitude of fragrant blooms glowing among glossy deep green foliage. Height 2m.

The Gardener