Dave Austin Roses

The roses we see in the paintings of the old masters where the old roses of 18th and 19th centuries. These roses are of the GallicaDamasksPortland and Bourbon types. Cross-pollinating them with the modern Hybrid TeasFloribundas and Climbers creates the modern old English roses. This breeding is designed to bring the rich fragrances and flower shapes of the old roses with the disease resistance, repeat blooming and bush shape of our modern roses.

A lovely arrangement of roses.

This wide range of parent roses makes it difficult to group the different off spring. A valiant attempt has been made and the following are the eight groups.

Strains of Rose Hybrids

Aloha Strain

These were crossed with the modern climbing roses giving strong open form and fragrant heavy flowers e.g. Abraham Darby.

Aloha (or possibly Heritage) Strain
Aloha (or possibly Heritage) Strain

Gloire de Dijon

These are Noisette roses crossed with the modern Hybrid Teas producing roses with late modern rose leaves and large fragrant roses e.g. Sweet Juliet.

Heritage Strain

These were crossed with the floribundas to produce a good bushy plant with shiny leaves and fragrant flowers e.g. Graham Thomas.

Mary Rose Strain

Bushy growth with repeat blooming e.g. Mary Rose.

Mary Rose Strain.
Mary Rose Strain.

Old Strain

These are the catch all for the roses that do not fit into the other group and include the very old crosses e.g. Constance Spry.

Old Strain.
Old Strain.

Portland Strain

They have the long drooping Damasks like leaves and Old Rose fragrance e.g. Gertrude Jekyll.

Portland Strain (Gertrude Jekyll).
Portland Strain (Gertrude Jekyll).

The Squire Strain

These are usually large dark coloured flowers with an Old Rose fragrance. The bush has stout stems and many thorns. e.g. L.D. Braithwaite.

Braithwaite (Squire Strain).
Braithwaite (Squire Strain).

Wife of Bath Strain

Short bushy plants and flowers with a Myrrh fragrance. e.g. Wife of Bath.

Pruning – In Early Spring

The very different habits of the David Austin Roses make it difficult to have hard and fast rules for pruning.

Spreading Types

Remove about 1/3 of the length of all the stems to an outward facing bud.


Remove 1/5 of each stem to maintain the plants shape.


Remove 1/3 of each stem to a bud. Remove weak spindly growth.


Prune hard removing half of each stem to an outward bud.

For most gardeners if you do not know which kind you have prune them all back to 6 inches tall in the early spring.


To encourage new growth and repeat blooming you must remove the spent flowers so that the rose hips do not develop.


These roses like a well drained, rich organic soil with a slightly acidic soil (pH 6.5).They must be planted in a sunny location of at least 8 hours of direct sunlight. Plant in groups of three of one kind on spacing of 11 / 2-3 feet. Plant ramblers and climbers 18 inches from a wall or fence.


Feed with a regular rose food in early spring and after the first flush of flowers. In late autumn after the ground has frozen crust mulch the roses with manure.

Disease and Insects

David Austin roses have all the usually need for the control of black spot, mildew, and insects. Spray at the first signs of either.

Flower Shapes

Flower shapes.
Flower shapes.

New English Roses

William Shakespeare

William Shakespeare The best crimson Austin rose. It is a rich crimson turning purple. It is deep cupped at first opening to a shallow quartered cup with an Old Rose fragrance. The growth is upright. Excellent disease resistance. 3.5 ft x 2.5 ft.

William Shakespeare Rose.
William Shakespeare Rose.

Crocus Rose

Free flowering large bush with arching branches. The flowers are rosette-cupped flowers in soft apricot paling to cream and finishing up reflexed. Their fragrance is that of Tea roses. 4 ft. x 3 ft.

Crocus Rose.
Crocus Rose.

James Galway

Large shrub with arching branches that are almost thornless The flowers are large full with a warm pink center, light pink outer petals and a delicious Old Rose fragrance. 4.5 ft. x 3.5 ft.

James Galway Rose.
James Galway Rose.

Miss Alice

Short and bushy rose that is good for bedding. The flowers are 31/2 inches across a soft pink and the outer petals turning pale pink. They have an Old Rose fragrance and some hint of Lily of the Valley. 3 ft. x 2 ft.

Miss Alice Rose.
Miss Alice Rose.

England's Rose

Perfectly dished shaped apricot fading to apricot-white with a hybrid tea fragrance. She has upright growth. 3.5 ft. x 2.5 ft.

England's Rose.
England's Rose.

Pictures courtesy of David Austin Roses.

Canadian Licensees Carrying David Austin English Roses

  • Old Rose Nursery
  • Central Road
  • Hornby Island BC V0R 1Z0
  • Canada
  • Tel: 604-335-2603

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