The English Roses
By David Austin
Published by Conran Octopus
This is the third edition of this book, The English Roses by David Austin, to be published, having been updated to include some of the new rose introductions that David Austin Roses have made since the first edition of this book was printed in 2005.
David Austin begins The English Roses by introducing the reader to the history of the rose and rose growing, focussing on the history, breeding, and development of the English Roses, acquainting the reader with some of the roses David used in part to breed the English Roses – the Gallicas, Damasks, and the Albas. David Austin tells the story of the English Roses, revealing the aspirations and hopes he holds for English Roses, detailing the progress that David Austin Roses have made since the English Roses were first introduced.
The English Roses offers plenty of opportunities to swoon over roses, whether through reading descriptions of the roses that David Austin Roses have bred, or by gazing at the beautiful photographs which adorn this book at almost every turn of the page.
Readers can follow the story of the English Roses throughout the book, as David Austin talks through the characteristics and qualities that each of the English Roses offers the gardener.
David Austin’s pride in his roses is palpable as you read this book. In some ways The English Roses is a promo for David Austin Roses, but if you’re a fan of these special roses, as I am, you’ll appreciate gaining a deeper understanding of the English Roses directly from the rose breeder himself. If you’ve yet to discover David Austin Roses, I am certain that you’ll become a fan after reading this book!
As you can see in the photograph above, the English Roses have been catalogued rather beautifully in this book. This new edition includes current roses, which have been introduced over the past few years, as well as older cultivars which have stood the test of time. Although these pages are certainly beautifully presented and visually appealing, passionate rose lovers, myself included, may have wished for more information or a greater insight into each rose’s particular story, capabilities, or attributes. Seeing the available space on the page, knowing that there was room for this additional material only increased my desire for more details.
Having said that, I do not wish to give the impression that this book has been given over to rather lovely photographs, snippets of text, and blank spaces in its entirety, as this is certainly not the case. I am sure that most readers would not wish for any more, indeed The English Roses is a lovely and relaxing book to read and savour, perhaps these qualities are enhanced by its format.
David Austin gives insights into many of his thoughts of the manner of which English Roses can be best used in the garden, giving ideas and opinions of many aspects of the roses’ use.
The English Roses features a plan of the David Austin Rose Gardens in Albrighton, in Wolverhampton, as well as many photographs of English Roses pictured growing in this and other beautiful gardens. David Austin gives many tips and pointers for using English Roses throughout the book, this advice and the photographs which accompany it, will doubtlessly be appreciated by the reader wishing to plan or enhance the design of their own garden.
The English Roses would make a lovely Christmas gift for a rose enthusiast of any age or experience. There is a small section at the back of the book which gives advice and direction on growing roses, as well as a list of the English Roses which are still in existence but not used as widely today, now that newer, stronger, and healthier English Roses have superseded them.
If you are interested in plant breeding, I am sure that you’ll appreciate gaining an insight into the breeding of the English Roses, written by the rose breeder who came up with this concept himself.
The English Roses is a an easy to read book, the language is straightforward and free from technical terminology and complexity. The photographs which accompany the text are simply delightful! Whether you read The English Roses as a whole, as I have done, or dip in and out of the book as the moment takes you, I am sure that you’ll enjoy the experience. If you know someone who hankers after summer gardens during wintertime, I am sure that this book will bring cheer and inspiration to the darkest months of the year.
Whether you’re thinking of redeveloping your garden, or taking ownership of a new garden, I am certain that The English Roses will inspire you to include roses in your design. After all, what could be more wonderful than your own rose garden?
The English Roses by David Austin would make a wonderful Christmas present for a rose enthusiast of any age or experience.
Other articles that may interest you……………..
To see photographs of the new rose introductions from David Austin Roses for 2017-2018 and discover the fragrances of these new roses, please click here.
To see discover the winner of the Rose of Year Award and see the finalists of the Rose of the Year Competition, along with some of the fragrant roses displayed in the Festival of Roses Marquee at the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show 2017, please click here.
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