David Austin is a rose breeder who has a garden and nursery in Albrighton, near Wolverhampton in England. Breeding new roses takes many years, but the beauty of a rose is something that we English take for granted and where better to see old and new breeds than in David Austin’s garden. You can discover English Roses which originate from the Old Roses and Modern Hybrid Tea and Floribundas; the object being to combine the charm and fragrance of an Old Rose with the colours and repeat-flowering of a Modern Rose. Fragrances vary from the old rose, tea rose, musk, cedar, vanilla, fruity and myrrh.

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Super Excelsa Rambling Rose

To enter the gardens you pass through the Gift shop, but don’t linger there despite all its attractions, just pick up a garden map and a rose catalogue and make your way through the courtyard where container roses and standards are displayed, to the start of the Long Garden, blending English and Old Roses in its many borders.

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Benches at the end of the formal borders in the long garden offer a peaceful and fragrant place to rest and admire the roses

Ramblers and climbers drip over the pergolas lining the borders.

Climbing Roses

You can wander through the Long Garden along the borders and note down the roses that you like, or you can, like me, just wander. But whatever you do, do not forget to stop and bend and sniff the different fragrances. I was curious enough to seek out roses with intriguing names such as ‘The Ingenious Mr Fairchild‘  which sadly had finished flowering. I was more than happy with the ones I did find though; The Poet’s Wife, The Lark Ascending, The Generous Gardener

Leading off the Long Garden is the Species Garden where roses that produce wonderful hips are grown. The open single flowers attracting many bees and hoverflies. At the far end is the Victorian Garden laid out in a circular walled garden with a lovely statue in the centre, framed by iron arches and many climbing roses.

In the centre of the Long Garden is the delightfully named Renaissance Garden, a classic rose garden complete with a canal and loggia with benches in the shade. A place to sit and contemplate and decide which of the roses to hunt down next.

Renaissance Garden
Renaissance Garden

From here you can exit through the aptly named Pillar garden, where ramblers and climbing roses drape up and over the pillars and pergolas, and into the final garden, the Lion Garden, so named because of the stone lion taking pride of place against the brick wall covered in a delightful violet-blue clematis. A lion which attracts many small people to sit at its base I might add. This garden area is the one where more companion perennial flowers are grown – spikes of purple Veronicastrum, bright eye-blue salvia, deep reds and orange rudbeckia and pink sedum vie for attention among the roses.

The Lion

It is not a huge garden, but with so much to see you may want to go around it a couple of times. I know I did. Finally ending my visit in the Gallery coffee shop for a coffee and a piece of carrot cake. All good things come to an end.

The Gallery Coffee Shop

More lovely walks can be found over at my friend Jo’s place.

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75 thoughts on “I promised you a rose garden

  1. The Cowra roses will never match this lovely stroll through garden and statues and names. I’ll join you on the Renaissance garden bench. I favour the buxom statue in the Victorian garden, and I love the curled petal at the heart of the Lady’s Blush. Thank you for a civilised treat.

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    1. I am pleased that you enjoyed the wander around this garden. I should have gone there in mid-June which is when the roses are at their best, but the weather was against me. I was relieved that there was enough to provide interest when I finally made the effort. It gives me great pleasure that you scrutinise my posts, seeking enjoyment from the little things. I had noticed that perfect curl in the Lady’s Blush but never dreamed anyone else would. Thanks Meg.

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  2. I would love to visit here as I’ve had a long time passion for David Austin roses. For a fleeting moment, walking the long border with you, I caught the fragrance of these beauties. The Lark Ascending is outstanding, its made me put the music on! Morning Mist looks gorgeous and Graham Thomas is an old favourite. I’m not keen on Rhapsody on Blue, although I should like it as its one of my favourite colours. Did you have a favourite Jude?That’s a rather feminine looking Green Man peeping out as well. Thanks for this fab post x:-)x

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      1. We all live so far apart don’t we? I had wondered about Birmingham, it’s equidistant but still 180 miles, coachable for me but I wouldn’t drive 🙂

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      2. I haven’t been to Birmingham but am quite interested to see the canals. Christmas market, maybe, but we’d never convince Jude! I’d coach too 🙂

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      3. Mmm… I can’t say Brum is somewhere I long to visit, though I concede the canals and the Jewellery Quarter and possibly the Botanic Gardens are worth seeing. I simply associate the city with the horrible motorways around it 😦

        But if anyone is up for Lincoln I’m more than game.

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      4. Wouldn’t Lincoln be horrendous from where Gilly is? I’d like to go there too- possibly not Christmas markets because I think it’s a victim of its own success now. There’s a dressy-up gamers event Lisa has been to in the past that might be a fun time. (no- I’m not proposing to go as a Victorian lady 🙂 )

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      5. We could always go abroad – how about Marrakech? Now that’s one place I’d love to visit, especially the Jardin Majorelle, and stay in a lovely Riad 🙂

        Using the same airport might be tricky though!

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      6. Stoppit you temptress! I was hankering after a ferry to Morroco from Gibraltar when we were down there. Wouldn’t get Mick to any part of Africa so it was never going to happen. I have a yen for a Croatian island. 🙂 We could play this game for a long time 🙂 🙂

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      7. Well that was my thought. You see my OH won’t go there either and my daughter never has any time. I suppose we ought to meet up in England first in case we hate one another on sight 😉

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      8. Sorry- was supervising the digging of a hole and moving of a bench in the garden. While I was sitting there with my book it occurred to me that the place I really and truly would love to go is Florence 🙂 Perhaps we should confer with Gilly. And yes- we probably will 🙂 🙂

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      9. It’s rather a shabby old thing and having been manhandled around the garden this afternoon by husband and son, it’s in fear of its life! Perhaps a coat of paint would render it colourful enough for you? 🙂
        Watching Novak and Murray out of the corner of my eye.

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      10. I’ll be in Tavira. I watched Rafa and Novak in the final from there a couple of years ago courtesy of a local hotel. Doubt I’ll have the problem this year.

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    1. I see what you mean about the Green Man, obviously in touch with his feminine side, I find it a little creepy! Don’t you just love the names of roses! I was gutted not to see ‘The Ingenious Mr Fairchild’ I mean who is he? Does anyone know?

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  3. Jude, this is absolutely stunning! Talk about ‘worth the wait’ 🙂 I think I’m going for The Lady Gardener as my favourite but I could change my mind in a blink. I can’t walk around it twice but I’ve read your post twice already and I expect I’ll be back.
    Thank you so much 🙂

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    1. I love the name ‘Lady Gardener’ and also the ‘Poet’s Wife’. I think Lady of Shallot is my favourite, such a beautiful shape and fragrant, but she is yet to come 🙂

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  4. Thank goodness for rambling roses and Jude’s generosity!! I just read and responded to two rather depressing posts, and I needed a pick-me-up. I can’t solve the world’s problems and can only rage about so many alarming events before raising my white flag and seeking shelter. Thank you for this beautiful respite!

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      1. Well, they look vibrant, alive, some nice detail with the close shots, and you have some bokeh on a few of the roses, so I suspect you might have been using the 45mm at times….. Result!

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      2. I have noticed the colours are more vibrant and the bokeh much better, and yes I was using the 40 – 150. I had to resort to the Panasonic for wide-angled views 🙂

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      3. Oh, do you not have a wide angle? ( I think I haven’t being paying attention) and I was thinking some shots might have been taken with a prime lens….

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  5. I was never a great fan of roses growing up, but I think I have come to appreciate them more as I have got older. My parents used to treat them as though they were people, referring to them by name..’I see Whisky Mac isn’t looking as healthy as usual…’, or some similar comment. Last week I took my mum to the National Rose Gardens in St Albans so that we could admire all the roses, but it was closed! It’s only open for about six weeks and we had just missed it. Oh well, maybe next summer.

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    1. And no doubt you’ll be paddling with the others in the canal. Oh, no, wait a minute, this is SUE. I shall rephrase that. No doubt you’ll be paddle skiing in the canal… or bare back riding on that lion.
      [mutter mutter…]

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  6. I’m so happy you’ve taken us on such a beautiful walk Jude! My favourite rose garden in the Perth Hills was taken over by new owners recently who have not been very respectful of the roses and sadly many have been removed (though I do believe the nursery may be in the process of relocating). They used to have the most gorgeous rose collection including David Austin roses and I loved reading all the inscriptions, which told you all about them. The colours here are superb and the scent must be divine! Have very much enjoyed your pictorial tour thank you! 🙂

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  7. You have made my day with these beautiful roses, the photos are stunning. I really miss them and I see you are going to give us another post, I’ll wait with bated breath… I had to chuckle at all the toing and froing in the comments. Now may I put in my vote for you all to come over here were distance is never a consideration….

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    1. My Gertrude Jekyll has six more buds (I missed her flowering in June as we were away and came back to find her almost dead 😦 but pruned her back and now she is growing again) I hope she doesn’t flower whilst I am away, AGAIN! …for a small island it takes forever to get anywhere, too much traffic!

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  8. Oh this is just gorgeous Jude, I have to go! I can almost smell the roses from here, you promised a rose garden indeed! A stunning display for the senses and a perfect day out by the looks of it 🙂 xx

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