Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Another Golden Ticket for David Austin

Chelsea photos courtesy David Austin English Roses

It was another golden Chelsea for David Austin English Roses.

His stand at the legendary show won yet another gold medal.

 He had a “chinwag” with Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II.

The Queen meets the King of English roses
And he introduced three gorgeous new English Roses, including one named in honor of beloved children’s author Roald Dahl.

As for winning a 22nd gold medal, head rosarian Michael Marriott noted "We are absolutely delighted. We were judged on the quality of the stand, the quality of the roses and the overall splendor and we're thrilled to have won a gold.”

'Roald Dahl' roses surround the copper peach

He went on to say the Queen met with founder and owner David Austin late in the afternoon the first day of the show. "David was absolutely delighted to meet the Queen. They are both 90 this year, so I think they had a good chat about that. She has only been once or twice before, so it was a rare honor.”

In addition, Felicity Dahl, the author’s widow, was on hand for the launch of Austin’s Roald Dahl themed display. Several years earlier, “Liccy” Dahl had approached the Austin firm to ask whether they might consider naming one of their new roses after Dahl. 

The author in his garden. Courtesy the Roald Dahl Museum

Dahl was a keen gardener and was quite passionate about his glorious garden at Gipsy House, Great Missenden in Buckinghamshire. He wrote in a hut in the grounds he tended from 1954 until his death in 1990.

The father and son team at David Austin English Roses agreed to Mrs. Dahl’s request. The stunning peach colored rose was unveiled at Chelsea alongside a giant copper peach, the centerpiece of Austin’s 2016 display.  

'Roald Dahl'

Dahl’s longtime collaborator QuentinBlake created a new illustration depicting the rose and characters from James and the Giant Peach

Stephen Myburgh designed and sculpted the copper peach

James was Dahl’s first children’s story, about a four-year-old boy who escapes from his hateful aunts, Spiker and Sponge, on a gigantic floating peach. 

It was published in 1961, the same year that David Austin launched his first English rose.

Two other English roses also made their debuts at Chelsea. 

‘Imogen’ is a very pale lemon yellow that ages to a light cream. I love the delicately frilled petals, so it looks like a must have for my “yellow” garden.


‘Bathsheba’ is a new short climber with a warm myrrh fragrance. According to David Austin Roses, the blooms are a beautiful blend of apricot colors.

We won’t get these new introductions in the US for a few years, but when they are on their way, you’ll read all about it in The Dirt Diaries. 

In the meantime, we’ll admire the beauty from afar.


Beth at PlantPostings said...

Swoon ... All roses are lovely in the appropriate setting, but David Austin roses are so perfectly charming.

Lynn Hunt said...

Beth, (PlantPostings) I marvel at how they are able to put such a stunning display together for Chelsea, then turn around and do it again this week at the Hampton Court Show!

Sunil Patel said...

The David Austin stand at Chelsea is always incredible, I just can't believe they can cart roses in the quantity and size they do to create a display that looks as though it's planted into the the very ground. Absolutely stunning!

Lynn Hunt said...

It is pure genius, Sunil! Then as I said to Beth, they are doing it all over at Hampton Court now. You and Gareth should go!!

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