Thursday, December 14, 2017

Storybook Introductions from David Austin for 2018

'Roald Dahl' debuts at Chelsea. (Show photos courtesy David Austin English Roses.)

2016 was another golden year for David Austin English Roses at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show.

His rose 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 Roses
And he introduced three gorgeous new English Roses, including one named in honor of beloved children’s author Roald Dahl.

"Roald Dahl'
It has just been announced those three roses that turned heads at Chelsea will be available to American and Canadian gardeners in the Spring of 2018.

At the Chelsea show, 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. 

Stephen Myburgh designed and sculpted the copper peach

Dahl’s longtime collaborator QuentonBlake created a new illustration depicting the rose and characters from James and the Giant 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 David Austin launched his first English rose, ‘Constance Spry’.

‘Roald Dahl’ has a delicious Tea fragrance and is a remarkably strong repeat bloomer. It is also highly disease-resistant, according to Michael Marriott, the technical director and senior rosarian of David Austin Roses in Albrighton, England. “To honor the writer of James and the Giant Peach, the flower color is marvelously, perfectly peach,” says Marriott.


Two other English roses also made their debuts at Chelsea that year, and will be coming across the pond next spring.

‘Imogen’ is a very pale lemon yellow that ages to a light cream. The rose boasts a rare button eye reminiscent of antique Gallica and Damask roses.  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.

The roses are available on a first-come basis, so it makes sense to order early ( because I suspect demand will be high.

I say that because I saw all three of these beauties at the Hampton Court Palace Flower Show in July. They were all gorgeous, but ‘Roald Dahl’ particularly caught my eye.

'Roald Dahl' at Hampton Court in July

Having a few in my garden will be as inspiring as winning a coveted Willy Wonka Golden Ticket.


Beth @ PlantPostings said...

Yes, I'd say you won the winning ticket! All this talk of roses has me woozy. The three roses you highlight here are beautiful. :)

Lynn Hunt said...

Beth, I've learned it is never too early to think about roses for next spring. Also the fact there is always room for one more! :)

Sunil Patel said...

Hello Lynn, the David Austin display is always breathtaking, I'm so envious, even when I have several of their roses in the garden, they're no match to seeing them en-masse. Roald Dahl is likely to end up on the shopping list because of its warm orange/yellow colour.

Lynn Hunt said...

Sunil, I am interested to see if 'Bathsheba' is as colorful here in the US as it was at Hampton Court. 'Dame Judy Dench' is another gorgeous warm orange. We won't be seeing that one here till probably 2019. Happy New Year!

Avnish said...

Greatt reading this

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