Tuesday, October 11, 2011

David Austin Rose Gardens, England

The highlight of my trip to England was a tour of the David Austin Rose Garden in Shropshire, the home of the English Roses. My dear friend, Carole, surprised me with the visit, knowing it was near the top of my list of 'gardens I must see'. She drove my husband and her son to the RAF Museum at Cosford, dropped them off there, then took me in search of David Austin's place, which proved to be close by.

The two acre gardens contain the National Collection of English Roses, together with almost every other type of rose, over 700 different varieties in all. The gardens are divided into smaller areas, each with its own theme: the Long Garden, the Victorian Walled Garden, the Renaissance Garden, the Lion Garden, the Species Garden and the Patio Garden. I was overwhelmed with the beauty and peacefulness of these magnificent gardens. Although the blooms are not at their peak at this time of year, many are still lovely.

The Long Garden forms the central core with the other gardens leading from it. The whole garden is interlaced with pergolas, clothed with many climbing and rambling roses.
Long Garden

The Long Garden contains a collection of Old Roses, Modern Shrub Roses and English Roses.

'Lady of Shallot' English Leander hybrid
'Darcy Bussell' English Old Rose hybrid
One of five new English roses for 2011 is 'William and Catherine'. It is particularly beautiful with the form of the Old Roses.
'William and Catherine' Musk hybrid

Each garden we entered was my favorite, until we moved into the next.

The many fine pieces of sculpture in each theme garden are by the late Mrs. Pat Austin, a very talented artist. The sculptures help give each garden its own special character. The focal point of the Lion Garden is a lion sculpture. 

The Lion Garden contains four long borders filled with a wonderful combination of shrub roses, standard roses and perennials.

Aster 'Little Carlow'

Bee leaving lantana

The Victorian Walled Garden is planted with English Roses and other repeat-flowering shrub roses.

Sculpture in the Victorian Walled Garden

English Climbers and Ramblers are trained over the arches, arbors and along the wall that encircles this garden.

'Graham Thomas' was voted The World's Favorite Rose by the 41 National Rose Societies.

'Graham Thomas'

'The Mayflower' represents an important breakthrough in garden roses in that it is, as far as they know, completely free of disease. It was made to mark the launch of their American catalog in 2001.

'The Mayflower' English Old Rose Hybrid

The Renaissance Garden is totally devoted to English roses -- new roses in the old tradition. They originated when David Austin crossed certain Old Roses and Modern Hybrid Teas and Floribundas.

The central canal leads to a beautifully proportioned loggia, creating a feeling of peace and tranquility.

I love the way the rose beds undulate -- their edges defined by clipped English boxwood.

This lovely garden demonstrates the great versatility of the English roses.

'Fair Bianca' English Old Rose Hybrid
My favorite sculpture

The Species Garden is planted with true wild roses along a winding path. I understand this intimate garden is most beautiful in early summer, but I love the attractive hips produced now that autumn has arrived.

Hip of the Rugosa Rose

The Patio Garden features specimen roses in large, decorative terracotta planters. Peacocks roam freely in all the gardens.

Patio Garden

We couldn't leave without visiting the Tea Rooms. Traditional English tea, served on fine bone china decorated with roses, is enhanced by a vase of fresh blooms on each table.

Three tier cake stands contain sweet and savory delights. I chose a slice of lemon cake named for the rose 'Lichfield Angel'. This was an easy choice for me and you will know why if you read my postings, The Grand Dame of Flowers and In Search of an Angel.

Thank you Carole for taking me to these wonderful rose gardens. This was a special gift I will never forget.

Pamela x

Sign in the gift shop (unfortunately not for sale)

(Credits: Some descriptive phrases taken from David Austin, 'Handbook of Roses: 2011/12') 

 ~~ I love reading your comments. I hope you leave one so I’ll know you visited!
I look forward to visiting your blog in return.


  1. I love your pictures. Absolutely gorgeous garden with beautiful rose colors and flower shape. And that cake looks really good:)

  2. I am so pleased that you were able to visit this garden Pam. Looks like a really inspiring and fun day. But that lemon cake is making me hungry.

  3. Oh Pam, I'm so envious! I've never been, but my last garden was home to a number of varieties of David Austen English roses. From your beautiful photographs, I now realize what that garden was missing. A gorgeous, perfectly still reflecting pool. I love the boxwood edgers around the roses too. I must admit though, if I ever planted another rose garden, I think the rugosa roses would feature more prominently. Certainly the most care-free roses I've ever grown, although the blooms I admit don't come close the Austin varieties.

  4. thank you, I needed this today.

  5. I'm drooling. I think my favorite is the walk under the pergolas. Heaven!

  6. What delightful gardens and beautiful roses. I love the way so many English gardens have tea rooms.

  7. Sooo jealous!! That's so awesome that you were able to visit the David Austin Rose Garden. It looks absolutely beautiful! Austin roses are so stunning. I love the landscaping with the boxwoods around the rose gardens and peacocks roaming around!
    Thanks for sharing!

  8. What a great treat for you! I so love the art among all of the beautiful gardens! And the roses....just stunning!!! Glad you were able to see this amazing garden!!!

  9. So beautiful, gardens and roses. But that peacock roaming free, magical, like from a storybook. I just photographed one at the zoo, and am amazed it too was roaming free.

  10. Very inspiring! What a lucky girl you are to visit such a lovely place and with a lovely friend.

  11. I can just imagine your delight at visiting these rose gardens. Your friend obviously knows you very well. I love the sculptures in each garden too. I hope you got to spend plenty of treasured time with your mum while you were here.

  12. Pam, what joy was and is still yours at having visited these beloved gardens. Our David Austin roses bring us much enjoyment. So glad you were able to visit and share your beautiful photos with us.

  13. I felt as if I had visited this garden...thank you! The long, narrow paths and the colorful blooms are something to be relished. And I really like the sign at the end.

  14. Thanks for taking us with you. Definitely a garden I would love to visit especially for the cake.

  15. What a beautiful tour you have shared with us. You have me just Day dreaming away! I can see why you wanted to visit it right away...

    I love the peachy orange color of the Lady Shallot and the 'Graham Thomas... They are really Gorgeous! and I'm sure they were others just as beautiful as the last as you stated.

    Thank you for sharing I enjoyed the tour.

  16. Envious, indeed! I love to visit gardens when I go new places! Loved all the boxwood. What a lot of work, and what skill to make it look so good!

    Now I'm thinking that instead of the hybrid teas I ordered (to be delivered next spring now, since the weather didn't cooperate!), I should have ordered David Austins!

  17. Pam,

    So beautiful! Thank you so much for sharing your tour of David Austin's garden. Your photos and details were beautiful and interesting. I will need to mark this one on my map of the UK to visit someday!

    I hope your visit continues to be delightful!

  18. What a grand tour !!
    Can't imanage being there...so much to see. Thanks Pam.

  19. The garden is so wide and beautiful, i can't imagine the maintenance put into it everyday. You are so very privileged to have toured it. I fancy having that wide and beautiful garden too, if only i am that wealthy as the Austins, haha!

  20. Pamela, what a dream come true, everything is so perfect and beautiful. So many roses, so much dedication. And the statuary!! I'm so glad you had a wonderful time and thank you for sharing with all of us.

  21. Shame on me, living in the UK and not having visited these amazing gardens. Your pictures are very special. Unfortunately David Austins English Roses struggle and simply look unhappy in the cooler Summers of North Scotland.

  22. Such stunning gardens! I bet you loved every minute of that garden tour. I would have been in heaven.

  23. Oh Pam. A visit to this beautiful garden is now on my bucket list. I used to have about fifteen David Austin and old roses in my wee yard. They really took over. I re-homed them to a friends huge yard and kept one DA rose. Perdita. I have posted pictures. Are you the photographer? The pictures are gorgeous. I just faved your blog. I'm going to read it all today!

  24. I forgot the main reason for my post. Darn menopause brain!! I love that sign. I'm going to save the picture and see if I can make one?

  25. This must have been less of a garden visit and more of a pilgrimage. What an opportunity. I really like David Austin roses, but they don't thrive here in our southern heat and humidity, despite their reputation as being easy to grow.

  26. astrawberrypatch.wordpress.comMay 20, 2012 at 6:20 AM

    How beautiful! This garden is on my bucket list, I grow many of his roses here in Mississippi!