If you pick up any wedding or trend magazine you will find Garden Roses filling the pages. The name most associated with Garden Roses is David Austin. This UK based breeder in its second generation has taken roses from its garden collection and turned them into cut flowers that brides are demanding. DA took roses that were once too fragile to ship, lacked fragrance and did not last long in vase and turned them into long lasting,
fragrant, and shippable flowers. By cross breeding many different types of roses Mr. Austin was able to reverse many of the negatives of these fragile flowers and turn them into a best selling product.
The other name most associated with Garden Roses is Alexandra Farms of Colombia. Joey Azout the President of Alexandra Farms has worked closely with David Austin over many years to make this magic happen. Joey has made these varieties and others very popular in the US market and beyond.
As I have written before there is no better way to spend a few hours then wondering around Alexandra Farms test area where one can walk among the hundreds of potential new varieties and pick the ones that strike your fancy.
They might not meet all of the strict criteria for production but if the look great that is a good start. While I was not able to secure an interview with the very busy David Austin II I was able to interview his lovely Marketing and PR manager Jo Bird. In this interview she will talk about new varieties and the exciting work going on a David Austin Roses.
Here are a few of their offerings.