Learn all about breeding innovations from a top breeder in the floral industry.

An important segment of the garden rose story is that of David C.H. Austin (1926-2018), who, arguably, played the most fundamental role in transforming the world of roses. In the 1940s, when Austin was a teenager, he started breeding shrub roses as a hobby to combine the beauty and fragrance of Old Garden Roses with the repeat-flowering ability and wide color range of Modern Roses, such as hybrid teas and floribundas. In the early 1950s, this mission became his life’s work, and the cultivars he developed, along with his eldest son David J.C. Austin, are known as English Roses.

David Austin Roses was founded 52 years ago, in 1970. Austin’s original focus was breeding shrub roses for the garden, but in the early 1990s, he developed a breeding program for cut English Roses. The first floristry roses were introduced commercially in 2004 and included the headline varieties of ‘Juliet’ (Ausjameson) and ‘Patience’ (Auspastor), which have now been joined by new heroines including ‘Leonora’ (Auswagsy) and ‘Eugenie’ (Ausimage) as part of today’s 16-strong collection called David Austin Wedding & Event Roses.

Carl Bennett’s journey as a rose breeder began over three decades ago at David Austin Roses, where he was inspired by his early fondness for plants and nature. Joining the company, he had the privilege of working alongside Mr. Austin Sr., who ignited his passion for breeding roses. Under Mr. Austin’s guidance, Carl honed his skills and eventually became the Hybridist & Breeding Manager, playing a pivotal role in driving the company’s breeding programs towards innovation and aesthetic excellence.

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New David Austin Varieties

Millicent pink rose
Photographer and stylist @Jannelford Roses: @davidaustinweddingroses