This week we heard the very sad news of the passing of David Austin Snr.  As a fellow proud rosarian, I want to remember him not only as a pioneer for modern roses but for creating joy in mine and so many other’s lives. My own passion for his roses began as a boy, I remember smelling his rose ‘Constance Spry’. It smelt heavenly and always seemed so perfectly
shaped. As the years past and I understood roses more, I discovered this rose was actually David Austin’s first introduction and was bred from old roses. It soon became clear this wasn’t just any ordinary breeder, there was an underlying romantic story to it. Cupped and fully petalled, every of one of his roses was like something from a fairytale. The colours were never garish and the scents always pictured up ‘elegance’. He was an auteur of roses and like my father understood that Old Roses should never be forgotten.

As the new generation of gardeners and rose breeders take on their journeys into the 21st century, perhaps with the same dedication as David Austin, their possibilities will be truly endless. Thank you David Austin Snr.

Constance Spry, a pink English rose.

Constance Spry

Belle Isis – One of the parents of Constance Spry