Friday, 18 March 2011

Ascot and David Austin announce the launch of the Queen Anne Rose

‘Queen Anne’ by David Austin, is one of five new rose varieties, which will be officially unveiled in May at the prestigious Chelsea Flower Show in London.

The medium-sized flowers of ‘Queen Anne’ are a beautiful, pure rose pink, the outer petals slightly paler than the central ones. It will quickly form an upright but still bushy shrub rose, with very few thorns. The blooms have a most attractive, rounded Old Rose scent with hints of pear drops. The rose is ideal for rose beds, mixed borders and large decorative planters.

This beautiful rose is named after the founder of Ascot Racecourse, in celebration of the tercentenary anniversary of this national institution. Deciding upon a name for a new English Rose is something David Austin sees as an essential part of the rose breeding process. Rose lovers write to suggest many hundreds of names each year, which are considered for one of his new releases. From so many options, David Austin aims to choose a name that perfectly suits the unique character of each rose. Many of the rose names celebrate people or places that have played an important part in shaping British heritage. David C.H. Austin says: “‘Queen Anne’ is a rose with a very classic Old Rose beauty. The flowers have something of the charming character of Bourbon and Centifolia roses, which have long been celebrated by artists. The way the flowers of a rose are held on the stem has always fascinated me – this makes a very particular and often overlooked contribution to its overall character.

'Some of the David Austin roses have flowers that face upwards, others are gently nodding, while others are held in airy sprays. The flowers of my new variety ‘Queen Anne’ are very beautifully poised on their stems, and this somehow made me feel that the ideal name would celebrate not only a Queen, but also a sport where poise and grace are so important.”

This new variety of rose will be planted at Ascot for all racegoers to enjoy. Subject to the unpredictable English weather, the first blooms of Queen Anne will hopefully be on display in full glory during Royal Ascot and this rose will continue to bloom throughout the summer months. It will also take its place in the National Collection of English Roses which is displayed alongside David Austin’s Plant Centre in Albrighton. This new rose will be available to view on both the David Austin and Ascot websites from mid May and will feature in David Austin’s ‘Handbook of Roses’.

David Austin is the internationally recognised, award winning breeder of the English Roses. These combine the beautiful flower forms and fragrances of old roses with the wide colour range and repeat-flowering of modern roses. As a group they offer a rare blend of beauty, fragrance and functionality with an almost indefinable characteristic – grace. On the Shropshire border, David Austin and his son, also called David Austin, oversee one of the world’s largest garden rose breeding programmes. 150,000 crosses are made between April and July each year and over 250,000 seedlings will germinate the following year. These are grown on to flowering size when the rigorous selection procedure begins. After eight years of field trials, only the best three to six new varieties will be released each year. The ‘Queen Anne’ rose is a wonderful result of this extensive breeding programme.

The ‘Queen Anne’ Rose will be available to buy as a potted rose at the end of May direct from David Austin Roses. Bare root stock will be available to buy from May onwards for November 2011 despatch.

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