Well yesterday, being the Golfer’s birthday, he did love me because I drove him to Bridgnorth to look at trains – but we went via David Austin Roses at Albrighton so we were both happy. Some of my roses are from David Austin but by mail order, and we have never visited the plant centre and rose gardens which are open all year round at no cost and will be an inspiration to anyone who is even the slightest bit sensitive to the attraction of roses.
Over 700 different roses are planted within the two acre rose garden which is divided into smaller themed areas divided by neat hedges – all the roses are named and a planting plan shows where they occur in the garden and a similar plan of the plant centre points customers in the right direction if they have decided to purchase a rose. Sculptures by the late Pat Austin are dotted around the gardens and the roses are complemented by a range of perennials. June would undoubtedly be a good month to visit but, as many UK gardeners have found, roses seem to be blooming early this year, so taking advantage also of the sunshine which was moderated by a gentle breeze for our day out it was indeed a well-timed visit.
It was interesting to see the roses that we have flowering in optimum conditions there – although our Rambling Rector was earlier and more floriferous than theirs – and I realised that ours were almost exclusively climbers or ramblers, so the bush roses at Albrighton grouped together in the borders and smothered in flowers and buds were a sight to behold. I was mostly drawn to shades of pink – Princess Anne, Hyde Hall, Eglantyne, Geoff Hamilton – but agree that yellows like Graham Thomas, Golden Celebrations and The Pilgrim are gorgeous in their own way even though I couldn’t place them in my garden.