By Liz Toussaint
on 15 April, 2010
November Weddings in Canberra
Beautiful David Austin Roses are perfect for a November wedding in Canberra. ...
David Austin (or English) roses are beautiful full roses with an open garden look. Since the Kidman-Urban wedding in 2006 these beautiful roses have been growing in popularity in Australia, with a number of well established growers cultivating that very loose, old-fashioned look with a range of David Austin roses.
Gallica rose "Charles de Mills" from before 1790
These roses were first bred in England by David Austin of Shropshire (1). His aim was to bring back the beautiful loose shapes of the old fashioned roses Gallica roses of southern and central Europe and eastwards to Turkey and Caucasus; the Alba roses (which includes some of the oldest garden roses) and the originally middle eastern Damask roses. Their recent popularity represents a backlash against the stiff and formal cultivated glasshouse roses that have been flooding our cut flower rose market for some time.
"Maiden's Blush", an Alba rose from before 1400
Working with David Austins
Like most fragrant and field grown roses these elegant roses do not have a long vase life, but as wedding roses they are beautiful. Although quick to open, once they are open they hold well. The blooms themselves will tend to be irregular, and there may be a small amount of marking on outside petals. The imperfections add to the old fashioned garden rose ambiance and are part of the charm of the David Austin roses.
Availability in Canberra
The roses are generally field grown and so are available in Summer - from late October to March. This year they were first available from growers in Sydney for the first weekend in November, but the timing of the first blooms are very weather dependent. Some growers manage to extend the season of the roses and I noticed last year they were available until May. Also, over winter there have been some imported David Austin roses so while you may not have to give up hope entirely if you have a wedding outside of the usual season, but I would have a second preference that you would be equally happy with. There are some larger, full petalled standard roses that imitate the David Austin elegance and a David Austin rose look can be closely imitated with standard roses. However, the flat full centre petal whorls are unique to the David Austin roses and if that is what you love about these flowers, make sure you get married at the right time of year!
Style of Bouquet
David Austin roses suit a loose informal posy. We are often combining them with with other classically beautiful flowers like standard roses, lisianthus and peonies that are all generally available at the same time of year. Consider also adding a few berries, some beautiful silver dusty miller foliage.
The David Austin roses some in an ivory (usually with a blush of pink), cream or champagne (and heading into the apricots), a nice range of pinks including the dusky pinks and reds (usually a deep magenta, or with purple tones).
(1) See the Wikipedia reference to David Austin roses