The English Garden Rose sounds like it should be the most traditional and regal of all decorative flowers: a bloom that harks back to the day when roses were still roses and gardens were jolly well English. But, like most attempts at recreating some perceived golden age, the result is actually something that never really existed in the first place. You see, the English Garden Rose is actually a hybrid created by the famed rose breeder David Austin in the 1960s - a creation that aimed to fuse the old-fashioned shapes and fragrances of classic rose-types with a larger, more modern range of colours. A rose to rule them all! Except not quite, because whilst they’ve retained the ‘English’ moniker, the truth is its a tribe made up of many varied tribes. The typical winter hardiness of the classic rose has also been compromised in the process, though we personally choose to see its newfound delicacy as a heightened example of just how fleeting the beauty of flowers can be.
And what beauties they are! Even to those of us who might normally turn our noses up at the cliches associated with roses, the English Garden Rose is a pretty spectacular bloom. Bright and bold yet somehow above it all. Casting its gaze firmly up to the heavens, it is a symbol of love with its head firmly in the clouds.