Flashback to 2005: TV gardener Alan is honoured with rose

Internationally renowned David Austin Roses launched its new Alan Titchmarsh rose in time for its annual visit to Chelsea Flower Show.

Alan Titchmarsh with the new Alan Titchmarsh Rose at Chelsea Flower Show in 2005
Alan Titchmarsh with the new Alan Titchmarsh Rose at Chelsea Flower Show in 2005

Named after the well-loved English horticulturist, writer and broadcaster, it was just one of a range of new English roses introduced in 2005.

David Austin had decided to honour Alan, who was due to attend at launch event at Chelsea Flower Show, as he had been a great inspiration to gardeners for many years.

The rose was described as a beautiful variety with deep pink, many petalled, gracefully nodding blooms, held on arching stems.

It was said to have a delicious, soft and warm Old Rose fragrance with a hint of citrus and would form an attractive, rounded shrub with leave that were red at the bud stage, before soon turning glossy green.

Speaking about the new addition to its collection, Susan Rushton, from David Austin Roses, said: “Sales of the Alan Titchmarsh rose will help to raise money for the Greenfingers charity which creates gardens for children’s hospices.

“It is a most attractive and very healthy shrub with quite long, arching stems.

“They are a pure rich pink, very rounded, very full and very much like Redouté’s print of Rosier du Bengale. It has a lovely soft and warm old rose fragrance.”

A beautiful variety with deep pink, many petalled, gracefully nodding blooms, held on arching stems. There is a delicious, soft and warm Old Rose fragrance with a hint of citrus. It forms an attractive, rounded shrub. The leaves are red at the bud stage, soon turning glossy green.

David Austin started his nursery to introduce his new breed of roses - the English Roses – in 1969.

They originated from crosses between certain Old Roses, modern Hybrid Teas and Floribundas and so combine the charm and fragrance of Old Roses with the wide colour range and repeat flowering of Modern Roses.

Today they are grown in almost every developed country in the world as their appearances and fragrances have attracted gardeners over the last three decades.

The other five English Roses which were introduced in 2005 are Lady Emma Hamilton, The Shepherdess, Wild Edric, Gentle Hermione and Summer Song.

The nursery went on to celebrate winning gold at the world famous show, which had captured the imagination of the British public.

Thousands of blooms grown in the Albrighton fields of David Austin Roses made up one of the most stunning of displays in the huge exhibition hall.

The David Austin Roses display at Chelsea Flower Show

The nursery was one of three local winners that year with Ashwood Nurseries at Kingswinford getting gold for a spellbinding hydrangea display.

The third local winner was Eagle Nursery of Stowe-by-Chartley, one of the country's top sweet pea companies, winning its first ever Chelsea gold.

And Sedgley-based Baggeridge Brick grabbed a bit of Chelsea glory too, teaming up with top garden designer Ian Shooter to win a silver medal.

Ashwood Nurseries owner John Massey commented: "We are so proud to be here ≠ and especially to get a gold when everyone is saying what a high-quality show it is this year.≤

The display of flowers grown by the firm's Philip Baulk won praise from visitors, including Monty Don, the BBC Gardeners World presenter, and Terry Wogan.

The display had hydrangeas from around the world in full colour, many weeks before they actually flower.

David Austin won gold just a day after releasing its new rose varieties, including the Alan Titchmarsh.

Alan was filmed receiving the rose from the company's two David Austins -David, the veteran breeder and David, the son and managing director.

Two other gardens caught the imagination of the public, created by TV presenter Diarmuid Gavin and pop-star turned garden designer Kim Wilde. Diarmuid bagged a silver, while Kim got a well-deserved gold.

David Austin Roses went on to win its 25th gold medal at the 2019 show. Its Secret Garden themed display featured a beautifully fluid, circular design, at the heart of which two striking new characters from David Austin’s English Rose collection were seen in bloom for the first time. Rosa Eustacia Vye (Ausegdon) and Rosa Gabriel Oak(Auscrowd) – both named after beloved characters from Thomas Hardy’s works – created a stunning centrepiece of scent and colour.

Speaking at the time, managing director David said: "The award really is testament to the decades of hard work and dedication that have gone into creating the very best roses. It is also wonderful acknowledgment of these exquisite plants and a true reflection of their on-going popularity in all their variations.”

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