Interview With Senior Rosarian Michael Marriott


David Austin Roses: Interview with Senior Rosarian Michael Marriott |

‘Harlow Carr’


One merely cannot deny the great thing about roses. I’ve change into a collector of kinds and sit up for seeing them come again to life once more each spring. Each 12 months, I’m going seeking the right new rose so as to add to my backyard. Some of my favourite vegetation and most prized vegetation come from David Austin Roses. For nearly 60 years David Austin has been breeding English roses. These basic flowers have change into an enormous a part of discovering my very own backyard type. They have introduced a lot classic appeal and curiosity to my yard.

David Austin Roses: Interview with Senior Rosarian Michael Marriott |

Michael Marriott within the Renaissance Garden of David Austin Roses Ltd within the village of Albrighton in Shropshire, England.

Michael Marriott is the technical supervisor and senior rosarian of David Austin Roses. He has been one of many world’s most revered rose specialists. Michael is well-known for his rose backyard design and his widespread sense strategy to taking care of these timeless beauties. He is an advocate of sensible gardening strategies and natural strategies for rose gardeners. He has an enormous information of roses, particularly for the outdated roses, the ramblers, the very best fashionable roses and, in fact, David Austin’s English Roses.

Michael was an integral a part of David Austin Roses for 35 years on the agency’s headquarters in Albrighton, the place he was the skilled of all issues referring to roses. He has performed an essential half within the improvement and popularization of English Roses and, due to this fact, has intimate information of all of the 200 plus English Roses bred and launched by David Austin Roses.

I used to be honored to have the ability to ask Michael some questions together with what goes on behind the scenes at David Austin Roses to how residence growers can design a profitable backyard. We focus on the very best scented roses and which varieties you possibly can develop in a container or small areas. Please benefit from the Q&A under as Michael shares with us his ardour for roses and his sensible gardening strategies we are able to all study from. 

David Austin Roses: Interview with Senior Rosarian Michael Marriott |

David Austin Roses: Interview with Senior Rosarian Michael Marriott |

‘Vanessa Bell’

Q: As somebody with over 30 years of expertise rising roses, how did you first uncover you had a ardour for this basic flower?

A: I’ve all the time been obsessed with vegetation however by no means took a lot discover of them as a result of, usually, they appeared terrible in my guardian’s and grandparent’s backyard. It wasn’t till I got here to David Austin’s in 1985 that I noticed how superb and great they may very well be. I feel simply wanting by way of the David Austin catalogue instantly sparked a better curiosity in them.  

Q: Can you share a few of what goes on behind the scenes at David Austin Roses when selecting new varieties? What sort of traits are you on the lookout for in these introductions? 

David Austin Roses: Interview with Senior Rosarian Michael Marriott |

2021 Introduction ‘Eustacia Vye’

A: The first choice goes on as very younger seedlings within the greenhouse – they’re solely about 3 months outdated they usually’re already beginning to flower. Just those with enticing flowers are chosen and budded onto rootstocks, the remaining are chucked out. About 10,000 are saved, 140,000 thrown out!

Out within the discipline, almost all get very unhealthy ailments, they usually’re rejected. They simply preserve these which can be each wholesome and delightful and can stand as much as rain. Gradually, over the subsequent few years the variety of picks are diminished, and the variety of vegetation per choice elevated. After about 10 years, we’ve chosen the ultimate three we wish to introduce. We then enhance the variety of vegetation per selection to round 15,000.

At the tip of the method, we can have chosen a spread with what we regard as a very powerful trait – magnificence. With that, in fact, should come perfume, well being, freedom of flowering and reliability in several weathers. English roses are available in a really large number of guises – be they brief or tall, upright or bushy with flowers which can be 5 or full petalled.

Q: What recommendation would you give to a newbie gardener who’s trying to preserve their roses wholesome utilizing natural strategies?

A: The most essential factor is to decide on varieties which can be naturally illness resistant. Some varieties will get illness on the drop of a hat and others are tremendous wholesome – so try to go for the latter. Prepare the bottom very well utilizing numerous properly rotted natural matter and mulch repeatedly with the identical to keep up a wealthy lively soil and assist retain moisture.

Keep them rising in addition to doable by feeding properly however definitely not excessively and watering properly. An occasional foliar feed will also be very useful. It doesn’t actually have a lot of an impact on the nutrient degree within the soil however will assist to spice up the resistance on the leaf. If any selection is especially unhealthy, then dig it up and change with a more healthy selection. Disease susceptible roses will merely unfold spores onto their neighbours and look unattractive.

Q: Has your gardening type been influenced and formed by any of your previous travels? If so, which areas have impressed you probably the most?

A: Yes, undoubtedly. I like to see roses combined with different vegetation so gardens like Sissinghurst, Coughton Court, Rosemoor, Powys Castle and Wollerton Old Hall all within the UK have superb examples of that. I additionally get inspiration from very full perennial borders with no soil seen. I feel the unique wild rose are very stunning, so seeing them rising within the wild is essential. I’ve seen these in varied spots round North America in addition to Europe and Asia.

The Lion Garden, David Austin Rose Gardens at Albrighton, UK 

Q: You have such a powerful background in backyard design! Can you share a few of your secrets and techniques for designing a profitable rose backyard with us residence growers? 

A: Plant them shut sufficient in order that they be a part of up and conceal the soil from view – in different phrases imitate what you see in a well-planted perennial border. If the border is small, then planting a single specimen of every selection might be tremendous. If it’s a greater border, then plant every selection in daring teams and plant them fairly carefully so that every group finally ends up wanting like a single specimen.

When it involves a color scheme, you’ll want to select whether or not to incorporate the entire vary of colors or restrict it to say pink, purple and white. Both, I feel probably work very properly, particularly because the English Roses have a tendency to not conflict in any respect. Perhaps, the smaller the border the narrower the color vary. Include peak within the backyard by utilizing arches or obelisks. Plant probably the most aromatic varieties near the sting in order that they’re simply accessible for sniffing regularly.   

‘Gertrude Jekyll’

Q: Many of us search for a wide range of completely different fragrances when selecting roses. As an skilled, what are your prime three scented favorites we should always all add to our lists?

A: My prime three for my backyard at residence could be Gertrude Jekyll (basic outdated rose perfume), Lady Emma Hamilton (scrumptious fruity perfume) and Buttercup (very tough to precisely describe besides scrumptious). The drawback is that they don’t seem to be appropriate in all climates so a very good different in a scorching local weather could be Munstead Wood for Gertrude Jekyll. Princess Alexandra of Kent can be glorious in a hotter local weather. Graham Thomas when you just like the tea perfume (which I like particularly as I’m a tea fanatic), Scepter’d Isle or Boscobel when you love the myrrh perfume which I do too!


Q: I’m an enormous believer in companion planting, particularly in my vegetable backyard. I’m all the time trying to appeal to helpful bugs, enhance taste and preserve these unhealthy bugs away. What companion vegetation ought to all of us take into account planting to boost our roses?


A: Generally, these which can be much less extremely bred and fewer full petalled are extra enticing to the beneficials. They additionally are inclined to look a lot better with roses. Remember, it’s not simply perennials. Many annuals and biennials might be glorious too. There are some genera which can be significantly good too. 


Some of Michaels Favorites: Eryngium, Nepeta, Salvia, Scabiosa, Knautia, Aster, Echinops, Origanum, Sedum, Verbena Bonariensis, Phacelia Tanacetifolia, Digitalis, Thyme, Eupatorium, Achillea, Cosmos, Hesperis


Q: Not everybody has a considerable amount of room of their yard to develop vegetation. What styles of roses would you advocate for rising in containers or small house gardens. 


A: Any of those varieties: Desdemona, Darcey Bussell, Molineux, Lady Emma Hamilton, Queen of Sweden, Sophy’s Rose, Young Lycidas, Windermere, Winchester Cathedral, Anne Boleyn, Scarborough Fair  

‘Darcey Bussell’


Q: I’ve determined to actually deal with making a slicing backyard this season. I’m planning on making my very own charming floral preparations. What are some prime tricks to get probably the most out of roses as reduce flowers.


‘Golden Celebration’

A: I’d select varieties whose flowers final properly when reduce – these embody Boscobel, Charlotte, Darcey Bussell, Golden Celebration, Jubilee Celebration, LDBraithwaite, Molineux, Munstead Wood, Queen of Sweden, Tess of the d’Urbervilles.


Cut them within the morning on the lookout for good robust stems and never weak ones from around the again. Put them straight into water after which reduce once more with the stem below water. Use a feed within the water within the vase. The cooler they’re in the home and the much less within the solar they get, the longer they may final. Change the water day-after-day or each different day.


Q: One backyard pattern I’ve seen currently is vegetation that provide low-effort with giant rewards. How can the common gardener implement this in their very own yard utilizing roses?


A: Well, truly, roses are among the greatest vegetation for that. After all, what plant can probably give you a stunning particular person flower, an exquisite perfume, flower for five or 6 or extra months of the 12 months and be simple to take care of? It’s essential to search for these varieties which can be naturally illness resistant and repeat flower shortly.


Q: Do you have got any ideas on doable future tendencies within the rose rising business?

A: The pattern is rising to introduce varieties which can be as wholesome as doable. More persons are wanting perfume of their roses. They are wanting the extra casual shrub sort roses that blend in properly with different backyard vegetation, particularly these with fuller flowers just like the English Roses. They need magnificence of their backyard.

‘Constance Spry’

David Austin Roses: Interview with Senior Rosarian Michael Marriott |

I wish to thank Michael for being form sufficient to share his spectacular rose gardening secrets and techniques with us gardeners. Visit his web site and likewise discover him on Instagram @michaelrosarian. Also, ensure you take a look at some nice recommendation and inspiration over at

Do you develop roses in your house backyard? Are you planning on planting any new roses this 12 months? Tell me about it within the remark part under. Stay tuned for some enjoyable, upcoming posts on the weblog the place I’ll be sharing what new blooms I’m excited to be rising this 12 months. Until then, thanks all for studying. Happy rising!

Signature |




If you loved studying this submit, you may also like these:


*Photos on this article courtesy of David Austin Roses – all rights reserved.*

Comments are closed.