The Newest Royal Rose

A British nursery specializes in gorgeous hybrids, some named after the royal family

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Kate

The charisma of the former Ms. Middleton, now Duchess of Cambridge, launched a slew of wedding-dress knockoffs, and now it has produced another glamorous product: a vibrant rose called Kate (pictured here). The idea came not from Buckingham Palace but from a British nursery, David Austin Roses, which specializes in creating gorgeous hybrids, some named after members of the royal family. The nursery originally grew its business by crossbreeding to combine the virtues of the old-fashioned cabbage rose, which is multipetaled and highly fragrant but blooms only once a season, with the modern hybrid tea rose, which blooms repeatedly. Don’t reach for the gardening gloves just yet, though: Plant-quarantine laws prevent some of these flowers from being purchased in the U.S. this year.

 

This raspberry bloom is now available in the U.S. in limited ­quantities, but only as a cut flower, not as a shrub (call 800-328-8893 for local retailers and prices).

Leon Steele

William and Catherine

The nursery commemorated the 2011 wedding of William and Kate with a full-petal white rose—perfect for the bouquets of other (less regal) brides (not yet available for purchase in the U.S.).

Leon Steele

Princess Anne

This pink shrub variety is sturdy enoughfor garden borders or hedging, which is why it’s named for the Princess Royal, known for her strong character ($27per root; davidaustinroses.com).

Leon Steele

England's Rose

Although to Elton John fans, “England’s Rose” will always mean Princess Diana, the nursery named this hardy shrub after the mother country (not yet available for purchase in the U.S.).

Leon Steele

Anne Boleyn

Like the doomed beauty it honors, this variety has a will of its own. Hit it with your best shot: The Boleyn is highly reliable and easy to grow ($25 per root; davidaustinroses.com).

 

Click here for tips on how to get Kate Middleton's style for less.

 

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Leon Steele
First published in the May 2012 issue

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