The inaugural David Austin Roses ‘catalogue’ followed the release of Constance Spry, in 1962; no more than a simple pamphlet, it modestly introduced English Roses to the public. Debutante variety Constance Spry was available to purchase by telephone or post, with enquiries and orders handled from the kitchen table of the family farmhouse – the same table our gardeners sit at for lunch today.
Since that time much has changed and six decades on, our library of much-loved handbooks offers us a treasured window through which to reflect on the milestones we as a company have reached, and to contemplate the world events, unprecedented advancements and far-reaching changes that have taken place alongside our own journey. Reflecting on this passage of time has been thought-provoking, inspiring and, at times, overwhelming.
The sheer scale of change that has taken place over the last 60 years has been extraordinary. There have been technological advancements that have impacted our own business, such as the introduction of the electronic pushbutton telephone system, followed later by the fax machine. Then there was the launch of the Internet in 1991, which paved the way for the first David Austin website at the turn of the millennium. These seismic progressions have altered beyond measure the way we engage with our customers and operate commercially.
Despite this great pace of change, there has remained a dependable constant over the past six decades; the David Austin Handbook of Roses - its arrival on
our doorsteps signifying the start of a fresh new season, opportunity, and the promise of something beautiful to come. Eagerly anticipated, cherished, marked-up and referenced time and again for the iconic imagery, inspiration, knowledge and expertise held within its pages, the Handbook of Roses has come to symbolise the pioneering and innovative journey of David Austin Roses, a beacon of the horticultural industry to this day.
In the early days, the catalogue was the only way customers could explore our range of roses, and David Austin was one of the first companies to offer plants by mail order, with each order being hand-written and transposed onto early computer systems. At the turn of the millennium, we became one of the first to introduce online ordering via our website. Little more than a digitised mail order form, orders still had to be written up manually and many still ordered by post, fax and phone.
Today, we remain at the forefront of the mail order industry with the majority of orders being placed online and exponential growth seen in our rose sales over the last 30 years. Although you can now explore our extensive collection of roses online, our Handbook of Roses remains free of charge to this day, enjoyed by more rose enthusiasts than we could ever have imagined when the very first David Austin rose pamphlet was printed.
YOU MAY ALSO LIKE
White by its very nature is simple, elegant, timeless and uncomplicated. The epitome of versatility, it has a unique ability to sit equally at ease in a contemporary setting or against a traditional backdrop.
Rooftops with Roses
Rooftops and balconies filled with roses are a truly wonderful sight. Plant in a container which suits your style and enjoy a multitude of colour and fragrance on any size of terrace.
Roses with Royal Connections
We believe roses are the royalty of any garden with their regal appearance, majestic blooms and elegant scents.