David Austin Roses is digging deep in 2021 as part of its ‘Positive Planting’ initiative by donating £2.50 from each sale of three selected rose varieties – The Generous Gardener, Princess Alexandra of Kent and the newly introduced Nye Bevan.
Proceeds will go towards health-based charities, including the National Garden Scheme, Alexandra Rose Charity and NHS Charities Together.
While the current Positive Planting initiative maybe fresh for 2021, there is a long-standing link between health charities and roses that was established long before the NHS was founded. Back in 1912, Queen Alexandra founded the Alexandra Rose Charity to support Londoners living in poverty by selling real, paper and silk roses to raise money for hospitals and enable those in poverty to access free healthcare. Today the Alexandra Rose Charity has turned its focus to tackling food poverty and unhealthy diets and continues to support those in need thorough Rose Vouchers for Fruit & Veg which give families on low incomes the spending power to access fruit and veg in their local community through local markets.
The National Garden Scheme also has a rich floral and health-based history pre-dating the NHS. Established in 1927, the scheme came about when Miss Elsie Wagg, a Queen’s Nursing Institute (QNI) council member suggested at a council meeting that the nation’s obsession with gardening could be a way to raise much needed funds for district nurses. Volunteers began opening their gardens for a ‘shilling a head’ to members of the public. Today, over 90 years on, 3,700 garden owners share their outdoor spaces with the public and the National Garden Scheme has grown into the most significant charitable funder of nursing in the UK.
“We are delighted to be able to echo the original link between rose sales and the work of the Alexandra Rose Charity today. In a similar way to Elsie Wagg and the National Garden Scheme, we also like to believe that our obsession with gardening can have a positive impact and we hope to bring that about through our charity roses this year. The incredible funding provided by the National Garden Scheme shows what can be achieved through a shared love of gardens,” comments Richard Austin, Head of Marketing.
This is not the first time that David Austin has donated proceeds from rose sales to health-based charities. In past years £100,000 has been raised through the sales of Roald Dahl (Ausowlish) rose to support the work of Roald Dahl’s Marvellous Children’s Charity and funds have also been raised for Parkinson’s UK and the Cure Parkinson’s Trust from the sales of James L. Austin (Auspike).
NYE BEVAN (Auspital)
New for 2021, this uplifting soft yellow shrub rose has unusual open cupped flowers with loosely arranged scallop-shaped petals which create a soft, airy appearance. Named after Aneurin Bevan, founder of the NHS. £2.50 from the sale of each Nye Bevan rose will be donated to NHS Charities Together and other health-based charities.
PRINCESS ALEXANDRA OF KENT (Ausmerchant)
Named after the Queen’s cousin and patron of the Alexandra Rose Charity, this shrub rose has beautiful large, deeply cupped, bright pink flowers. There is a strong tea fragrance with hints of blackcurrant. £2.50 from the sale of each Princess Alexandra of Kent rose will be donated to the Alexandra Rose Charity and other health-based charities.
THE GENEROUS GARDENER (Ausdrawn)
This graceful climbing rose bears beautifully formed, pale pink flowers, which are almost water lily-like. The fragrance has aspects of Old Rose, musk and myrrh. This rose was named to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the National Garden Scheme. £2.50 from the sale of each The Generous Gardener rose will be donated to The National Garden Scheme and other health-based charities.