Queen Q in attendance as Felicity Dahl unveils 'Roald Dahl' rose in honour of late husband
CHELSEA Flower Show features, as always, some spectacular blooms this week, but one in particular has a story to tell... and it’s rooted in Great Missenden.
This year marks the 100th anniversary of Roald Dahl’s birth and on Monday a new English rose named ‘Roald Dahl’ was launched at Chelsea.
The peach-coloured rose has been created by David Austin Roses of Shropshire and is a tribute to Dahl who lived in Great Missenden.
The flower represents Dahl’s first major success as a children’s author with James and the Giant Peach. The book was published in 1961, the same year as David Austin launched his first English rose.
On Monday, Dahl’s widow Felicity launched the rose to visitors including The Queen.
The ‘Roald Dahl’ rose began life eight years ago at the David Austin nursery and was one of 96,000 seedlings born in that year as part of the rose breeding programme.
Only a small selection of roses is chosen to go forward to the next stage of trials, which last for eight or nine years. In 2009 one of those was the seedling that has now been named the ‘Roald Dahl’.
Felicity Dahl wanted to name a rose for her husband’s centenary year to highlight his passion for gardening.
The David Austin Roses stand, which picked up a gold medal, has the rose as the central focus and features a giant copper peach sculpture as the backdrop, etched with Dahl’s words and Sir Quentin Blake’s illustrations from the story.
£2.50 from the sale of each ‘Roald Dahl’ rose will be donated to Roald Dahl’s Marvellous Children’s Charity.
Blooming: Roald Dahl’s widow Felicity, above left, unveils the new rose in her late husband’s name
New rose is a real peach: The peach sculpture, left and above, The Queen meets David C H Austin, rose breeder and founder of David Austin Roses and MD David J C Austin PICTURES: LEWIS MAXWELL