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A Life with Roses

240 x 180 mm, 232 pp, 100 colour and 50 b&w photos

9781921719097, $49.95, Hardcover

David Ruston

Available: Out of print

This is the story of a man whose whole life has been intertwined with flowers. David Ruston was born in Renmark in South Australia’s Riverland and grew up on a fruit block, eventually becoming one of the world’s most respected Rosarians. David tells his fascinating tale in a modest and unassuming way. He has coupled this with photographs and descriptions of some of the flamboyant and unusual flower arrangements that he has made in most continents of the world, over a period of many years.

David’s accomplishments are many, involving every aspect of the world of roses as well as other flowers. From his teenage years he has been a passionate exponent of roses, beginning with extending his father’s rose plantings of 500 bushes to the eventual 50,000 bushes covering eleven hectares. This world acclaimed garden, the largest private collection of roses in the southern hemisphere, has been officially recognised as “The National Collection of Roses”.

Although he has now handed its custodianship over to his niece, Anne Ruston, he continues to take a vital interest in growing roses. At present he is busy developing a display garden housing old and rare roses, especially Teas, Chinas and their relatives.

He has served on many committees over many years – President of the National Rose Society of Australia (1986), President of the World Federation of Rose Societies (1991-1994), the Foundation President of Heritage Roses in Australia (1991-1993), President of the Renmark Garden Club, a position he held for a total of thirty two years, and in 1996 the Foundation President of the Chaffey Branch of the Rose Society of South Australia. His most recent position is Chairman of the World Federation of Rose Societies Heritage Rose Committee which he has held since 2008.

David has received many prestigious awards for his work with roses, including the Dean Hole Medal given by the Royal National Rose Society of England in 1994, and the President Emeritus Award presented to David in 2009 by the World Federation of Rose Societies. This award is only held by two living rosarians at any one time – a man and a woman – for duration of life. David now shares the honour of this award with the Baroness Lily de Gerlache de Gomery of Belgium, who was instrumental in forming the World Federation of Rose Societies in 1968.

David is uniquely brilliant in his field. Using his knowledge, skills and creativity he generously supports local, national and international communities and organisations, donating his time, flowers and expertise for a variety of charities. His enthusiasm to impart his specialist knowledge without obligation has been a hallmark of his life. In October 2010, at David’s home town of Renmark, a sculpture depicting David’s life with flowers was unveiled as a fitting memorial to this remarkable man.

Contents: Introduction; Chapter 1: A life with flowers; Chapter 2: Flower Arranging through the Ages; Chapter 3: Special Events; Chapter 4: The World of Rose Conferences; Chapter 5: The World of Heritage Roses; Chapter 6: Flowers in my home; Chapter 7: Table Arrangements; Chapter 8: Rustic arrangements in country gardens; Chapter 9: Garden Sculptures; Chapter 10 Flowers, Fruit and Vegetables; Chapter 11 Winter Arrangements; Chapter 12 Flowers for all Seasons – the art of Picking and Conditioning of Flowers; Chapter 13 Remembered Gardens; Chapter 14 Articles from the Past.