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Dame Judi Dench
James L. Austin
The Ancient Mariner
The Albrighton Rambler
The Generous Gardener
The Lady’s Blush
The Lady Gardener
The Lady of the Lake
The Lark Ascending
The Mill on the Floss
The Poet's Wife
The Wedgwood Rose
Thomas à Becket
Wollerton Old Hall
Lady Emma Hamilton
Lady of Shalott
Olivia Rose Austin
Princess Alexandra of Kent
Sir John Betjeman
Tam o' Shanter
‘Bathsheba’ is a vigorous climbing rose with big, beautiful apricot-colored flowers. It blooms repeatedly from early summer till frost. ‘Bathsheba’ is notable as David Austin’s first new apricot-hued climber in 20 years. Austin’s apricot English Rose climbers now include: apricot-peach ‘Evelyn’; apricot-pink-soft yellow ‘Bathsheba’; apricot-yellow ‘Abraham Darby’; and apricot-orange ‘Crown Princess Margareta’. Its fragrance is equally notable. ‘While the three earlier apricot climbers offer strong fruity scents, the fragrance of ‘Bathsheba’ is a strong myrrh that is floral and warm in character with hints of honey and Tea. The long, elegant apricot-yellow buds open to shallowly-cupped rosettes. Each flower is densely packed with up to 170 petals. While the overall impression of flower color is rich apricot, in fact each petal is apricot-pink on the upper side and soft yellow on the underside. In a charming halo-effect associated with English Roses, the outer petals are paler in color and softly fanned to catch the sun.
Details: Austin’s team ranks ‘Bathsheba’ in its “Top Five Climbers for Fragrance” along with ‘Jude the Obscure’, ‘Gertrude Jekyll’, ‘Wollerton Old Hall’ and ‘The Generous Gardener’. As with all English Rose climbers, ‘Bathsheba’ grows full to the ground with plenty of basal stems to fan up and across a trellis. It blooms from the ground up. Its foliage is mid-green with a satiny surface. It grows to 10 feet in height. It is an Austin Leander Hybrid, as are ‘The Ancient Mariner’, ‘Olivia Rose Austin’, ‘Lady of Shalott’ and ‘Golden Celebration. Hardy in USDA Zones 5 – 9. (David Austin 2016, Austchimbley).
(Ausbecks) – Approximately 80 petals. Repeat-flowering. The flowers of 'Bishop's Castle' are an absolutely pure shade of rich rose pink that pales as the flowers mature. The flowers are shallowly cupped, very fully double with a central button eye and are held attractively above the rounded bushy growth. The rose repeat flowers throughout the season and is very robust and healthy. 'Bishop's Castle' makes an excellent choice for formal situations, in rose beds and borders. It is equally at home in mixed flower gardens with annuals, perennials and other shrubs. With its neat bushy habit and excellent repeat flowering this rose is also superb as a hedge planting. Its scent is an excellent, old rose fragrance. Bishop's Castle is a marvelous market town not far from the David Austin nursery in Shropshire, England. The bush grows to a nice 4 feet all by 4 feet wide. Hardy in USDA zones 5 – 9.
‘Boscobel’ (Leander Hybrid)
‘Boscobel’ bears beautifully formed flowers of a rich salmon coloring that changes with age to a rich, deep pink. The flowers start as red buds which open at first to pretty cups, gradually developing into perfectly formed blooms of classic rosette formation. The numerous small petals are of varying shades, mingling to provide a most pleasing effect. The delightful, medium to strong myrrh fragrance has a hawthorn character with hints of elderflower, pear and almond. ‘Boscobel’ forms an upright, medium-sized shrub that is strong and healthy with dark green, glossy foliage. Approximately 78 petals per flower. Grows to 4 feet tall x 4 feet wide. (David Austin 2012, Auscousin.) USDA zones 5 to 9.
Naming notes: Boscobel House is a beautiful timber-framed house that was built in 1632 and is not far from the David Austin nursery in Shropshire, England. It is famous for being the place where King Charles II hid in an oak tree whilst being pursued by Cromwell’s soldiers during the English Civil War in 1651.
(Auswest) – Approximately 80 petals. Repeat-flowering. An outstanding variety that has proved particularly suited to American gardening conditions. The cupped blooms are in glorious mixed shades of pink, apricot and yellow. The uppermost sides of the petals provide a wonderful contrast with the backs of the petals, creating the overall impression of rich apricot. There is a strong, myrrh fragrance, which is surprisingly rare among roses, first appearing in the English Roses with Rosa 'Constance Spry'. 'Carding Mill' will quickly form a lovely, healthy, bushy shrub that produces many flowers and repeats very well. This versatile rose is highly recommended for flower beds, rose borders, large containers, landscaping and hedging in areas of full sun or partial shade. This rose was named after an extremely beautiful valley in the Long Mynd, a scenic area of hills and moors close to David Austin's display gardens in Shropshire, England. Grows to 4 feet tall by 3½ feet wideas a garden bush. Hardy in USDA zones 5 – 9.
‘Dame Judi Dench’
'Dame Judi Dench’ is an apricot English Rose with an arching habit that marries lissome beauty with robust garden performance,” says Marriott. The large flowers are a rich, sun-kissed shade of apricot that pales prettily toward the edges. Blooming starts with plump, red-tipped buds held on mahogany-colored stems. The flowers gradually open to reveal informal rosettes of ruffled petals with a classic button eye. The outer petals are softly fanned to catch the sun with the charming halo effect that Mr. Austin favors. Though large and densely petalled, the flowers ride high, nodding slightly, and are especially resistant to rain. After bloom, the spent petals fall away cleanly. After bloom, the spent petals fall away cleanly. The tempting fragrance combines a fresh tea scent with teasing notes of cucumber and a hint of kiwi.
This marvelously-relaxed bloomer provides big color from early summer till frost. The apricot hue mixes beautifully with other garden colors – even strong pink, lime and strong yellow. Of course, its BFFs are blue and purple flowers, plus plants with purple-bronze foliage. For real zing, suggests Michael Marriott, pair ‘Dame Judi Dench’ with deep crimson English Roses ‘Darcey Bussell’ or ‘Munstead Wood’.
'Dame Judi Dench' is a variety that builds over time as its arching stems encourage side shoots to form an attractive mound of blooms. Typically, in years one and two, the bush chugs along at approximately half its mature size. By year three, lanky adolescence is a thing of the past as the bush gains full size and maximum bloom.
Detail: ‘Dame Judi Dench’ is a particularly strong, healthy, reliable English Rose with fabulous rich apricot flowers. It grows to 4 feet tall by 4 feet wide. In warmer areas it may grow to 8 feet as an excellent climber. The large flowers, 4 inches across, have approximately 76 petals each. The lovely tea fragrance is medium strength. The handsome leaves have a tough, leathery feel, a health trait that Austin now breeds into varieties. Plant this vigorous beauty upfront in informal borders, grouped in landscape plantings or in a large pot. It is suited to full sun or partial sunlight. Per Austin breeding notes: it is an English Musk Hybrid, as are ‘Roald Dahl’, ‘Desdemona’, ‘Maid Marion’, ‘Lady Emma Hamilton’ and ‘The Generous Gardener’. Hardy in USDA Zones 5-9. (David Austin 2017, Ausquaker).
Naming notes: named for Dame Judi Dench, one of Britain’s most beloved stars of stage and screen. Though perhaps best known to younger audiences for her film roles as James Bond’s boss M, head of Britain’s Military Intelligence Service, Dame Judi Dench’s monumental acting career spans decades and includes award-winning dramatic, comedic and musical roles in theater, film and television.
'Desdemona' is a quietly powerful charmer, according to Marriott. “With its upright rounded bush awash with sprays of voluptuous white roses this variety is equally valuable as a statement plant or as a color foil to heighten the impact of other shrubs and plants,” he said. “In garden design, the color white makes other colors pop. White also reinforces depth of field and separates colors that might otherwise clash.”
‘Desdemona’ is expected to be every bit as strong a garden performer as Austin’s break-through 2016 introduction ‘Olivia Rose Austin’. In trials, the new rose has done well in a broad range of growing conditions, including both hot/humid and hot/dry conditions. Its fragrance is strong and complex. Austin’s professional “rose nose” Robert Calkin describes the scent as “Old Rose and almond blossom with hints of lemon zest and cucumber.”
Marriott considers ‘Desdemona’ to be Austin’s best white English Rose to date, surpassing even ‘Claire Austin’ and ‘Winchester Cathedral’ for quick repeat-bloom. “White roses are quite tricky to breed successfully,” he said. “For Mr. Austin, the goal is to always to achieve the most pristine white in a beautiful, fragrant, Austin-style flower that holds up to rain without browning and has petals that fall cleanly away after bloom. All this, plus it must present the heady fragrance, lovely bush and extraordinary good health that Austin's English Roses are known for. "
The deeply-cupped, chalice-shaped flowers of ‘Desdemona’ are classic Austin with incurved petals that capture an intriguing interplay of light and shadow within the bloom. The gently-nodding flowers are borne in multi-flower clusters. With up to 25 flowers in various stages of bloom, each cluster will feature a mix of flower colors and forms, from opening buds of pale peachy-pink to young white flowers brushed with blush pink, to mature pure white, fully-open blooms. As a cut flower, just one cluster in a vase offers satisfying variety.
Details: Repeat-blooms very quickly all season. Exceptionally long bloom season, begins flowering two- to three-weeks earlier than most roses. White flower with early hints of pale blush pink. Fragrance is Old Rose and almond blossom with hints of lemon zest and cucumber. Medium-sized flower, 3-inches across with 50 petals. A compact bushy shrub with a tidy rounded shape and glossy, dark green leaves. Grows 4 feet tall by 3 feet wide. Excellent in garden or container. It is an Austin Musk Hybrid, as are ‘Tranquillity’, ‘Scepter’d Isle’, and ‘Lady Emma Hamilton’. Hardy in USDA Zones 5 – 10.
Naming notes: Desdemona is the tragic heroine of William Shakespeare’s play, Othello. (David Austin 2015, Auskindling).
‘Emily Brontë’ offers two-tone color in tidy flowers that are rather flat. Each flower is approximately 3.5 inches across, with about 100 petals. The open rosette is pale blush pink with a subtle shimmer of apricot throughout. The smaller central petals are a deeper rich apricot and surround a button eye, which unfurls to reveal deep-set stamens. The button eye is a signature trait of the Austin breeding program seen in many varieties with 100 petals or more. This charming detail is nearly non-existent in other modern roses.
"Gardeners who love color play will find that ‘Emily Brontë’ is brilliant for mixing with color palettes of all sorts, from soft blues and purples to strong pinks, oranges and reds," says Marriott, "Most fun will be choosing partner plants with foliage and flower colors that play off the rose's apricot center."
In fragrance, ‘Emily Brontë’ delivers an unexpected plot twist. The flowers open with a fine, heady Tea fragrance. In mid-bloom, the Tea scent wanes and Old Rose comes on strong, followed by teasing hints of lemon and grapefruit. "In the garden, the effect is magical. A rose fragrance that transitions from Tea to Old Rose is completely unexpected," says Marriott, who cannot think of a single other rose that presents a similar fragrance scenario. "Usually, in roses, Tea transitions to Fruity – as it does in English Roses such as 'Golden Celebration' and 'Princess Alexandra of Kent'," he says.
Details: English Rose 'Emily Brontë'
(David Austin 2018 Ausearnshaw)
England’s Rose (Old Rose Hybrid)
‘England’s Rose’ is an especially tough and reliable variety. Deep glowing pink flowers are held in large clusters, the outer petals eventually reflexing back to reveal an attractive button eye. The medium-sized blooms are produced almost continuously from early summer right through to the first frosts. This is a healthy, particularly rain-resistant rose. It will form an attractive, bushy shrub, ideal for a rose border or for mixing with perennials. The bush is expected to stay compact even in warmer areas. Its strong scent is a fine Old Rose fragrance with a warm and spicy character. Approximately 42 petals per flower. Grows to 4 feet tall by 3 feet wide. (David Austin 2010, Auslounge). USDA zones 5-9.
Fighting Temeraire (Leander Hybrid)
‘Fighting Temeraire’ is a very different English Rose. The fully open flowers are very large at 4” to 5" across, each with only 12 petals. The flowers are a rich apricot color with an area of yellow behind the stamens which later pales to a soft yellow-apricot. The tips of the buds are red, as is the young foliage. Its rounded shrub is healthy and vigorous and blooms abundantly. Its many stems produce a mass of flowers held in large heads. The fragrance is medium to strong, very fruity with a strong element of lemon zest. This is a very good choice for a mixed border, where the rich color will create a focal point. In warmer areas, ‘Fighting Temeraire’ is expected to grow taller and so be more suited to growing as a climber. Awarded first prize for both fragrance and landscaping at the Barcelona Trials 2012. Approximately 12 petals per flower. Grows to 3 feet tall by 4½ feet wide or up to 8 feet tall as a climber. (David Austin 2011, Austrava) USDA zones 5-9.
One of the most fragrant of all English Roses, ‘Gertrude Jekyll’ has a powerful and beautifully rounded perfume considered by many to be the quintessential old rose fragrance: strong, rich, complex and perfectly balanced. It is repeat-flowering with large rosette-shaped flowers in rich glowing deep pink. The bush grows to 5 feet tall by 3½ feet wide. As a climber, it grows 8 to 10 feet tall. Hardy in USDA zones 4-8. Gertrude Jekyll (1843-1932) was a famous English garden designer, horticulturist and writer whose approach had a profound and lasting effect on English garden style. (David Austin 1986, Ausboard).
One of the most fragrant of all English Roses, 'Golden Celebration' is known for its magnificent, tea-scented blooms, often featuring hints of sauterne wine, splashed with strawberry notes. It is repeat-flowering with exceptionally large cupped flowers that are beautifully-formed and full-petaled in a rich, golden-yellow color. It is known for reliability and considered easy to grow. The bush grows to 5 feet tall by 3½ feet wide. As a climber it grows to 8 feet to 10 feet tall. Hardy in USDA zones 4-9. (David Austin 1992, Ausgold).
Named the World’s Favorite Rose in 2009 by the World Federation of Rose Societies (WFRS), considered by many to be the rose world’s highest honor,‘Graham Thomas’, has cup-shaped blooms with a strong, fresh tea rose fragrance with a cool violet character. Their color is an unusually rich, pure yellow, which is not found in the Old Roses and is rare even among modern roses.Introduced in 1983, it was the first David Austin hybrid to fully-realize its hybridizer’s vision for new Fragrant English Roses. R. ‘Graham Thomas’ forms a bushy shrub sized five feet high by four feet wide. Its upright habit makes it well suited to planting in tight groups of three in the garden, which can then be pruned to form a single shrub shape. R. ‘Graham Thomas’ is hardy in USDA zones 5 to 9 and has proved a good performer in areas where summer heat and humidity can be problematic. Summer pruning encourages repeat bloom. The rose can also be trained as a spectacular climbing rose, particularly in warmer climates where it can reach 10 to 12 feet tall and thus is ideal for climbing a wall, rose pillar, obelisk or fence. It enjoys full sun but will also perform surprisingly well in partial shade, provided it is not planted directly underneath the canopy of trees.
One of the most fragrant of all English Roses, Harlow Carr boasts a heady old rose scent that fits perfectly with its classic old rose form. The fragrance has been described as a “true rose” floral scent. The variety is repeat-flowering with perfectly-formed medium sized flowers of purest rose pink. It is a very tough rose, highly free-flowering and particularly healthy. Once established (after 2-3 years in the garden) it forms a rounded shrub absolutely covered in blossoms. Dead-head as needed. It performs well in both hotter and colder areas. The bush grows to 4 feet tall by 3 feet wide. It is hardy in USDA zones 5-9. (David Austin 2004, Aushouse).
(Old Rose Hybrid) – There are few roses as popular as those of deep crimson coloring – and none so difficult to breed. ‘Heathcliff’ is a stunning 13th addition to Austin’s collection of red/scarlet English Roses. It has large, fully double flowers of rosette shape. The color is a true deep crimson, with a certain softness that is reminiscent of some of the old red Gallica Roses. It is a healthy variety, with shiny, deep green leaves and upright growth. Its lovely fragrance is unusual: Tea Rose and Old Rose, played beautifully off a minor base note of earthy, elegant, dry woody cedar. Approximately 105 petals per flower. Grows to 5 feet tall x 3½ feet wide. (David Austin 2012, Ausnipper.) USDA zones 5 to 9.
Naming notes: ‘Heathcliff’ is named for the character in Emily Brontë’s classic novel, Wuthering Heights.
Imogen’ is a fresh-faced beauty with a rare and desirable characteristic: a classic button eye. “The button eye comes from true Old Roses, especially antique Gallica and Damask roses," says Marriott. "Few modern roses have it. In the English Roses, you see it in ‘Munstead Wood’ and ‘Port Sunlight’ – and now ‘Imogen’.”
The soft lemon yellow flowers of 'Imogen' are exceedingly pretty. The blooms begin as pointed buds that become more rounded as they open. The fully open blooms are quite distinctive, with abundant, delicately frilled petals. Over time, the dense petals soften in color from lemon to nearly cream. Throughout, the color retains its clarity with no hint of green. The fragrance is light to medium in strength with hints of fresh apple. “’Imogen is ideal for an informal perennial garden where its soft lemon and cream coloring will blend beautifully with similarly-hued blue and lilac flowers,” says Marriott.
Details: ‘Imogen’ is an extremely floriferous rose that begins to bloom in early summer with late peonies and repeat blooms till frost. The medium-sized blooms have 65 petals. Its sturdy bush is quite upright with attractive mid-green, glossy foliage. The light to medium fragrance nicely supports the flower’s look and coloring, with hints of fresh apple and almond blossom and, occasionally, teasing wafts of a musky/clove scent from the stamens. Grows 4 feet tall by 3 feet wide; in areas with longer growing seasons it is likely to grow taller. Hardy in USDA Zones 5 – 9. (David Austin 2016, Austritch).
Naming notes: The name ‘Imogen’ takes inspiration from the daughter of King Cymbeline, and virtuous wife of Postumus, in William Shakespeare’s Cymbeline.
‘James L. Austin’
English Rose ‘James L. Austin’ has beautiful, perfectly-formed flowers in an unusual deep pink color that some might call cerise and others fashion fuchsia,” says Marriott. Its rich reddish-pink blooms are spectacular amidst flowering companions in shades of blue, purple, grey, green and cream. Its medium-dark green foliage has a cool matte finish that nicely plays off the flowers’ hot color. The flowers form large rosettes, each with a classic button eye of the sort long associated with the Old Roses (especially the antique Gallicas and Albas). While the button eye is a treasured trait found in many David Austin English Roses, they are nearly non-existent in other modern roses. ‘James L. Austin’ blooms prolifically from early summer until frost. Its dense petals have a silky toughness that shrugs off bad weather. Its delicious fragrance evokes a mixture of dark fruits: blackcurrant, blackberry, raspberry and cherry with hints of lemon zest and almond. The bushy shrub is full at the base, with a tidy, upright habit. It is equally at home in a formal rose border, an informal mixed garden or a large pot.
Detail: The compact upright habit of ‘James L. Austin’ is especially suited to more structured settings. It grows to 4 feet high by 3½ feet wide. The large flowers, 4 inches across, have approximately 90 petals each. The fruity fragrance is light-medium strength. Plant it in full sun or partial sun. Per Austin breeding notes, it is an Old Rose Hybrid, as are ‘Munstead Wood’, ‘Darcey Bussell’, ‘The Poet’s Wife’, ‘Gertrude Jekyll’ and ‘Jude the Obscure’. Hardy in USDA Zones 5-9. (David Austin 2017 Auspike).
Naming notes: named for James L. Austin, Professor of Neural Computation at the University of York. He is the youngest of rose hybridizer David C. H. Austin’s three children.
One of the most fragrant of all English Roses, features a wonderfully bold fruity fragrance. The scent of the young flower is almost pure lemon zest, later becoming a delicious fruity rose fragrance with hints of fresh lemon and raspberry. It is repeat-flowering with large domed flowers in rich pink tinged with gold on the petal undersides. The bush grows to 4 feet tall x 4 feet wide. It is hardy in USDA zones 5-9. (David Austin 2002, Aushunter).
‘Kew Gardens’ – Medium-sized (2 ½ inch) flowers with 5 petals. Repeat-flowering. This is an unusual English Rose with abundant single flowers clustered in very large heads somewhat like a hydrangea. Though more like a species hybrid in appearance, it enjoys all the underlying strengths of a David Austin rose and demonstrates the breadth of the collection. The young buds are soft apricot opening to pure white with a hint of soft lemon behind the stamens. The flowers are followed by small red hips, which should be removed to encourage repeat flowering from early summer through the end of the season. It is extremely healthy and completely thornless with bushy, upright growth. Lovely as a flowering hedge, the rose provides masses of white blooms, lending the bush the appearance of being covered with snow. 'Kew Gardens' was named in celebration of the 250th anniversary of Kew Gardens, the famous Royal Botanical Garden in London. Michael Marriott, technical manager of David Austin Roses, was invited to redesign the historic Rose Garden there. Marriott based his 2008 design upon an original 1848 design by William Nesfield. David Austin Roses provided the replanted collection of English roses, species roses and shrubs. Rosa 'Kew Gardens' grows to approximately 4 feet tall by 4 feet wide. Hardy in USDA zones 5 – 9.
‘Lady Emma Hamilton’
One of the most fragrant of all English Roses, Lady Emma Hamilton has a fragrance that’s strong and deliciously fruity with hints of pear, grape and citrus. The scent perfectly complements the rose’s tangerine-orange and yellow coloring. The repeat-flowering variety is best in drier conditions. Its cupped flowers are a mix of rich shades of orange, apricot and yellow. The bush is 4 feet tall by 4 feet tall. Hardy in USDA zones 5-9. (David Austin 2005, Ausbrother).
'Lady of Shalott' (Ausnyson) – Approximately 60 petals. Repeat-flowering. David Austin and his team consider this one of the best roses they have produced, similar in style to the well-loved 'Pat Austin' but with improved health and garden performance. It blooms with remarkable continuity throughout the season. This is an ideal rose for the inexperienced gardener, and will also be prized by passionate Rosarians. The young buds are a rich orange-red and open to form apricot-hued chalice-shaped blooms filled with loosely arranged petals. Each petal has a salmon-pink upper side that contrasts beautifully with the attractive golden-yellow reverse side. Its warm tea fragrance has pleasing hints of spiced apple and cloves. The rose quickly forms a large, bushy shrub with slightly arching stems. The mid-green leaves have attractive, slightly bronzed tones when young. Over the season, the later blooms seem to be even more beautiful than the earlier ones. Named for the Tennyson Society, which promotes the work of 19th century poet Alfred, Lord Tennyson. "The Lady of Shalott" was a popular ballad of Tennyson's, inspired by Arthurian legend. Grows to approximately 5 feet tall x 4 feet wide. Also available as a climber, that grows 10 to 12 feet tall. Hardy in USDA zones 5 – 9.
Lady Salisbury (Old Rose Hybrid)
‘Lady Salisbury’ exhibits great Old Rose charm, with some of the character of the Alba Roses. Rich rose pink buds open to reveal pure pink flowers, which gradually become a softer shade as the flowers age. The blooms have an informal rosette shape. At first there is a button eye in the center but eventually a cluster of stamens is just visible in the middle. There is a light fragrance. ‘Lady Salisbury’ flowers with remarkable continuity from early summer on. The matte green leaves and bushy growth are very much in the style of the Old Roses. This rose, like many other English Roses, works wonderfully well when planted amongst the true Old Roses, having the very great advantage of a much longer flowering season. ‘Lady Salisbury’ would also be excellent in a mixed border with perennials. Approximately 70 petals per flower. Grows to 4-ft tall x 3-ft wide. (David Austin 2011, Auscezed). USDA zones 5-9.
Naming notes: Rosa ‘Lady Salisbury’ was named in celebration of the 400th anniversary of Hatfield House in Hertfordshire, UK, the home of Lady Salisbury. Robert Cecil, the first Earl of Salisbury, built the house in 1611. The gardens at Hatfield are very well known and loved, featuring a great many roses. The current Lady Salisbury is a passionate gardener and has planted the new rose in her West Garden.
'Maid Marion' – The clear pink flowers of ‘Maid Marion’ open in the most perfect rosette-shape in the form of a saucer, framed by larger outer petals that form a beautifully rounded rim. David Austin’s team enthuses that the rose produces some of the most superbly formed flowers they have seen. It’s quick to re-bloom, producing wave after wave of flowers from early summer till frost. Its fragrance starts out as a soft myrrh that evolves over time to become more fruity with a distinct clove character.
Details: Excellent repeat-flowering. The double flowers are 4 inches in diameter with approximately 55 petals each. Grows 3 feet tall x 3 feet wide. Hardy in USDA Zones 5-9.
Naming notes: Named for Maid Marion, companion of the English mythical hero, Robin Hood of Sherwood Forest. (English Musk Hybrid, David Austin 2010, Austobias)
Repeat-flowering. Approximately 80 petals. The flowers of this variety are in fact light crimson in the bud but, as the center gradually reveals itself, it becomes a very deep velvety crimson. The open flowers are large and beautiful, forming a very full rosette. The growth is quite bushy, forming a broad shrub with good disease resistance. The leaves are mid-green, the younger leaves being red-bronze to form a nice contrast. There is a strong Old Rose fragrance with a fruity note. Our fragrance expert, Robert Calkin, assesses this as ‘warm and fruity with blackberry, blueberry and damson’. Munstead Wood was Gertrude Jekyll’s own garden in Surrey. Size: 3 feet tall x 3½ feet wide. Hardiness: USDA zones 5-9. (David Austin 2007, Ausbernard).
‘Olivia Rose Austin’ – It’s hard for the understated English to enthuse. Yet, in beautiful ‘Olivia Rose Austin’ we find the master rose hybridizer David Austin himself admitting that ‘this is possibly the best rose we’ve ever bred.’ What makes this rose so spectacular? “It’s an outstanding rose that has it all,” said Michael Marriott. “It’s remarkably healthy and disease-free, incredible for a fragrant rose that blooms in such abundance. Its bloom season starts quite early, typically three full weeks ahead of other English Roses. All season, the blooms keep coming in full-blown flushes that follow in quick succession, hot on the heels of the one before.” The soft pink flowers have an Old Rose formation that opens to a cupped rosette. The medium-strong fragrance is lovely, with distinctly fruity tints. The dark green foliage shows off the flowers beautifully.
Details: Repeat-flowering. Pleasing fruity fragrance. The fully double flowers are 4-inches in diameter with approximately 90 petals each. Grows to 4½ feet tall by 3½ feet wide. Hardy in USDA Zones 5-10.
Naming notes: Named for David Austin’s granddaughter Olivia Rose Austin. (David Austin 2014, Ausmixture).
One of the most fragrant of all English Roses, has a bold contemporary, rich apricot coloring that provides a charming contrast to its classic, rich, pure tea fragrance. It is repeat-flowering with slightly quartered rosettes in rich apricot color. Its stems and leaves are bronzy red in early season, darkening later to deep green. The bush is upright in habit, grows to 5 feet tall by 4 feet wide and is exceptionally reliable and resistant to disease. It is hardy in USDA zones 5-9. (David Austin 2007, Auslofty).
‘Princess Alexandra of Kent’
Repeat-flowering English Old Rose Hybrid with approximately 130 petals. David Austin named this rose for Princess Alexandra, a cousin of Queen Elizabeth II who is a keen gardener and great lover of roses. The rose that bears her name has unusually large flowers of a warm, glowing pink. They are full petalled and deeply cupped, the ring of soft pink outer petals enclosing the warm pink inner petals to create a most pleasing effect. In spite of their size, they are never clumsy, being held nicely poised on a well-rounded shrub. Because of the flower size, there is a lot to be said for planting in groups of three, keeping both flowers and growth nicely balanced. The blooms have a delicious fresh Tea fragrance which, interestingly, changes completely to lemon as the flower ages – eventually taking on additional hints of blackcurrants. It is very healthy. Size: 5 feet tall x 4 feet wide. Hardiness: USDA zones 5-9. (David Austin 2007, Ausmerchant).
‘Princess Anne’ (Auskitchen)
Rosa ‘Princess Anne’ is first of a significant new line of breeding from Mr. Austin that is producing roses with particularly pretty flower form and strong garden vigor and health. ‘Princess Anne’ was named 'Best New Plant Variety' at the UK Grower of the Year Awards in 2011. It flowers over a long period and in large clusters, the individual blooms opening in succession. There is a medium-strong Tea Rose fragrance.The blooms of ‘Princess Anne’ are an unusual bold cerise pink color. The individual petals tend to stand up, so create an almost water lily effect - although a most sturdy water lily. The petals are strong and not too long, and many are heart-shaped, resulting in a pleasing ruffled effect. The inner petals create an informal button eye center revealing the backs of the petals, which are a warm shade of deep salmon pink. There is yellow at the heart of the bloom, though this is almost imperceptible. Over time, the petals gradually evolve toward purple bluish tones (rather reminiscent of some of the Old Gallica roses), ultimately aging to a lovely shade of purple-lilac. As blooms of varying ages are held together in clusters, the effect of their contrasting colors and forms is striking.The rose forms a compact, bushy and upright shrub with highly polished, remarkably disease-resistant foliage. Its mature size is approximately 3 feet tall by 2 feet wide, making it an ideal rose for borders or a great choice for hedging and pots. 'Princess Anne' is hardy in USDA zones 6-9.
Naming notes: David Austin is honored to name this rose after Her Royal Highness, Princess Anne, Britain’s Princess Royal who is patron of Great Britain’s Riding for the Disabled charity.
'Queen Anne' (Old Rose Hybrid)
‘Queen Anne’ is a rose of classic Old Rose beauty, but rather more in the direction of the Centifolias or Bourbons. The medium-sized flowers are pure rose pink, the outer petals only slightly paler than the central ones. In habit, ‘Queen Anne’ is quite upright and bushy, with few thorns. It could be used very effectively in beds where more formal roses are required. It will also look equally at home in more informal surroundings, whether planted with other roses or mixed in with perennials. ‘Queen Anne’ has a lovely fragrance laced with hints of pear drop that evolves to a most attractive, full-bodied Old Rose scent. Approximately 45 petals per flower. Grows to 4 feet tall by 4½ feet wide (David Austin 2011, Austruck). USDA zones 5-9.
Naming notes: The ‘Queen Anne’ rose was named to celebrate the tercentenary of Ascot Racecourse in the UK. The world’s most famous racecourse, it was founded by Queen Anne in 1711.
‘Roald Dahl’ is considered a break-through rose by the hybridizing team behind David Austin’s heralded breeding program. According to Marriott, “’Roald Dahl’ builds on the strengths of two exceptional recent introductions -- ‘Desdemona’ and ‘Olivia Rose Austin’ -- taking their impressive levels of quick repeat bloom and disease-resistance yet a step further. Initial trials suggest that it should thrive in a wide range of different U.S. and Canadian growing conditions, including hot/humid and hot/dry conditions."
The new rose is an indefatigable bloomer. “’Roald Dahl’ blooms its heart out from late spring till well into autumn, with just the slightest pause to catch its breath in mid-summer during peak heat,” says Marriott.
The flower color is perfectly peach, a shade considered particularly useful in garden design. “Peach and apricot flowers are incredibly versatile in the garden,” says Marriott. “They mix well with flowers of nearly all colors -- even strong pink and strong yellow – and are especially beautiful in combination with blue and purple flowers or plants with purple-bronze foliage."
'Roald Dahl' features the heady fragrance and intricate flower form found in the Old Roses so loved by David Austin. The fragrance is a medium-strong Tea with leafy elements and dark fruit notes. The flower is a cupped rosette ringed by soft outer petals that seem to glow when backlit by sunlight. The resulting halo-effect is a signature trait seen only in Austin's English Roses, Marriott says.
The bush is upright and full at the base, giving it a beautiful rounded silhouette in the garden. It blooms from the ground up, with the flowers nicely displayed above the foliage. “The leaves are beautiful but tough, a bit leathery like those of ‘Olivia Rose Austin’", says Marriott. “This is another trait that Mr. Austin selects for in breeding and one reason why the new varieties are so incredibly healthy.”
Details: ‘Roald Dahl’ delivers an exceptionally long bloom season, running from late spring through frost. It repeat-blooms so quickly that the bush is nearly always in flower. Its robust flowers are medium-sized, 3-inches across, with approximately 55 petals each. It has few thorns. Soft orange-red buds open to cupped rosettes of perfect peach coloring. The bush is upright with a rounded shape and glossy, dark green leaves with an olive-green cast that is especially appealing with peach-colored flowers. The medium strong Tea fragrance has subtle leafy elements reminiscent of fresh mown grass, with dark fruit notes including hints of blackberry, damson, blueberries and plum. Grows 4 feet tall by 4 feet wide. Excellent in garden or container. It is an English Musk Hybrid, as are English Roses ‘Desdemona’, ‘Queen of Sweden’ and ‘Graham Thomas’. Hardy in USDA Zones 5 – 9. (David Austin 2016, Ausowlish)
Naming notes: Named in honor of the 100th anniversary of the birth of British author Roald Dahl. In 1961 Dahl published James and the Giant Peach, his first children’s book. That same year David Austin introduced the first English Rose, ‘Constance Spry’.
‘Royal Jubilee’ (Alba Hybrid)
The flowers of ‘Royal Jubilee’ are breathtakingly beautiful, standing out even amongst the blooms of other luscious English Roses. Its large, semi-double flowers are of a deep chalice shape, with broad petals incurving so that the stamens within are just barely visible. The color is a delicious, velvety shade of deep pink. Perhaps the most pleasing aspect of the rose is its airy natural growth habit, typical of the English Albas, which are known to associate easily with other plants in the border. With relatively wiry stems, ‘Royal Jubilee’ displays its full flowers with the utmost elegance against lovely grey-green glossy Alba foliage. It has very few thorns. The blooms have a lovely rich fruity fragrance with hints of blackcurrant. It has excellent health, vigor and repeat-flowering qualities. Approximately 35 petals per flower. Grows to 5 feet tall x 4 feet wide. (David Austin 2012, Auspaddle.) USDA zones 5 to 9.
Naming notes: David Austin Roses was delighted to introduce ‘Royal Jubilee’ in celebration of the 2012 Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II.
One of the most fragrant of all English Roses, Scepter’d Isle offers a distinctive, award-winning fragrance that can be described as powerful English myrrh. The variety is repeat-flowering with cupped flowers in soft blush pink. It was winner of Royal National Rose Society’s Henry Edland Award for fragrance. The bush is 4’ x 3’. Hardy in USDA zones 5-10. (David Austin 1996, Ausland).
‘Sir John Betjeman’
Repeat-flowering Leander Hybrid with approximately 130 petals. A rose of more modern character than most English Roses. The flowers start as small buds, opening to full-petalled, wide-open rosettes of a bright, deep pink, the color intensifying further with age. The flowers are 2½ to 3 inches across and are produced very freely. They have a light, rather ‘green’ fragrance. A healthy and very bushy shrub of medium size with a slightly arching habit. With its bright coloration this is a good choice to create some contrast in a border of other roses of softer coloring. Sir John Betjeman was a writer, journalist and broadcaster, who was born just over 100 years ago. Size: 5 feet tall x 4 feet wide. Hardiness: USDA zones 5-9. (David Austin 2008, Ausvivid).
Rosa ‘Skylark’ has semi-double flowers with open cups and prominent stamens. The color is deep pink at first, later paling slightly to lilac-pink with a small white center. There is a lovely Tea fragrance with hints of fruity apple and clove, giving the unexpected overall impression of apple pie!
The growth is light and airy, building up into a natural, well-rounded shrub. It is particularly free flowering and healthy and its more informal habit makes it an ideal choice for planting amongst other shrubs or perennials towards the front of a mixed border. It grows to about 3 feet tall by 4 feet wide. 'Skylark' is hardy in USDA zones 5-9.
'Susan Williams-Ellis' (Ausquirk)
Approximately 135 petals. Repeat-flowering. This exceptional rose is a "sport," or naturally occurring form, of Austin's popular pink rose 'The Mayflower' which was introduced in 2001. Good white roses are particularly difficult to breed, so it was with great delight that the team at David Austin discovered this new white rose, which shares the vigorous disease resistance of the pink rose. Like its parent, it also flowers very early in the season – two to three weeks before most other roses – and then continues to bloom nearly non-stop until the harder frosts. This rose is an excellent performer in most areas of the U.S. Those in cooler areas, including USDA zone 4, will welcome this exciting addition to the list of particularly winter hardy Austin roses. The fragrance is strong and old rose in character. This rose has a demure character and charm that makes it especially alluring to admirers of the heritage style of rose. The rose is named after Susan Williams-Ellis, a friend of David Austin and his wife Pat. She was an artist and influential pottery designer who, together with her husband Euan Cooper-Willis, established Portmeirion Pottery, best known for its Botanical Garden Tableware series. She was a great enthusiast of English Roses and painted beautiful watercolors of them. Grows to approximately 4½ feet tall by 3½ feet wide. Best suited to USDA zones 4 - 8.
‘Tam o' Shanter’ (Auscerise) – Approximately 25 petals. Repeat-flowering. Its deep cerise, rosette-shaped flowers are loosely formed, held on long, gracefully arching branches that bear blooms along the full length as species rose branches do. It has a light, fruity fragrance. Its growth habit is upright and arching. The full, broad bush is healthy and robust and is equally at home in an informal garden or in a mixed border. It was named to commemorate the 250th anniversary of the birth of the Scottish poet Robert Burns. Tam o' Shanter is the hero of one of Burns' best-known poems, though today the name is most commonly associated with a type of Scottish hat. In the poem, Tam stays too long at the tavern on market day. During his ride home through spooky country he encounters a band of beguiling witches. Filled with liquid courage he shouts out at them and is pursued, leaping to safety just in time, but not before the most beautiful witch snatches off his horse's tail. Grows to 4 feet wide by 4 feet tall. Hardy in USDA zones 5 – 9.
'The Albrighton Rambler' -- Rambler roses that repeat-flower from early summer to fall are coveted, repeat-bloomers bred for shorter climbing lengths even more so. In spring 2015 David Austin introduces 'The Albrighton Rambler', its third repeat-flowering rambler sized up to 10 to 12 feet. The flowers open as a soft pink that pales to blush. Its perfectly formed, small cup-shaped blooms have beautifully-arranged petals centered on a little button eye. The blooms are held in large sprays and hang gracefully. It is an exceptionally tough, healthy variety that thrives with little attention and has few thorns. Its flowers stand up well to rain. On upright structures 'The Albrighton Rambler' mixes beautifully with large-flowered climbers. The fragrance is light and musky.
Austin's three short, repeat-bloom ramblers have lax arching stems ideally sized for use as climbers on arches, pillars, walls, trellises and even small trees. (All ramblers are known for more lax or pliable stems, but longer ramblers have a tendency to overwhelm many garden supports.) The lovely new pink variety joins Austin's soft yellow rambler 'Malvern Hills' and white 'Snow Goose'. All three are exceptionally pretty, reliably producing waves of flowers all season long.
Details: Repeat-blooming. The fully double flowers are 2½ inches in diameter, with approximately 85 petals each. Grows to a height of 10 to 12 feet, perhaps a bit more in warmer areas. Hardy in USDA Zones 7-10.
Naming notes: Named to commend the walkers of Albrighton, home town of the Austin nursery, and the SE Shropshire chapter of the UK's national initiative Walking for Health. (English Musk Hybrid, David Austin 2013, Ausmobile)
‘The Ancient Mariner’ is a taller English Rose that is beautifully suited for use as a vertical accent for the middle or back of a border or as a larger shrub rose for landscape beds. It’s a statuesque beauty that carries its masses of big, buxom flowers high on the bush, where their strong myrrh fragrance perfumes the surrounding area. The upward-facing, cupped flowers are densely packed with as many as 160 petals per flower in early season, and 60 to 100 petals later. The color is a rich glowing pink that seems deeper pink at the center and paler towards the edges. In fact, all the petals are the same shade of pink. The deeper pink at the center is a result of shadowing by the cupped petals and petal density. The paler color is due to sunlight catching in the outer ring of reflexed petals, just one petal deep. The resultant halo effect is one that Mr. Austin finds particularly lovely. Over time, in the heart of each open bloom, a cluster of golden stamens is revealed. Though large, the flowers stand up to rain, holding their shape. After bloom, the spent petals fall cleanly away.
This is a very healthy and vigorous rose that is expected to fare well in cool, warm and hot growing conditions, including hot/dry and hot/humid areas. It will quickly form a handsome, bushy, upright shrub with shiny leaves, smooth stems with few thorns. Larger than most English Roses, it could become significantly larger where growing seasons are long and warm.
Details: Repeat-flowering. Warm glowing pink flowers. Strong warm myrrh fragrance. Flower size is 4- to 4.5-inches across. Bush grows 4 feet tall by 4 feet wide, larger in warmer areas. It is an Austin Leander Hybrid, as are ‘Olivia Rose Austin’, ‘Lady of Shalott’ and ‘Golden Celebration’. Hardy in USDA Zones 5 – 10.
Naming notes: The name ‘The Ancient Mariner’ was inspired by Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s epic poem, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner. (David Austin 2015, Ausoutcry).
‘The Endeavour' – (Ausdisco)
Approximately 50 petals. Repeat-flowering. This is an extremely healthy and floriferous variety with beautiful rosette shaped flowers. The upper side of the petals is a soft, slightly salmon-tinted pink, while the reverse is soft yellow. The growth remains compact even in the hotter areas and, in fact, this is a variety best suited to the warmer U.S. regions. The leaves are a dark green contrasting well with the color of the flowers. There is a medium strong spicy fragrance. The ship HMS Endeavor, commanded by Lieutenant James Cook, carried the famous explorer on his first voyage to the Pacific Ocean where he discovered and claimed New Zealand (1769), Australia (1770) and a multitude of Pacific islands for the British crown. The rose 'The Endeavour' reaches 4 x 3½ feet as a garden bush or to 8 feet as a climber. Hardy in USDA zones 5 – 9.
‘The Generous Gardener’
One of the most fragrant of all English Roses, The Generous Gardener is known for an award-winning fragrance that’s a delicious mix of old rose, musk and myrrh. When trained as a climbing rose, its scent hangs beautifully in the air. The variety is repeat-flowering with large flowers reminiscent of water lilies in palest ecru-hued pink. As a climber it grows to 15 feet tall. It is hardy in USDA zones 5-9. (David Austin 2002, Ausdrawn).
'The Lady’s Blush' (Alba Hybrid)
‘The Lady’s Blush’ is a charming semi-double variety with delicate natural beauty. The flowers start as elegant pointed buds and develop into rounded cups in pure soft pink with a creamy white eye and often a white stripe. As with all semi-double roses, the central group of stamens is a very important feature. The stamens of ‘The Lady’s Blush’ are a beautiful soft yellow color with highlights of golden-yellow pollen. Where the stamens join the rose center, they have a prominent red ring. The overall impression is of freshness and grace. A strong healthy variety, it will grow into an attractive rounded bushy plant. The bush is expected to stay compact even in warmer areas. Approximately 16 petals per flower. Grows to 4½ feet tall by 4 wide. (David Austin 2010, Ausoscar). USDA zones 5-9.
Naming notes: Named for the 125th anniversary of The Lady magazine, which is the oldest British weekly magazine for women.
'The Lady Gardener' – This gorgeous apricot-colored rose is intensely fragrant, notably quick to repeat-bloom and produces a staggering number of roses from early summer to frost. The large flowers of 'The Lady Gardener' are a rich shade of pure apricot that pales towards the outside of the bloom in a halo effect. Over time, the color evolves becoming cream all over. The rosette-shaped flowers are full-petalled with a large button eye that gradually opens up. The petals are loosely arranged in a quartered formation. A strong performer in the garden, the variety stands up well to rain and stays very healthy. Its strong fragrance is particularly delicious: Tea rose with hints of cedar wood and vanilla. The Austin team considers 'The Lady Gardener' one of its all-time best repeat-bloomers and has added it to their list of Most Fragrant English Roses.
Details: Repeat-flowering. The fully double flowers are 4-inches in diameter with approximately 65 petals each. Grows to 3-4 feet tall x 2½ feet wide, depending on how it is pruned. Hardy in USDA Zones 5-9.
Naming notes: Named in honor of the outstanding contributions of noted women gardeners to Plant Heritage in celebration of its 35th anniversary year. The non-profit group is known for conserving the diversity of garden plants of the British Isles through its Threatened Plants Project and 620 National Plant Collections, including the National Collection of English Roses that Austin maintains at its nursery in Shropshire. (English Old Rose Hybrid, David Austin 2013, Ausbrass)
‘The Lady of the Lake’ – A resurgence of interest in billowy, flower-laden rambler roses is greatly inspired by the new beauties bred by David Austin Roses. Now, Austin introduces ‘The Lady of the Lake’, its fourth short rambler to be bred for repeat-bloom, fragrance, and heights of 10 to 15 feet. These are ramblers made for climbing arches, trellises, pergolas, walls, fences, obelisks and small trees. They are perfectly scaled to draping structures with flowers and fragrance, without overwhelming them with size or weight.
Though strong fragrance is exceedingly rare in short ramblers, ‘The Lady of the Lake’ is remarkably fragrant with a fresh citrus scent. The flowers are a delicate blush pink. Each opens wide with a boss of golden stamens at the center. The new short rambler joins Austin’s soft pink ‘The Albrighton Rambler’, soft yellow ‘Malvern Hills’ and white ‘Snow Goose’. All four varieties pump out waves of flowers all season long on lax arching stems, making them ideal for climbing garden structures.
Details: Repeat-flowering. Strongly fragrant. The semi-double flowers are 2-inches in diameter with approximately 30 petals each. Grows to 10- to 15-feet tall. Hardy in USDA Zones 7 -10 (to grow in Zones 6 and colder, provide winter protection).
Naming notes: Named after the ruler of Avalon in the legend of King Arthur and in a related poem by Sir Walter Scott. (David Austin 2014, Ausherbert).
‘The Lark Ascending’ (Musk Hybrid)
A delightfully different English Rose, ‘The Lark Ascending’ has medium-sized semi-double flowers of just 22 petals each in a soft, warm apricot hue that softens over time. The petals are loosely cupped, and surround many stamens of deep golden-apricot. On the bush, the roses are produced from the ground upwards in heads of up to 15 nicely spaced blooms. The light fragrance varies according to the age of the flower, from Tea through to Myrrh. Choose ‘The Lark Ascending’ for a mixed perennial border or to feature among flowering shrubs where its tall airy growth will meld beautifully. It is vigorous and has exceptional health. Approximately 22 petals per flower. Grows to 5½ feet tall x 5½ feet wide. (David Austin 2012, Ausursula.) USDA zones 5 to 9.
Naming notes: The name ‘The Lark Ascending’ is taken from Ralph Vaughan Williams’ wonderful piece of music, a favorite of Mr. Austin’s and of the many listeners of the BBC’s “Desert Island Discs” radio program.
'The Mill on the Floss'
'The Mill on the Floss' is a tall, full-bodied garden rose with look-at-me presence. The bush stands 4.5 feet tall by 4 feet wide in cooler climates, and is significantly taller in warmer areas. It bears large clusters of deeply-cupped blooms which open wide to reveal a small boss of stamens. At first, the flowers are a lovely mid pink, verging on lilac pink. As the flowers open further, the pink color pales and a carmine-red picotee effect appears on the outer edges of individual petals. The dense flowers are 3 inches across, with approximately 100 petals each. The medium-strong fragrance is sweet and fruity. The flowers are held nicely above the foliage, where they nod gracefully on gently arching growth.
Details: English Rose 'The Mill on the Floss'
(David Austin 2018 Austulliver)
‘The Poet’s Wife’— In ‘The Poet’s Wife’ Austin introduces its first yellow English Rose since ‘Charles Darwin’ in 2003, making it only the 16th yellow in Austin’s expansive range. “Yellow roses with a fine flower, strong fragrance, true garden strength and excellent disease-resistance are very difficult to breed, making them rare indeed,” said Michael Marriott. “This is a rose of superlatives. Its yellow color is unusually rich and the fragrance is unusually strong and appealing.” Austin’s scent expert (rose nose) Robert Calkins gives ‘The Poet’s Wife' a top-ranked score of 5 out of 5 for fragrance, describing it as Old Rose with strong hints of unripe lemon rind, peach and mango that becomes stronger and sweeter with age. For the lay nose, said Marriott, that translates to “a rich fruity citrus fragrance that sweetens.” Marriott has just added ‘The Poet’s Wife’ to Austin’s list of Most Fragrant English Roses.
Details: Repeat-flowering. Very strongly fragrant. The fully double flowers are 4.5-inches in diameter with approximately 80 petals each. The bush is nicely rounded with shiny dark green foliage. Grows to 4 feet tall by 4 feet wide, taller in warmer areas. Hardy in USDA Zones 5-10. (David Austin 2014, Auswhirl).
‘The Wedgwood Rose’ (Ausjosiah)
Approximately 70 petals. Repeat-flowering. A charming old rose-style beauty with medium to large blooms and soft rose pink petals that have a delicate, gossamer-like quality. The flowers have a lovely fruity fragrance on the outer petals, with a clove-like scent at the center. Its ample foliage is dark green and glossy. This rose particularly excels when trained as a climber but is also lovely as a flowering shrub. The bush is exceptionally robust with luxuriant, healthy foliage, sending up plentiful shoots from the base to form a large arching shrub that trains readily on trellises and arches to climb upright or in arching or fanned positions. Named for the famous English pottery company founded by Josiah Wedgwood in 1759. Will grow to 10 feet high as a climber. Hardy in USDA zones 5 – 9.
'Thomas à Becket' – This beauty is a very different character from other English Roses. In 'Thomas à Becket' we see an unusual Austin rose with the natural shrubby growth habit of species roses. Its large flowers complement this look beautifully, with a more relaxed version of the distinctive cup-shape associated with hybridizer David Austin. The individual flowers are lovely. They open as informal rosettes, arrayed in a shallow cup. The petals quickly reflex as the flowers mature. They are held in medium-sized heads, the individual blooms nodding attractively on the stem. Flowering begins in early summer, a week or two later than many roses. But the bush soon roars to life producing masses of blooms for the rest of the season. The unusual red color evolves in a way that is difficult to describe or even photograph, opening as a light red that pales to carmine red. It is spectacular planted in combination with nepeta, geranium, gaura or verbena and other perennials and also with flowering shrubs. This variety is best used where an informal shrub is desired. It is a particularly strong and healthy variety and can handle a bit of shade. Its fragrance is Old Rose with a strong lemon zest character.
Details: Repeat-flowering. The double flowers are 4-inches in diameter with approximately 65 petals each. Grows to 5 feet tall x 4 feet wide, or more according to pruning. Hardy in USDA Zones 5-9.
Naming notes: David Austin was asked to name this rose to honor Canterbury Cathedral. Thomas à Becket was Archbishop of Canterbury 1162-1170. (English Rose, David Austin 2013, Auswinston)
'Tottering-by-Gently" produces masses of single yellow flowers held in large, open sprays. The flower form is simple and charming, with 5 petals surrounding golden stamens. The soft yellow color pales prettily over time. Thus a cluster may feature a mix of yellow, with bright yellow buds, soft yellow new flowers and creamy-yellow mature flowers. Singles are a very different look in English Roses, which are better known for dense, full-bodied flowers. This is Austin's first yellow single rose. Only one other single is offered for North American gardeners: white-flowered 'Kew Gardens', introduced in 2011.
'Tottering-by-Gently' is an outstanding shrub rose with a relaxed look that adds interest to wildflower gardens, large perennial borders, hedges and informal plantings in grasses. Its open flower face nicely complements the look of perennials, biennials and annuals, says Marriott. It blooms freely with repeat bloom from early summer till frost. The fragrance is a light-medium musk with fresh notes of orange peel. Its accessible stamens make it highly attractive to pollinators and beneficial insects. If not deadheaded it will produce a very fine crop of large, long-lasting orange-red hips. It is an exceptionally healthy shrub with a rounded, branching habit and grows to approximately 4 feet tall by 4 feet wide.
Details: English Rose 'Tottering-by-Gently'
(David Austin 2018 Auscartoon)
‘Tranquillity’ (Musk Hybrid)
David Austin’s English Musk Roses are notable for the perfection of their flowers and ‘Tranquillity’ lives up to this reputation. The flowers are of a beautifully rounded shape with neatly placed petals, making up a perfect rosette. The opening buds are lightly brushed with red and yellow but, as the flowers open, the petals show pure white. There is a light apple fragrance. The growth is upright making it an excellent garden shrub. For those who prefer their roses in bedding gardens, here is a stellar candidate. ‘Tranquillity’ has excellent vigor and is very healthy. It has typical light green Musk Rose foliage and is almost completely thornless. Approximately 110 petals per flower. Grows to 4 feet tall x 4 feet wide, although it could easily grow taller if lightly pruned. (David Austin 2012, Ausnoble.) USDA zones 5 to 9.
Naming notes: The name ‘Tranquillity’ was 100% inspired by the rose itself!
English Rose ‘Vanessa Bell’ is a soft yellow rose of delicate beauty that already has British gardeners raving. “This splendid rose is one of the most free-flowering varieties David Austin has ever bred. It’s nearly buried in blooms from early summer till frost,” says Michael Marriott, who rates its abundance of bloom on par with Austin’s much heralded recent introductions ‘Roald Dahl’ and ‘Olivia Rose Austin’.
“Gardeners covet soft yellow roses for their versatility in garden design,” says Marriott. “Yet superb yellow roses with a fine flower and fragrance plus quick repeat bloom and disease-resistance are quite difficult to breed, thus rare. Of Austin’s 240 English Rose introductions to date, just 15 are yellow and, of those, only six are pale yellow,” he says.
For North Americans where only four of the pale yellows are available so far, another factor plays in: bush habit and size. Says Marriott, “Three of your four pale yellows, to date, are fairly rambunctious, inclined to gain size and even climb.” New ‘Vanessa Bell’ is different and quite special, says Marriott: “It is pale yellow plus compact – and content to stay that way – perfect for enjoying at close quarters in the front of a border, a small garden, low hedge or large pot.”
‘Vanessa Bell’ stands a tidy 3 ½ feet tall by 3 feet wide at maturity. Its bushy shrub is full from the ground up. The flowers are held in large open clusters, accented by rounded buds tinged with rich pink. Fresh, consistent and nearly non-fading, the flowers are a soft lemony hue set off by a darker yellow eye and paler outer petals that catch the light in a translucent halo effect. The delicious medium-strong fragrance is best described as green tea with aspects of lemon and, at times, honey.
Detail: ‘Vanessa Bell’ blooms consistently from early summer till frost. Austin’s team considers it one of their most free-flowering varieties. The compact bush grows to 3½ feet tall by 3 feet wide. Its flowers are medium-sized, 3-inches across, with approximately 45 petals each. Spent petals drop cleanly after bloom. The mid-green foliage has a soft sheen. Plant it in full sun or partial sunlight. Per Austin breeding notes: it is an English Musk Hybrid as are ‘Roald Dahl’, ‘Heritage’, ‘Queen of Sweden’, ‘The Lark Ascending’, and ‘Graham Thomas’. Hardy in USDA Zones 5-9. (David Austin 2017 Auseasel).
Naming notes: named for English artist Vanessa Bell (1879-1961), a founding member in 1905 of the Bloomsbury Group, along with her sister, writer Virginia Woolf.
(Aushomer) – Approximately 80 petals. Repeat-flowering. This irresistible rose features perfectly rounded buds that open to full, cupped flowers. The blooms are rich cream at first, paling to almost pure white. They have a delicious, fruity fragrance with a hint of citrus. This is a very free-flowering variety that continues to bloom until very late in the season. Its attractive, neat and compact bush produces many basal shoots offering pleasure without pain as they have very few thorns. 'Windermere' is named for a beautiful lake in the Lake District of northwest England. It grows to about 4 x 3 feet. Hardy in USDA zones 5 – 10.
Repeat-flowering English Old Rose Hybrid with approximately 95 petals. This is a rose of exceptional delicacy and charm bearing some resemblence to the old Alba Roses. The flowers are shallowly cupped and about 3 inches across, the petals arranged in a most perfect rosette formation – their color being a very pure soft pink and the outer petals paling a little towards the edge. The growth is tall and slightly arching, producing its flowers along the stems and building up into a fine and very healthy shrub. There is a delightful, fresh, fruity fragrance with hints of raspberries and Tea. It is a good choice for both formal and informal areas of the garden and also for a hedge. ‘Wisley 2008’ was awarded Best Rose for Landscaping at the 2009 Concurs Internacional de Roses, Barcelona. Size: 4½ feet tall by 4½ feet wide. Hardiness: 5-9. (David Austin 2008, Ausbreeze).
'Wollerton Old Hall' (Musk Hybrid)
One of the most fragrant of all English Roses, Wollerton Old Hall has a strong, distinctive myrrh scent with a delicious citrus element. Plump buds, with attractive flashes of red, open to form beautiful chalice-shaped blooms of soft apricot, eventually paling to cream. It forms a healthy and bushy shrub with few thorns. In areas where heat can be intense, position the bush out of afternoon sun. In warm areas, ‘Wollerton Old Hall’ can be expected to grow taller and may be better suited to use as a climber. Approximately 43 petals per flower. Grows up to 12 feet tall as a climber. (David Austin 2011, Ausblanket). USDA Zones 5-9.
Naming notes: Wollerton Old Hall in Shropshire, not far from the David Austin Nursery, has one of the most beautiful private gardens in the UK. The gardens are set around a 16th Century house and feature roses in creative plant combinations, including many of Austin’s English Roses. Wollerton Old Hall is open to the public on selected days throughout the summer.
Repeat-flowering English Old Rose Hybrid with approximately 90 petals. This is a variety of classic Old Rose beauty. The flowers are quite large and deeply cupped even when fully open, the many petals arranged in a charming way. Their color is new to English Roses: a blend of very deep magenta, pink and red – the outer petals tending towards light purple – although this is in contrast to the outside of the petals, which are quite silvery in appearance. It makes an attractive, bushy shrub. There is a delicious fragrance that starts as a pure Tea scent but then changes to a blend of Tea and Old Rose, with intriguing hints of cedar wood. ‘Young Lycidas’ was awarded the top prize for fragrance at the 2009 Concurs Internacional de Roses, Barcelona. It was named to mark the 400th anniversary of the birth of the poet John Milton. Size: 4½ foot tall by 4 foot wide. Hardiness: USDA zone 5-9. (David Austin 2008, Ausvibrant).