Our David Austin roses are here and I, for one, am over the moon about it. Haley Martin, our Nursery Manager, and myself, spend our winters debating which new Austin rose to add to our growing collection. I’m going for Jude the Obscure, a shrub rose and Tess D’Ubervilles a climber for my new trellis.

If you’re new to David Austin roses, you can read more about their history, their breeding program and the man, David Austin, here.

lichfield-angel-david-austin-english-rose

‘Lichfield Angel’ is a vigorous rose with excellent repeat-flowering. The flowers start as deep cups which gradually open to neatly cupped rosettes of creamy apricot and then, as the petals turn back, form more domed flowers of creamy white. It handles the varied growing conditions of North America, including the challenging hot, humid climate of the SE. The fragrance is generally light but is strongly clove at one stage. Grows to 4 ft tall by 3 ft wide. RHS “Award of Garden Merit.”

I was privileged a few years ago to interview the senior rosarian for David Austin English roses, Michael Marriott. My favorite quote was, “You Americans, you make it all so hard. Growing roses is like growing any other plant.”

He was referring to the inevitable black spot, rust, powdery mildew, and so forth that roses are going to get, and that cause most people (“we Americans”) to avoid roses. Or, going to the opposite extreme of turning roses into divas that can’t be grown unless pruned just so, or fertilized on a strict schedule, or having a spraying regime that requires a hazmat suit to keep leaves whistle-clean. In other words:

We look for perfection and miss the rose.

david-austin-english-rose-graham-thomas

‘Graham Thomas’ Climbing is a vigorous, healthy repeat-blooming English Rose that is widely grown across North America. It grows to 10 to12 ft tall and can be trained against walls, trellises, small arches or rose pillars. Its abundant yellow, cup-shaped blooms have a strong, fresh Tea fragrance with a cool violet character. It handles summer heat and humidity well. RHS “Award of Garden Merit.”

Mr. Marriott has grown roses organically for over 20 years in his garden, so his statement that we “make it all so hard” comes from his experience of treating roses like plants instead of divas. For instructions on David Austin roses read below.

  • Specific growing instructions and care: Read here.

  • Pruning shrubs and climbers, read here and here.

  • And lots more information here.

From my personal experience, all roses are going to get some fungal issues or pest issues but that rarely stops them from blooming those incredible blooms, and learning to live with some imperfection in the garden is good for all of us (in life, as well). The Austin roses are known for being more disease resistant, less suspectible to the typical black spot, powerdy mildew, but that doesn’t mean it will be absent. As gardeners, let’s not miss the roses while looking for perfection.

For your viewing pleasure, below are 5 shrub roses and 5 climbing roses with descriptions. For a list of our roses in stock, please click here. Some are both climbers and shrubs. Read descriptions.

Shrub Roses

english-rose-vanessa-bell-david-austin-roses

‘Vanessa Bell’ (Shrub)

 

‘Vanessa Bell’ is a top-performing rose of delicate beauty with an alluring freshness and grace. Its soft lemon-yellow flowers are held in large open clusters, accented by rounded buds tinged with rich pink. It blooms with abundance, being nearly covered with flowers from early summer till frost. Its compact growth habit is ideal for planting in the front of garden borders. The medium-strength fragrance is best described as green tea with aspects of lemon and, at times, honey.

munstead-wood-david-austin-english-rose

‘Munstead Wood’ (Shrub)

 

‘Munstead Wood’ is one of the most fragrant English Roses with a strong Old Rose scent that’s warm and fruity with notes of blackberry and damson. The large cupped flowers are a very deep velvety crimson.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. Grows to 3′ tall x 2.5′ wide. RHS “Award of Garden Merit.”

lady-emma-hamilton-david-austin-english-rose

‘Lady Emma Hamilton’ (Shrub)

‘Lady Emma Hamilton’ is a particularly vivid English Rose and one of the most fragrant. Its scent is strong and deliciously fruity with hints of pear, grape and citrus fruits. The tight buds are dark red with dashes of orange. When fully open, the flowers reveal petals that are tangerine-orange on the inside and yellow orange on the outside. ‘Lady Emma Hamilton’ is repeat-flowering. It performs best in drier conditions. The bush is medium height, 4 ft tall by 3 ft wide. RHS “Award of Garden Merit.”

gentle-hermione-david-austin-english-rose

‘Gentle Hermione’ (Shrub)

‘Gentle Hermione’ is an utterly charming English Rose with beautiful flowers in an Old Rose formation of shallow cups of perfectly arranged petals. Each flower has approximately 90 petals. The color is a pure pink that pales to soft blush towards the outside edges. The blooms are very resistant to rain. The attractive shrub is rounded, grows to 4 ft tall by 3 ft wide and has slightly arching stems. The fragrance is a strong, warm, classic Old Rose scent with a hint of myrrh. Repeat-flowering.

darcey-bussell-david-austin-english-rose

‘Darcy Bussell’ (Shrub)

 

‘Darcey Bussell’ boasts an abundance of fully double, deep rich crimson flowers with a pleasing fruity fragrance carrying a hint of green. A strong, reliable performer, ‘Darcey Bussell’ is compact and low-growing, averaging three- to four-feet in height. Repeat-flowering. RHS “Award of Garden Merit.”

Climbing Roses

tess-of-the-d-urbervilles-climbing-david-austin-english-rose-3

Tess D’Ubervilles (Climber/Shrub)

‘Tess of the d’Urbervilles’ Climbing has large, bright crimson flowers with a nice, deeply cupped shape. As the flowers mature, the petals turn back to lend a more informal air. It is an excellent rebloomer, flowering from early summer through frost. The medium-heavy Old Rose fragrance is lovely. This is a fine rose for cutting for bouquets. Grows to 4 ft tall by 3 1/2 ft wide or 6 to 8 feet as a climber.

teasing-georgia-david-austin-english-rose

‘Teasing Georgia’ (Climber/Shrub)

 

‘Teasing Georgia’ is a refined English Rose with yellow flowers of a particularly pleasing cupped formation. Each flower has approximately 110 petals.The central petals are a rich deep yellow, while the outer petals fall back, fading to palest yellow. Its award-winning fragrance is a medium to strong Tea Rose. The growth is strong but graceful, superb as a bush or as a climber. It is a repeat-bloomer with excellent health and disease-resistance. Grows to 4 ft tall by 3 1/2 feet wide or 8 ft as a climber. RHS “Award of Garden Merit.”

wollerton-old-hall-david-austin-english-roses

“Wollerton Old Hall’(Short Climber/Shrub)

 

‘Wollerton Old Hall’ is one of the most fragrant of all English Roses. Its distinctive strong myrrh scent has a delicious citrus element. Its plump buds have attractive flashes of red. The flowers open to beautiful chalice-shaped blooms in a soft apricot color that eventually fades to cream. It forms a particularly healthy and bushy shrub with few thorns. In areas where heat can be intense, position the bush out of afternoon sun. Approximately 43 petals per flower. Grows to 5 ft tall x 3 ft wide or 8 ft as a climber.
crown-princess-margareta-climbing-david-austin-english-rose

‘Crown Princess Margareta’ (Climber/Shrub)

Crown Princess Margareta’. Color: apricot orange. Flower: double/full. Fragrance: strong fruity perfume of the Tea Rose type. Repeat blooming: excellent. Climbing height: 9 ft to 11 ft. Shrub size: 5 ft tall x 4 1/2 ft wide.
the-pilgrim-climbing-david-austin-english-rose

‘The Pilgrim’

 

The Pilgrim’ Climbing. Color: soft pure yellow.Flower type: double/full bloom. Fragrance: fine fragrance, a perfect balance of tea & myrrh.Repeat bloomOne of the most beautiful English Climbing Roses, producing nicely-shaped medium-large flowers. RHS “Award of Garden Merit” ing: excellent. Climbing height: up to 8 ft. Shrub size: 4 1/2 ft tall by 3 ft wide.

Written by Cinthia Milner, garden coach and blog writer.

B.B.Barns Garden Center serves all of Western North Carolina, upstate South Carolina and Tennessee.