English Roses For Beauty and Fragrance

Home Gardeners
English Roses For Beauty and Fragrance
Sarah Browning, Nebraska Extension Educator
English Roses For Beauty and Fragrance
'Boschobel' rose. Image from David Austin Roses, https://www.davidaustinroses.com.

Are you a rose lover? Then check out this year's new David Austin Roses introductions; five exquisite English Roses for North American gardeners. These roses represent a diverse offering, ranging from the deep crimson, fully double flowers of 'Heathcliff' to the spare, airy apricot-hued flowers of 'The Lark Ascending'. Each hybrid has compelling, attractive attributes and is released after at least nine years in trial gardens.

'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 3 feet tall x 2½ feet wide. USDA zones 5 to 9.

'Heathcliff' (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 8th 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 3½ feet tall x 3 feet wide. USDA zones 5 to 9.

'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 3 feet wide, although it could easily grow taller if lightly pruned. USDA zones 5 to 9.

'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 3 feet wide. USDA zones 5 to 9.

'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 5 feet tall x 3 feet wide. USDA zones 5 to 9.

For more information on growing David Austin roses, visit their website.

Reference to commercial companies is made with the understanding that no discrimination is intended and no endorsement by Nebraska Extension is implied. Mention does not imply approval or constitute endorsement by Nebraska Extension. Nor does it imply discrimination against other similar products.

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