40 Mind-Blowingly Beautiful English Roses

British rose breeder David Austin creates some of the most beautiful flowers in the world. Find out which types of English roses are most in demand in American gardens.

May 08, 2020
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Photo By: Image courtesy of David Austin Roses

Photo By: Image courtesy of David Austin Roses

Photo By: Image courtesy of David Austin Roses

Photo By: Image courtesy of David Austin Roses

Photo By: David Austin Roses

Photo By: Courtesy of David Austin Roses

Photo By: Image courtesy of David Austin Roses

Photo By: Courtesy of David Austin Roses

Photo By: Image courtesy of David Austin Roses

Photo By: Image courtesy of David Austin Roses

Photo By: Image courtesy of David Austin Roses

Photo By: Image courtesy of David Austin Roses

Photo By: Image courtesy of David Austin Roses

Photo By: Image courtesy of David Austin Roses

Photo By: Image courtesy of David Austin Roses

Photo By: Image courtesy of David Austin Roses

Photo By: David Austin Roses

'Boscobel'

'Boscobel' features beautifully formed small-petaled salmon colored flowers. It has a medium-strong myrrh fragrance with hints of elderflower, pear and almond.

Learn More : Caring for Your English Roses

'Royal Jubilee'

Like other roses in the English Alba group, 'Royal Jubilee' has a light, airy, vigorous growth habit that works well in borders. The big, semi-doubled flowers are a deep, velvety pink held against glossy, grey-green foliage. These repeat-flowering shrubs grow to 5' tall by 3' wide and have very few thorns. There’s a note of blackcurrants in the flowers’ fruity fragrance.

'The Lark Ascending'

This rose's light perfume changes as the flowers age, opening with Tea Rose and ending as myrrh. The shrubs grow up to 5' tall and 3' wide, making them a good addition to mixed perennial borders. The loosely cupped petals are a soft apricot color and have darker, golden-apricot stamens.

'Golden Celebration'

'Golden Celebration' (Ausgold) features giant, full-petaled flowers.

'Princess Anne'

'Princess Anne' features a substantial amount of narrow salmon colored petals that last over a long period. It has a medium strength Tea Rose scent and it is ideal for borders and hedging. 

'Heathcliffe'

'Heathcliffe' features large, fully double flowers of deep rosette shape as well as a deep crimson color. The plants grow approximately 3 1/2' tall by 3' wide, with shiny, deep green foliage. This variety has an unusual perfume that combines a Tea Rose scent with the fragrance of Old Roses; there’s an undertone of earthy, dry cedar.

'Wild Edric'

'Wild Edric' is a tough and reliable rose that thrives in even the most difficult conditions. It is ideal for semi-wild planting or for hedges. It features a semi-double flower of deep velvet pink and has a strong pure clove scent. 

'Scepter'd Isle'

'Scepter'd Isle' features soft pink petals that blend into a paler pink on the outer petals. It has a powerful English Rose scent. 

'William and Catherine'

'William and Catherine' features a classic shallow cup shape and blooms to be pure white. It has a medium strength pure myrrh scent. 

'Charlotte'

'Charlotte' is packed with numerous small yellow petals surrounded with a few layers of ivory white petals. It has a medium-strong Tea Rose scent and is one of the hardiest roses. 'Charlotte' is dedicated to one of David Austin's granddaughters.

Rosa 'Lady of Megginch'

Pretty, rounded buds open to large, full, deep rose pink flowers on these medium-sized plants. It's a vigorous bloomer that can be pruned or allowed to grow into a tall, bushy shrub. The fragrance is fruity and Old Rose, with a hint of raspberry. It's named for the late Baroness Strange, a rose gardener who made her home in Scotland’s Megginch Castle. Design tip from Michael Marriott of David Austin Roses: Do not be afraid to plant roses, like the gorgeous, magenta 'Lady of Megginch', close to the edge of paths or seats where they may spill over. Their proximity makes it all the better for appreciating their beautiful flowers and delicious fragrances.

'Olivia Rose Austin'

'Olivia Rose Austin' features flowers of beautiful Old Rose formation with shallowly cupped rosettes of three and a half inches across. It shows a soft shade of pink with a strong fruity scent. It is also one of the most disease resistant roses known. 

'Winchester Cathedral'

'Winchester Cathedral' features white petals with occasional pink in the center. It has medium sized blooms of typical Old Rose character. This rose also has hints of honey and almond scent which grows stronger in warmer weather. 

'Munstead Wood'

'Munstead Wood' features a deep crimson color and has a strong Old Rose scent with a hint of fruity fragrance. The hardy, medium-sized shrubs are named after famed gardener and author Gertrude Jekyll's garden in Survey.

'St. Swithun'

'St. Swithun' features large, saucer-like flowers filled with over a hundred frilled petals. It is soft pink and has a strong pure myrrh scent. It is highly disease-resistant and is a tough. reliable, healthy rose. 

'Cariad'

'Cariad' features semi-double pink petals with thin, wiry stems. It has a spicy musky scent once bloomed and is resistant to disease.

'Cardinal De Richlieu'

'Cardinal De Richlieu' is one of the darkest colored roses; it turns a deep rich purple once fully bloomed. It has very few thorns and requires pruning, thinning and generous feeding. It also has a very light but pleasing fragrance. 

'Graham Thomas'

'Graham Thomas' features medium-sized and cup-shaped flowers. It is pure yellow and has a medium-strong Tea Rose scent. 'Graham Thomas' (Ausmas) is a very hardy rose named for influential gardener Graham Thomas.

'Eglantyne'

'Eglantyne' features large flowers and is an excellent garden plant. It has a charming Old Rose scent. 

'The Lady Gardener'

'The Lady Gardener' is the first of the English Roses to have apricot flowers. It is four inches across and has loosely arranged petals. It is an excellent garden plant because it stands up well to heavy rain. It has a strong Tea Rose scent with hints of cedar wood and vanilla. 

'The Mayflower'

'The Mayflower' belongs to a small shrub that bears medium sized Old Rose, deep rose pink flowers. It is also completely resistant to blackspot, powdery mildew and rust. 'The Mayflower' is hardly ever without flowers, and is very tough and hardy. It has a strong Old Rose fragrance. 

'Harlow Carr'

'Harlow Carr' is a tough rose with shallow cups of rose pink. It has a strong, pure Old Rose scent. 

'Little White Pet'

'Little White Pet' is one of the best small shrub roses. It produces large clusters of small, white blooms densely filled with petals. This rose has a light, pleasing fragrance and is hardy and disease-resistant. 

'William Lobb'

'William Lobb' features large double blooms of dark crimson, but quickly fades to multiple shades of purple and violet. It can be grown as a climber and it has a strong perfume scent. 

'Queen of Sweden'

'Queen of Sweden' features soft pink petals with hints of apricot. It is disease free and excellent for bedding, borders or for arrangement in the house. The flowers last several days in water, and they have a light myrrh scent. 

'Tranquility'

A musk rose, 'Tranquility' has a light apple fragrance. New buds are brushed with red and yellow, but the opened flowers are pure white. The shrubs grow about 4' tall by 3' wide, although they will be taller if left unpruned. Thanks to its upright growth habit, this nearly thornless rose works nicely in garden beds.

'Lady of Shalott'

'Lady of Shalott' (Ausnyson) is called one of the most robust and hardy roses in the David Austin collection. Roses have different meanings for different colors: Orange or apricot roses, like 'Lady of Shalott,' mean desire and enthusiasm.

'Claire Austin'

Like 'Boscobel', this English rose has a strong myrrh fragrance, with hints of vanilla, heliotrope, and meadowsweet (a perennial herb in the rose family). 'Claire Austin' bears pale lemon buds that unfurl to cream. David Austin Roses calls it their "finest white rose to date." It is named for David Austin’s daughter Claire.

'Lichfield Angel'

'Lichfield Angel' (Ausrelate) is an almost pure white rose that does well in borders and has a light clove fragrance.

'Lady Emma Hamilton'

'Lady Emma Hamilton' has a strong, fruity-scent that may remind you of citrus, pears, and grapes. The blooms are tangerine-colored with yellow-orange outer petals.

'James Galway'

'James Galway' (Auscrystal) is an almost thornless rose with a warm pink color shading to a pale pink.

'Darcey Bussell'

'Darcey Bussell' (Ausdecorum) is named for a principal dancer at the Royal Ballet and is one of Austin's favorite red roses.

Rosa 'Brother Cadfael'

The large, clear pink flowers of ‘Brother Cadfael’ may remind you of peonies and have a rich Old Rose perfume. This rose is named for the hero of the Ellis Peters detective stories, set in Shropshire, home of the David Austin Roses nursery.

'Princess Alexandra of Kent'

The David Austin pink rose 'Princess Alexandra of Kent' (Ausmerchant) is named for Princess Alexandra, cousin to Queen Elizabeth II, and an avid gardener.

'Crown Princess Margareta'

'Crown Princess Margareta' features a strong, fruity fragrance and is named for Crown Princess Margareta of Sweden, granddaughter of Queen Victoria and an accomplished gardener.

'Christopher Marlowe'

This short to medium-sized shrub rose opens intense, orange-red blooms that pale to salmon pink on the edges as the flowers mature. Named for an Elizabethan playwright and poet, the roses have a tea fragrance with a hint of lemon. Design tip from rosarian Michael Marriott: A short hedge helps define the border and support the lower flowers.

'Wollerton Old Hall'

'Wollerton Old Hall' (Ausblanket) features a distinctive myrrh scent and a rounded chalice shape.

'Teasing Georgia'

Available as a climber or a medium-sized shrub, 'Teasing Georgia' produces deep yellow flowers that fade to pale yellow with a beautiful two-tone effect. The disease resistant bushes are named for two well-known media personalities in Germany, Ulrich and Georgia Meyer. The pleasant Tea Rose scent is medium-strong. Design tip from rosarian Michael Marriott of David Austin Roses: Many English roses have a beautifully rounded habit from top to bottom. Many people think roses should be stiff and upright but who can deny that this is a very beautiful sight? When petals drift onto the garden path, it's an added treat.

'Benjamin Britten'

'Benjamin Britten' (Ausencart) has a strong salmon-pink color and is named for the famous English composer, conductor and performer.

'Gertrude Jekyll'

Winner of the 2002 James Mason Award from the Royal National Rose Society, this rose is described as having the quintessential Old Rose fragrance and is named for a famous garden designer.

Renowned Rose Grower David Austin

Renowned Shropshire, England rose breeder David Austin pictured at the 2013 Chelsea Flower Show. David Austin Roses, which was founded in the 1960s emphasizes fragrant, lush Old English roses.

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