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The Best David Austin Rose Shrubs

According to your fellow rose lovers on Facebook

By: THURSD. | 03-07-2024 | 7 min read
Outdoor Plants Roses
The Finest David Austin Rose Shrubs

If, by any chance, you ask the more than 56k members of the David Austin Roses Facebook group what happiness means to them, it'll most probably be bringing home a new David Austin rose shrub. The often fragrant, classic English David Austin rose shrubs are wildly popular among gardeners around the world.

David Austin roses are known for their large, ruffled blooms, rich color palette, and strong, fruity or myrrh-like fragrances. They tend to have a bushy, rounded growth habit and are well-suited for planting in beds, borders, or as specimen plants. Among these roses' diverse offerings, shrub roses stand out for their versatility and ability to create stunning landscape features. So, here are some of the numerous rose lovers' favorites.

About David Austin Roses ... And the Rose Shrubs You Need

The late David C.H. Austin was a rose breeder, specialist grower, and author. His first rose, the fragrant Constance Spry, was released in 1961. Since then he has released nearly two hundred English Roses.

 

​The Best David Austin Rose Shrubs
David Austin's Rose Shrub Scarborough Fair (Ausoran) and Rose Shrub Susan Willams-Ellis (Ausquirk).

 

Later, David Austin started the 'Cut Rose Collection', with a dozen varieties of special breeds with thicker stems and better vase life for the cut flower industry. Few new flowers have caused such a stir in the horticultural world.

 

The Best David Austin Rose Shrubs
David Austin roses.
Photo by @london_blooms

 

David Austin Roses was established in 1969 and remains a family business. David JC Austin has worked alongside his father for over fifteen years. Today these English Roses are grown in every rose-loving nation in the world, winning awards in many different countries. The company has won fourteen gold medals for rose displays created for the Chelsea Flower Show.

Here are some marvelous examples of their beloved rose shrubs and an explanation of their origins:

Rose Golden Celebration (Ausgold)

One of the largest-flowered English roses, bearing rich yellow blooms in the form of giant cups. Golden Celebration has a strong tea fragrance, developing wonderfully combined notes of Sauternes wine and strawberry. It forms a rounded shrub, with ample foliage – the flowers held beautifully poised on long, arching branches.

 

​The Best David Austin Rose Shrubs
David Austin's Rose Shrub Golden Celebration also called Ausgold.
Photo by @my_rosegarden_konandai

 

This rose is named for its glorious color, a name that makes it the perfect rose for commemorating Golden Weddings, 50th Anniversaries, or any other celebration or important event.

Rose Boscobel (Auscousin)

The red buds of Boscobel open to beautifully formed, upward-facing, coral-pink rosettes. Small petals of varying shades mingle to provide a most pleasing effect. The myrrh fragrance has delicious hints of hawthorn, elderflower, pear, and almond. It forms an upright shrub. Boscobel was named after Charles II, who hid in an oak tree at Boscobel House during the English Civil War. 

 

​The Best David Austin Rose Shrubs
David Austin's Rose Shrub Boscobel, which is also called Auscousin.
Photo by @kumirose

 

Foster on Facebook:

"I have both Abraham Darby and Boscobel. Boscobel has all the flower attributes of Abraham Darby but none of the drawbacks. Boscobel is much more disease-resistant, which is why it has superseded AD in the UK. Both are extremely fragrant, bearing huge deep blooms that often reach 5 inches in diameter."

Rose Queen of Sweden (Austiger)

Exquisite little buds that open to half-enclosed cups, eventually becoming wide, shallow, upward-facing cups of pleasing formality. The color of the Queen of Sweden rose shrub begins as soft-apricot pink, gradually changing to pure soft pink over time. It also possesses a lovely myrrh fragrance.

 

The Best David Austin Rose Shrubs
Rose Shrub Queen of Sweden.
Photo by @scarlettandjoy

 

This rose forms a bushy, yet upright shrub. It was named to commemorate the Treaty of Friendship and Commerce between Sweden and Great Britain.

Rose Abraham Darby (Auscot)

Another David Austin rose shrub favorite is Abraham Darby. This is a well-rounded, vigorous shrub bearing very large, cup-shaped flowers in shades of apricot and yellow, becoming coral-pink as they age.

 

​The Best David Austin Rose Shrubs
David Austin Rose Shrub Abraham Darby.
Photo by @campa_ste_roses

 

The David Austin rose shrub Abraham Darby has a rich, fruity fragrance with a refreshing sharpness. It was named after one of the founding figures of the Industrial Revolution.

Rose Munstead Wood (Ausbernard)

Named after the home of Gertrude Jekyll in Surrey, England, Munstead Wood bears very deep, velvety crimson blooms, with lighter-colored outer petals. They are large cups at first, becoming shallowly cupped with time. There is, also, a strong Old Rose fragrance with fruity notes of blackberry, blueberry, and damson notes.

 

​The Best David Austin Rose Shrubs
Rose shrub Munstead Wood bred by David Austin.
Photo by @henryhoblog

 

The bushy, spreading growth forms a broad shrub; the young red-bronze leaves later turn mid-green. This rose shrub is well-loved because its fragrance is intoxicating, the color is stunning, and it just exudes romance, according to users.

Rose Princess Alexandra of Kent (Ausmerchant)

Princess Alexandra of Kent is a magnificent shrub rose with unusually large, bright pink flowers. Despite their size, the full-petalled and deeply cupped blooms are never clumsy as she holds them perfectly poised. This rose shrub is generous with its strong and delicious fresh tea fragrance, which changes to lemon and eventually inherits hints of blackcurrants. It is named for Princess Alexandra – an avid gardener.

 

​The Best David Austin Rose Shrubs
Rose Shrub Princess Alexandra of Kent.
Photo by @tainiy_sad

 

Rose Lady of Shallot (Ausnyson)

Rich orange-red buds open to chalice-shaped blooms, filled with loosely arranged, orange petals. The surrounding outer petals of Lady of Shallot are salmon-pink with beautifully contrasting golden-yellow undersides. The variety has a pleasant, warm tea fragrance, with hints of spiced apple and cloves.

It quickly forms a bushy shrub with slightly arching stems and mid-green leaves, which have attractive, slightly bronzed tones when young. The name of this variety is taken from one of Alfred, Lord Tennyson’s poems to commemorate the 200th anniversary of his birth.

 

​The Best David Austin Rose Shrubs
Rose Shrub Lady of Shallot.
Photo by @ma_c78

 

Desdemona (Auskindling)

This is a rose shrub whose peachy pink buds open to beautiful, white, chalice-shaped blooms, with a pinkish hue. The incurved petals create an arresting interplay of light and shadow.

It has a strong old rose fragrance that has hints of almond blossom, cucumber, and lemon zest. It forms a most attractive neat, rounded, bushy shrub. Desdemona was named after the tragic heroine of Shakespeare’s Othello. It is no wonder this variety made the list of the best David Austin rose shrubs. 

 

​The Best David Austin Rose Shrubs
Rose Shrub Desdemona is named after the tragic heroine of Shakespeare’s Othello. 
Photo by @lizzie_in_the_orangery 

 

Olivia Rose Austin (Ausmixture)

Pretty buds of Olivia Rose Austin open to beautiful, cupped rosettes of an even, mid-pink coloring. They have a light to medium fruity fragrance. It commences flowering exceptionally early in the season and flowers in flushes until well into the autumn.

 

​The Best David Austin Rose Shrubs
The pretty buds of Rose Shrub Olivia Rose Austin.
Photo by @rokona18

 

It forms a very healthy, well-balanced shrub with dark green foliage, which shows off the flowers to the very best effect. This variety is named after the daughter of David Austin Junior and granddaughter of David Austin Senior. 

Rose Gertrude Jekyll (Ausbord)

The absolute winner of your favorite David Austin rose shrubs is Gertrude Jekyll. Always one of the first English Roses to start flowering, Gertrude Jekyll's perfect scrolled buds open to large, rosette-shaped flowers of bright glowing pink.

 

Rose Shrub Gertrude Jekyll's large, rosette-shaped flowers of bright glowing pink.
Rose Shrub Gertrude Jekyll's large, rosette-shaped flowers of bright glowing pink. Photo by @garden_with_malika

 

The strong, perfectly balanced Old Rose scent is often described as being the quintessential Old Rose fragrance. A vigorous rose, this variety forms a medium-sized, upright shrub. It is named for the famous garden designer and author Gertrude Jekyll.

Feature image by @london_blooms, header image by @david_austin_roses.

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