The 10 roses of Coworth Park with David Austin Roses
June 20, 2022
David Austin Roses
In the early 1950s, David Austin set out to create a more beautiful rose. From this vision, the company has gone on to breed over 200 rose varieties from their family farm in Shropshire, many of which have won numerous award at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show and are known and loved around the world. Here their rose expert Andrew Rollings shares his expertise and enthusiasm to highlight our favourites at Coworth Park.
This one is a firm favourite of mine and has twice been voted the nation’s favourite rose. Its large pink blooms are one of the first English roses to start flowering in early spring, and sometimes flower at Coworth Park as late as December. I’ve had them still blooming in my own garden on Christmas Day! The perfectly balanced Old Rose scent is what I describe as the quintessential rose fragrance. Named in honour of the famous English garden designer who created over 400 picturesque gardens in the UK, Europe and America, I think this rose is a very fitting tribute to her outstanding legacy.
Top tip – The incredible scent of this rose makes it the perfect choice to plant outside a window, allowing you to enjoy wafts of fragrance without even stepping outside.
This rose is known for its deep crimson-pink petals and always creates a glorious display each summer at Coworth Park. Here at David Austin, we’ve swapped it out for our newer Gabriel Oak rose which has the same amazing fruity fragrance and looks almost identical, no wonder it’s always the star of our stand at Chelsea.
Top tip – Both Sophy’s Rose and Gabriel Oak are happy growing in almost any conditions and make particularly stunning borders and cut flower arrangements.
This rose is named after Horace Warpole’s Gothic Revival house near Twickenham, which makes a great day out from Coworth Park. It has lots of petals forming a cupped rosette shape and gives off a delicious myrrh and heather honey fragrance. These plants tend to grow to around 3m/10ft high, have lovely dark glossy foliage, and have been a popular choice since we created it in 2006.
Top tip – As this rose grows very tall, be sure to prune the lower branches hard to encourage them to still create flowers for your enjoy at eyelevel.
This rose is named after the Irish flautist and is happy growing in sun or shade. It has a wonderfully unusual bloom with a gorgeous swirl pattern surrounded by a mass if tissue paper-thin petals and shiny foliage. Its vigorous, upright growth makes it a wonderful climber in a short time. The strikingly beautiful flowers are mid-pink in the centre, gradually becoming lighter towards the edges.
Top tip – This is my favourite rose to choose for a vase of cut flowers as the unusual shape never fails to impress and makes a great talking
I have a soft spot for this rose, as it’s one that features in my own garden. It was the first rose I bought when I joined David Austin and I describe it as the perfect English Rose. When I close my eyes, the fragrance transports me right back to making perfume from petals as a child. Although we no longer breed this rose, Emily Brontë® is a great alternative to choose.
Top tip – Both Mary Rose and Emily Brontë® are versatile roses that grow well in pots and containers. This allows you to move them easily around your garden to see which spot they like the most.
This climbing rose has delicate flowers and is almost thorn less, making it easy to handle. I love the fact that it has a beautiful mahogany-coloured stem so even when it’s not in flower it looks impressive. Its buds are a rich pink but open to an almost translucent pink with golden stamens. A real beauty.
Top tip – Mortimer Sackler grows well in shady areas and is ideal for growing over a pagoda like the one at Coworth Park.
Expect large sprays of cupped, rosette blooms from this rose, with symmetrically arranged petals fit for a queen. They bloom to a soft shade of warm mid pink and have just a hint of a button eye. The low, spreading growth builds up to form a neatly mounded shrub with soft green, polished foliage.
Top tip – The Anne Boleyn rose grows well in shade and part shade. As it doesn’t grow too tall it’s ideal for smaller and more formal gardens.
In blind smell tests, Harlow Carr reigns supreme with it delightfully strong Old Rose scent. Named after the Royal Horticultural Society’s garden in Yorkshire, we created this rose to celebrate the society’s 200th anniversary. Its flowers create the perfectly formed shallow cups in the purest mid-pink, which flower very freely from early summer until well into autumn.
Top tip – Watch out as this one is particular prickly. I recommend arming yourself with some good gloves and a pair of sharp secateurs.
This one is an exceedingly pretty rose of soft, glowing apricot-pink with a button eye. Each bloom is packed with numerous delicately ruffled petals that look great in any setting. At David Austin Roses, this flower has been superseded by the more hardy and disease resistant Eustacia Vye rose.
Top tip – As with most roses, don’t be afraid to prune hard as it will encourage the plant to work hard and create an abundance of flowers.
Francis E. Lester
This one is another regular visitor to the RHS Chelsea Flower Show where we often use it for creating beautiful arches for people to wander through and enjoy its pleasing scent. The small, single bloom of this rambler have the look of a dog rose or apple blossom, giving a natural look. In autumn, it produces brightly coloured hips, giving interest through different seasons.
Top tip – This is a great choice for attracting wildlife as bees and butterflies love the flowers and the hips attract the birds.
View the latest issue of Collect, our bi-annual magazine featuring a curated mix of culture, art and lifestyle, together with the latest news from Dorchester Collection hotels.