Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Top Ten English Roses for fragrance

I'm making my favourite cake .. it's Cardamon, Rose and Rhubarb and I'm off to the first ever Clandestine cake club in about an hour.  Apparently there are 21 people bringing cakes !

The rain has been constant for 8 days and whilst we've had an afternoon of sunshine it is now  raining again.   I have to admit I've getting a little crazy being inside and took to fantasising about the summer.   I imagine the warm sun on my face, a cool lemonade in my hand and in my head I am wandering about the garden listening to the bees humming whilst languidly pushing my nose into deep velvet scented English roses and draw in their heavenly scent.  Are you there with me? 

I do love roses and there are none better than David Austin, but I have to admit that whilst I appreciate a beautiful  rose I am absolutely smitten if they are fragrant, so I thought do a bit of virtual gardening and post a list of the top ten Fragrant English roses. 

Gertrude Jekyll has a powerful and beautifully rounded perfume we regard as the quintessential old rose fragrance: strong, rich, complex and perfectly balanced.

Munstead Wood has a strong old rose scent with warm, fruity notes of blackberry, blueberry and damson – what Robert Calkin describes as, “a real red-rose fragrance”.

Lady Emma Hamilton’s strong, deliciously fruity fragrance, with hints of pear, grape and citrus fruits, complements its tangerine-orange and yellow colouring perfectly.

Wollerton Old Hall is beautifully fragrant, boasting the distinctive English myrrh scent. At certain times, an intriguing element of grapefruit can be detected. Wollerton Old Hall is on my visitant list this summer! 

Harlow Carr’s heady old rose scent sits perfectly with its classic old rose form and enhances its gem-like beauty.  I love this one .. the fragrance has been described as reminiscent of rose-based cosmetics.

The Generous Gardener’s award-winning fragrance is a compellingly delicious mixture of old rose, musk and myrrh.  It can be trained to grow as a beautiful climber and I've got six in my garden ... . on a north west wall. 

Princess Alexandra of Kent has a delightful fresh tea fragrance that over time changes to lemon, eventually taking on an enticing hint of blackcurrants. ..   I'm going to be putting a fair few of these in my front border this year. 

Jubilee Celebration’s striking colouring is matched by a wonderfully bold fruity fragrance, with delectable hints of fresh lemon and raspberry and there is no doubt that the queen has sniffed this one! 

Golden Celebration’s magnificent yellow, tea-scented blooms often develop a mouth-watering combination of Sauterne wine and strawberry notes.

Port Sunlight’s contemporary, rich apricot colouring provides a charming contrast to its classic, rich, pure tea fragrance and perfect of the back of a border as it tall. 

photo's courtesy of David Austin Roses


  1. I want them all now!

  2. I adore the scent of roses... it's one of my most favourite smells... your seeds arrived today (ooh, that sounds rude doesn't it?) !

  3. No Roseraie de le'Hay on the list http://www.davidaustinroses.com/english/showrose.asp?showr=279 ?

    I've now got 2 of them in my garden that my parents ordered from David Austin last year for my birthday this year having seen them at my local RHS garden (Hyde Hall) - the day I joined the RHS!

    Looking forward to seeing what they have to offer at Chelsea this year!


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