David Austin's most fragrant varieties of shrub roses

The British breeder has devoted his life to breeding roses based on old garden roses with the virtues of modern varieties. Austen roses are highly prized for their ornamental qualities, diversity of hues, resistance to disease and ability to bloom throughout the season, and the varieties shown below are also characterized by their rich fragrance.

Harlow Carr garden rose

Harlow Carr

The lush bush with outstanding disease resistance is covered with numerous cup-shaped flowers, which persist until wilting. It is characterized by the classic scent of the Old English rose. New leaves have a bronze hue and turn green as they grow.

Where to plant Harlow Carr roses are a great choice for creating a main accent in a flower bed or a low hedge. They form rounded shrubs and grow quickly.

Garden rose Gertrude Jekyll

Gertrude Jekyll

The luxurious rosettes appear quite early and exude a fragrance of Old English roses that is intense and harmonious. The stems are strong and do not bend under the weight of the flower and the leaves are relatively large.

Where to plant Gertrude Jekyll Rose forms a medium-sized upright bush. In a flower garden it can be placed in the central part or in the background. The variety is also suitable for growing as a low climbing plant.

Strawberry Hill garden rose

Strawberry Hill

Attractive in all stages of development, the flowers are medium-sized, cup-shaped with a lush rosette of petals and an aroma of myrrh and heather honey. The fresh flowers are more intensely colored, gradually turning pale from the edges to the center and unfurling to reveal the tiniest yellow stamens.

Where to plant Tall bush quickly grows, and its form is not particularly strict: the stems with dark green glossy leaves slightly bow under the weight of flowers. It is a good choice for backdrops, mixborders or rose borders. Strawberry Hill can also be grown as a short climbing rose.

garden rose Boscobel


Numerous red buds appear on a dense, regular shaped bush with strong upright stems. They open into bright salmon-colored rosettes with a multifaceted fragrance of myrrh and subtle notes of elderberry, pear, and almond. The shade of the petals in the inflorescence varies, which gives a special charm.

The sturdy and hardy Boscobel rose reaches a medium size and holds its shape well, and its glossy, dark green leaves will be an ornament to any garden. It will look great in the center of a border.

Gentle Hermione garden rose

Gentle Hermione

With its classic warm myrrh scent, this variety is particularly resistant to rainy weather. Its flowers are the classic Old English style with carefully arranged petals which have a faint pink outer side and a more intense pink closer to the stamens; the lower petals become lighter and pearly as they fade. The young leaves are reddish, gradually changing to green and becoming darker.

Where to plant Gentle Hermione Rose forms beautiful medium-sized rounded shrubs with stems that slope slightly under the weight of the flowers. Shrubs grow noticeably wider over time. The best location for them is in the center of the border.

The Poet's Wife garden rose

The Poet’s Wife

The luxurious bright yellow roses are decorated with a ring of bent lower petals. The rich hue and pronounced lemon aroma of the opened flowers gradually give way to a pale yellow coloring and sweeter fruity notes.

Where to plant The Poet’s Wife’s short, rounded rose bushes are suitable for growing in containers. The glossy foliage and slight slope of the stems will also look good in a traditional rose border or in combination with other plants in a mixboard.

Golden Celebration garden rose

Golden Celebration

Delightful golden cup-shaped flowers exude a tea-like fragrance with faint hints of Soternes wine and strawberries. Golden Celebration has one of the largest flower sizes of any English rose selected by David Austin. It has long, well-foliated stems with light green, glossy leaves that tilt only slightly under the weight of the blossoming buds.

Where to plant Golden Celebration Roses are very unpretentious and keep a neat, rounded bush shape. They can be grown in containers or as a short climbing plant in warmer climates.

Lady Emma Hamilton garden rose

Lady Emma Hamilton

The coloration of the flowers of this variety is atypical of English roses. The dark red buds with orange streaks open into rounded flowers with bent-back petals of rich, almost tangerine color inside and yellowish orange outside. The flowers contrast with the bronze-green glossy foliage, which eventually turns dark green. The intense fruity fragrance of this rose has notes of pear, grape and citrus.

Where to plant Lady Emma Hamilton Rose has upright stems, but the bush branches abundantly and grows wide. The variety is good in the mass of plants, in the central part of the flower bed and in mixborders, it is also suitable for growing in a container.

Charles Darwin garden rose

Charles Darwin

The flowers of this variety, dense and rounded at first, change shape when they open to a voluminous cup-shaped shape, sometimes with an eye in the center. Their hue can be described as old gold, sometimes with a lemon or sandy undertone. As the flower opens and fades, the petals turn pale, which looks quite attractive in the mass of the bush. The scent of the Charles Darwin rose varies depending on the weather – it can be mild, reminiscent of floral tea, or almost lemony.

Where to plant The shrub has a beautiful lush bouquet shape and grows well in width. The ideal place for the variety is in the center of a flower bed in combination with other plants or a rose border.

Jubilee Celebration garden rose

Jubilee Celebration

These large dome-shaped roses have an unusual rich salmon-pink coloration with a golden cast on the inside of the petals. Each flower stands elegantly above the green foliage and exudes a fruity fragrance with hints of lemon and raspberry. The variety is characterized by abundant flowering.

Where to plant Jubilee Celebration Rose forms a strong, broad and exceptionally beautiful bush with drooping stems – a good solution for container keeping as well as center or backdrop of a border.

Munstead Wood garden rose

Munstead Wood

The luxurious large cup-shaped flowers with aroma of Old English rose and fruity notes of blackberries, blueberries and prunes are colored in a deep burgundy hue. When the flower is fully opened, the stamens are visible between the petals.

Where to plant Munstead Wood Rose is ideal for growing in a container. A short, branched shrub with contrasting reddish-bronze young and green lower leaves is also appropriate in the foreground of borders.

Garden Rose Jude the Obscure

Jude the Obscure

Large spherical flowers with a fruity fragrance reminiscent of guava and sweet white wine adorn the bush abundantly throughout the season. The petals are colored with a medium intensity yellow on the inside and a paler shade on the outside.

A short shrub with strong upright branched stems and light green leaves will look particularly attractive next to garden paths or benches. In warmer climates, Jude the Obscure can be grown as a climbing rose.

Sweet Juliet garden rose

Sweet Juliet

The neatly formed medium-sized, light peach colored rosettes give off a fresh and intense scent of tea rose, gradually acquiring lemony notes as the flower unfolds.

Where to plant Sweet Juliet Rose forms a powerful bush with numerous erect stems – it will fit perfectly into the background of a border. Because of its small width, this variety should preferably be planted in groups of 2-3 bushes. Unlike most English roses, it needs stronger pruning: for abundant flowering, the stems should be cut to half the length.

Alan Titchmarsh garden rose

Alan Titchmarsh

The rounded, clustered buds produce large, dome-shaped flowers with curved petals and a classic Old English rose scent with a subtle citrus undertone. The outer petals are pale pink and the central ones are more intense. The young leaves appear red and turn a glossy green rather quickly. The stems bow elegantly under the weight of the flowers.

Where to plant In order to show its advantages in full glory, the plant will need several seasons to develop. The attractive, rounded shrub of Alan Titchmarsh will grow quite tall with little pruning and will fit perfectly into the background of a flower border. A more intensive pruning of the stems will provide a medium height, optimal for the central part of the landscape composition.