English Roses- Classic Favorites and Descriptions


English roses are different from other types of roses in both appearance and growth habit. This article will give you descriptions of each type of flower shape and examples of  many classic favorites, as well as comparisons with the Hybrid Tea Roses. This type of rose, also known as David Austin Roses, is found in yard and gardens everywhere. They are made of a full rosette flower with a cup shape. They combine fragrances and character of the Old Roses and still offers a wide range of colors with repeat blooming. English Roses are commonly found painted in all forms of art.

"English Rose 'Janet' "

English Rose 'Janet'

"English Roses Have Distinctive Shapes"

English Roses have distinctive shapes

Garden roses, for many centuries, had been double-petalled flowers arranged in the shape of a cup or rosette, or a single or semi-double flower. In the later part of the nineteenth century, breeders began to produce roses for their buds alone.

These were developed into the Tea Roses and the Hybrid Perpetuals and later, what we know as the Hybrid Teas, which were grown to be upright and short.

Hybrid Teas then became so popular that the Old Roses, as they were to be known, began to disappear from the garden. From that moment on Hybrid Teas have been the most popular type of roses.

Today, most Old Rose enthusiasts believe that the Hybrid Teas and Floribundas have become too ‘stumpy’ and angular in growth and their flowers too harsh in color and character. The Hybrids seem to lack the rich fragrance that was found in the Old Roses.

"David Austin Roses"

David Austin Roses in Bloom

History and Comparison of Old Roses to Hybrid Teas

While Old Roses are more beautiful, as I believe, the Hybrid Teas and the Floribundas do have certain advantages. They have been bred to produce flowers that are produced throughout the summer. Some of the Older Roses have the ability to bloom more often, but are unreliable to do more frequent blooming.

"Pat Austin English Rose"

'Pat Austin' one of the brightest colored English Roses

The Modern Roses have a wider range of colors than do the Old Roses. Most of the Old Roses are soft to deep pink, whites, and purple and mauve. The crimson color in Old Roses didn’t appear until the Hybrid Perpetuals appeared in the Nineteenth century.

While there were some pale yellow roses in existence at the time, the strong colored yellow roses were developed from the French rose breeder Joseph Pernet-Ducher from the hybridization of the Austrian briar with the Hybrid Teas around 1900.

English Roses were the result of much experimentation and growing thousands of seedlings that would produce a type of rose that had color, bloom time, and the weaknesses found in earlier roses taken out of them. The result was a more robust and disease-free rose that resists disease somewhat more than do Modern Rose types.

The developers of the English Roses wanted to produce a more beautiful rose on a more beautiful shrub, and have a more healthy and robust plant. They achieved exactly what they were trying to develop and gave use the beautiful English Roses we know today.

These roses are sometimes called David Austin Roses, but they are mostly known as English Roses. It only seemed proper to claim them as English, especially since the French had marigolds, the Japanese have peonies and chrysanthemums, and the French marigolds and the Dutch and German irises.

"William Shakespeare"

English Rose 'William Shakespeare'

Shapes and Flowers of English Roses

There are basically six basic shapes of David Austin's English Roses. Each with endless gradations, which come from the Old Roses, and a seventh which has the bud shape of the Hybrid Teas.

1. Single Flowers-there are only a few single-flowered English Roses and they are not the easiest to breed, since the double rose has been in existence far longer. Such varieties as ‘Ann’ and ‘The Alexander Rose’ are good examples. They tend to not be very fragrant.

2. Semi-Double Flowers- move a step up from the singles. Their flowers will vary a lot and seem to have attractive stamens. They may be cup-shaped or flat and may appear in sprays or just a few blooms. Examples of these would be, ‘Windflower’, ‘Scarborough Fair’, and ‘Cordelia’.

"English Rose-Eglantyne"

English Rose 'Eglantyne'

3. Rosette-Shaped Flowers- often described as the quintessential English Rose. It looks much like the Old Roses with intertwining of the petals that offers great beauty. They may be loosely or closely packed, have a clustered button look, or may they may reflex at the edges. Appearances will depend on the variety and even at that, may differ within the variety. There are many roses in this group, a few are, ‘Eglantyne’, ’Mary Rose’ ‘Teasing Georgia’, and ‘The Countryman’.

4. Deep Cup flowers- are the most impressive type flower as they are deeply cupped. They may be filled with petals, as in ‘Brother Cadfael’, or they may be an open goblet-like, as in ‘Golden Celebration. Most of these will open almost completely, but will retain a little un-opened bit. They of the flowers are very large but even on the shrubs, they hold their heads up well. Examples are, ‘Heritage’, ‘Jude the Obscure’, ‘Scepter’d Isle’ and ‘the Ingenious Mr. Fairchild’.

"David Austin Rose 'Teasing Georgia'

David Austin rose 'Teasing Georgia'

5. Shallow Cups- are between the rosette and the deep cup. These can be equally attractive and often offers of the most perfect of all flowers. Examples are, ‘Crown Princess Margereta’ and ‘Teasing Georgia’.

6. The Recurved Flower- is apparent in some these roses as they seem to have blooms with petals that reflex to form a recurved or dome shaped flower. This type of flower sometimes starts as a rosette or even a shallow cup and then the petals turn back- sometimes almost forming a ball. Examples are ‘Grace’ and ‘Jubilee Celebration’.

"English Rose- Golden Celebration"

English Rose 'Golden Celebration'

7. The Bud Flower- as the English Roses appeared to be somewhat of a revolution when they appeared int the 1960’s. They were a return to what the garden rose had always been.

"English Rose-Winchester Cathedral"

Winchester Cathedral a beautiful white rose

The pointed bud of the Hybrid Tea has long been a favorite of gardeners. The variety ‘Janet’, often has attractive Hybrid Tea buds which open to a rosette-shaped flower, both the bud and the open flower hang on long branches on a size able shrub, most elegantly.

I believe the English Roses are some of the most beautiful roses available today for your yard and garden. They are truly a delight for any gardener to grow. The only problem is, having to decide which one of these beauties to choose. Each David Austin Rose, truly has a beauty of its own.

Yard and garden rescue.com has many interesting articles related to roses and how to care for  many types of plants. Find articles on how to winterize your roses and other informative topics.

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