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A Shropshire Lad rose. The Right Roses. Rose review. Images. David Austin English Rose. Photo credit:
'Rose Review' Series Award winning Color: Pink David Austin roses Disease resistance: Average Flowering: Repeat flowering Fragrance: light - medium Ideal: 10 ft walls or fences Ideal: 6ft wall or fence Ideal: Front of a house Ideal: Obelisk or Pillar Ideal: Standard Arch Rose: Climbing

A Shropshire Lad Rose Review | David Austin 1996

A Shropshire Lad rose


Fragrance Strength


Repeat Flowering


Bloom Size




Suitable for containers


Tolerant of shade


Disease resistance


Tolerance of poor soil


Few thorns


Best for cuttings



  • Award-winning rose
  • Producing large and beautiful blooms (3.5 - 5'' or 9 - 12.5 cm)


  • His fragrance is not strong (light - medium)
  • Blooms do not last long.
  • Blooms wilt in heat.
  • He needs full sunlight.
  • Not a healthy rose. Average disease resistance.
  • Not floriferous
  • Not very vigorous
  • Hard to train him



English Climbing Rose bred by David Austin


Guest of Honor

At The Right Roses, we firmly believe that our visitors play an extremely important role in making this website the best one in the world about roses. This time, we would like to devote this review to BS. This review is a request from her a few days ago. We would like to thank her for her kind support!


Thank you so much for this site! I am a budding rose enthusiast and I’m planning my first rose bed. I already have several DA varieties throughout my garden, but this time I will be adding about five shrub roses and two climbing roses, with an emphasis on roses for cutting and some shade tolerance (there is a small dogwood nearby that may add some shade in the future). I have been doing tons of research and looking at reviews, but your site is the most thorough by far!

I’d love to have a review of A Shropshire Lad. I think it’s beautiful and size-wise it seems like a perfect climber for my front porch column. However, the reviews I’ve read have been mixed in terms of its repeat flowering.
Thanks so much and keep up the good work !

from BS


David Austin

Large, perfectly formed, slightly cupped, light peach-pink rosettes, with a lovely fruity Tea fragrance. A vigorous climber with plentiful large, dark green leaves. DavidᅠAustin, 1996.


The Right Roses:

David Austin introduced rose ‘A Shropshire Lad’ for the UK in 1996. He named this rose to honor the beauty of his local area, Shropshire.

According to David Austin, the name is taken from “A. E. Housman’s cycle of poems about Shropshire, published in 1896”. The poetry collection, titled “A Shropshire Lad”, consisted of 63 poems. This enormously popular poetry collection started off quite slowly. After 1898 (particularly after World War I), its popularity dramatically increased. On average, 13,500 copies were sold annually. In addition, David Austin is also a Shropshire lad himself. He was born in Shropshire on 16 February 1926.

David Austin has named many roses to pay tribute to the local people and places, such as Molineux (the local football stadium of  Wolverhampton Wanderers F.C), Scepter’d Isle (his own country, England), Albrighton Rambler (his own local area, Albrighton), and Charles Darwin (the English naturalist, born in Shropshire, England on 12 February 1809).

Overall, A Shropshire Lad is a good climbing rose. However, he is certainly not one of the best David Austin climbing roses.


…he is certainly not one of the best David Austin climbing roses”.

The Right Roses |


A Shropshire Lad rose: The pros


  • The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) Garden of Merit Award


A Shropshire Lad rose has two main strengths.

First, he is an award-winning rose. Certainly, this is a positive signal to gardeners all around the world when we pick a rose for our garden. The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) award him with a Merit Award in 2012. Here is a thorough list of all rose varieties which have won RHS Merit Award (as of 2017).

As of 2019, David Austin has introduced 29 rose varieties which won RHS Award of Garden Merit. If we consider all kinds of awards together, Strawberry Hill rose must be among the David Austin roses that won the largest number of awards (4 awards). The Generous Gardener (2 awards), Port Sunlight (1 award), Golden Celebration (3 awards), Lady Emma Hamilton (2 awards), Gertrude Jekyll (4 awards), Munstead Wood (4 awards).

Second, A Shropshire Lad rose produces incredibly beautiful, light peach-pink blooms. His color is so delicate and sophisticated. It is very hard to describe his beauty in words. The flower buds are coral-pink at first, then gradually fade to peach-pink, which is incredibly gorgeous. The bloom size is large ranging between 3.5 and 5’’ (9 – 12 cm). Each bloom, in general, has approximately 90 petals, which is quite average for a David Austin rose. If you need a rose with a large number of petals, you may consider Spirit of Freedom. She produces about twice more petals in each bloom (200) than A Shropshire Lad (90).

A Shropshire Lad rose: The cons

A Shropshire Lad rose has 7 main weaknesses.

First, his fragrance is not strong. David Austin described his fragrance strength as “medium”. However, the team at The Right Roses believe that it would be more precise to rank his fragrance as “light – medium”. We understand that roses may not produce a constant fragrance strength all the time as it depends on their age in your garden, temperature, and humidity. To us, this is actually one of the beauty of roses. Their varied fragrance strength makes us the happiest gardeners whenever we could detect their strong and delicious fragrance. However, in the case of A Shropshire Lad, many times it is rather hard to detect anything of his fragrance.

Second, his blooms do not last long either in vase or on stems (about a couple of days). They fade and wilt quickly in the heat. As a result, you would not be able to enjoy his blooms for long.

Sometimes it could be rather annoying if your roses do not last long for two reasons. First, you must deadhead them more frequently. Second, they would not be the perfect cut flowers. Naturally, many gardeners would like to bring their beauty inside. However, it could be quite irritating if your roses can be on the dining table for only 1 or 2 days.

David Austin has introduced several great roses with long-lasting blooms, such as Jubilee Celebration, Golden Celebration and Princess Alexandra of Kent. In general, their blooms can last 5 – 6 days in the sun. In the rain, their blooms may last shorter.

If you would like to buy roses being best as cut flowers, you may want to consider Boscobel, Charlotte, Darcey Bussel, Golden Celebration, Graham Thomas, Jubilee Celebration, Lady of Shalott, Molineux, Munstead Wood, Princess Alexandra of Kent, Teasing Georgia, The Alnwick Rose, Windermere, and of course Spirit of Freedom.

Third, A Shropshire Lad needs full sunlight. He does not tolerate shade very well. The team at The Right Roses finds this characteristic of his quite unfortunate. As we mentioned above, he can not tolerate the heat well. So, naturally, you would probably consider giving him some shade. Nonetheless, he cannot take the shade very well either. Therefore, it is hard to make this rose happy. He is certainly not one of the roses for warmer climates. You would have to give him a lot of water. However, his blooms still wilt.

Fourth, he is not a healthy rose. David Austin rated his disease resistance as “excellent”. However, the team at The Right Roses think that it should be ‘average’, instead of ‘excellent’. Of course, it depends on the area you are in. However, A Shropshire Lad needs frequent sprays. If not, he can defoliate about 50% (if not more) because of black spot. Therefore, if you really prioritize disease resistance when selecting a rose, A Shropshire Lad is not the right rose for you.

Fifth, A Shropshire Lad is not floriferous. In other words, he does not repeat particularly well. He gives you an amazing Spring flush. However, there would be very little after Spring. Only few blooms after the Spring flush. That is it. Of course, the team at The Right Roses thinks that there are many things about a rose, other than just blooms and fragrance. For example, healthy foliage. Nonetheless, as mentioned above, his foliage is not healthy either.

David Austin has introduced 2 climbing roses and 1 rambling rose, being best for flowering, including: Mortimer Sackler, Iceberg, Malvern Hills. In addition, some shrub roses can rebloom extremely well, including Harlow Carr, Olivia Rose Austin, Princess Anne, Thomas a Becket, Gabriel Oak (2019), Kew Gardens, William & Catherine, Lady of Shalott, and Roald Dahl. The team at The Right Roses would like to add three more varieties being best for flowering, including Royal Jubilee (2012), Princess Alexandra of Kent (2007), and Boscobel (2012).

Sixth, A Shropshire Lad is not very vigorous. According to David Austin, he can get to 10 ft or 3 m tall. However, there is a big IF. If you live in a mild or warm climate, he can get to 10 ft tall. In a colder climate (e.g., Zone 5), he can grow to 7 ft or around 2 m tall at most. In fact, he only tolerates the winter in Zones 5 – 11. Therefore, he is not a very hardy rose. In a colder climate, it would be better to see him as a tall, big shrub rose, instead of a climbing rose.

Seventh, A Shropshire Lad’s canes are stiff. Therefore, it is hard to train him. However, he could be a great rose if you grow him against the wall. His stiff canes can be a positive because he would need less support.

A Shropshire Lad rose: The similarities

David Austin has introduced several great climbing rose. In our opinion, Claire Austin and The Generous Gardener are among his best climbing roses.

Claire Austin would be a great choice for your garden. She can get to 15 ft or 4.5 m tall. Moreover, she tolerates shade well. In addition, she produces such a strong and beautiful fragrance.

You may also want to consider The Generous Gardener. In fact, we can not speak enough about him. His fragrance is so strong. And, his dark green foliage is so healthy without any black spot. He can self-support. So, overall, a great beautiful climbing rose.

A Shropshire Lad rose: The details

Height: Up to 10ft (3m) Color: Light peach-pink Fragrance: Light – medium (The Right Roses), Medium (David Austin)
Fragrance notes: Fruity/Tea Flowering: Repeat Flowering Suitable for: 6ft Wall or Fence, 10ft Wall or Fence, Doorway, Obelisk or Pillar, Standard Arch
Sun exposure: Full Sunlight Bloom size: Lage (3.5 – 5’’ or 9 – 12.5 cm) Disease resistance: Average (The Right Roses), Excellent (David Austin)

Photo credit:


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Oksana Wilson
Oksana Wilson
6 months ago

Oh, not very good review of my favorite Shropshire Lad 🙁 Cannot agree with some of your statements. First, flowers last at least 4 days. Scent is divine. I like Shropshire Lad’s fragrance better then Gertrude’s. It is very tall, so I keep cutting it back slightly, but for someone who need taller climber he will reach considerable hight quickly. Health is better then Gertrude Jekyll or Graham Thomas, similar to Bathsheba. It does not make good cut flower, but for me his flowers are the most beautiful on all stages. Unlike Bathsheba’s flowers which amazing color and shape lasts… Read more »

Giang Tran
Giang Tran
6 months ago

I’m living in a very hot climate. I am going to order from David Austin: jude the obsure, a shropshire lad and lady emma hamilton. Do you have any suggestions for me in order to make them grow well?

Best wishes,

Anna Sylvan
Anna Sylvan
5 months ago

Thanks for your review, they are always a pleasure to read. However, I just wanted to give you my experience. I’m in south England, and I’m very pleased with my A Shropshire Lad. it’s true that I have other roses that are more floriferous, but when he blooms he takes my breath away. I’ve never seen such beautiful blooms, and I have around 30 roses in my garden. Large, cupped, comes in clusters, the most gorgeous soft pink, old fashioned colour, and the fragrance is fruity and strong. He grows tall against my south-facing fence and foliage is dark green… Read more »

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