The Right Roses

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Ambridge rose The Right Roses review David Austin English rose photo credit: T.Kiya from Japan
'Rose Review' Series Color: Apricot & Orange Color: Pink David Austin roses Disease resistance: Average Disease resistance: Poor Flowering: Repeat flowering Fragrance: medium - strong Heat tolerance Highest rated roses by gardeners worldwide Shrub size: Small - Medium (3.5 ft)

Ambridge Rose Review | David Austin 1986

Ambridge rose

29 USD

Fragrance Strength


Repeat Flowering


Bloom Size




Suitable for containers


Tolerance of shade


Disease resistance


Tolerance of poor soil


Few thorns


Best for cuttings



  • Heat tolerant!
  • Very delicious fragrance
  • A good bloomer
  • Forming an attractive shrub


  • Coloring varies dramatically!
  • Not a very healthy rose ('slightly poor', The Right Roses)



English Shrub Rose – bred by David Austin


David Austin

Deeply cupped, medium-sized blooms, opening to loosely formed rosettes. They are a lovely, pure apricot colour, paling towards the edges. Fine myrrh fragrance. Flowers freely and continuously on neat, bushy growth. Particularly good in warmer climates.

A short, bushy rose that can be used in rose beds or towards the front of a border. The flowers are medium-sized and apricot-pink in color, becoming a very soft, pale pink towards the edges. At first they are of neat,cupped formation, later opening out into very attractive rosettes. A tough free-flowering and altogether trouble-free rose, which does particularly well in the hotter areas. It has the the fine English Rose myrrh fragrance, which is almost unique to English Roses.


The Right Roses:

David Austin introduced Ambridge rose in 1986. At the moment (January 2020), Ambridge rose is still available in the US.

Ambridge is such as lovely little rose. Although David Austin introduced it 34 years ago, it is still one of the most desired David Austin roses.


Although David Austin introduced it 34 years ago, it is still one of the most desired David Austin roses

The Right Roses |


Ambridge rose: The pros

Rose ‘Ambridge’ has four main strengths.

First, it can tolerate the warmer (hotter) climates every well. This is a very important characteristic to rose growers in the US and many other countries in the warmer climates. It can thrive even in zones 9 – 10 in the US. Therefore, it should be listed as one of great options for many gardeners. David Austin has introduced a few other fabulous roses which can tolerate the heat very well such as Evelyn, Carding Mill, Heritage, and Molineux.

Second, Ambridge rose produces a lovely fragrance. David Austin only ranked its fragrance strength as ‘medium – strong’. However, it is such a tasty fragrance. It is really intense to us with brilliant notes of Myrrh.

Broadly speaking, David Austin roses produce four main types of fragrance: fruity (e.g., Lady Emma Hamilton, Jubilee Celebration), old rose (e.g., Emily Bronte, Gertrude Jekyll, Desdemona), tea (e.g., Graham Thomas), and Myrrh (e.g., Gentle Hermione, Claire Austin). Of course, it is all about personal preferences when we talk about roses. However, according to our experience, many gardeners find it easier to enjoy roses with fruity and old-rose fragrance. Myrrh is a beautiful fragrance. Nonetheless, you should make sure that it is your thing.

Third, Ambridge is a good bloomer. It repeats very well. Especially, given the fact that David Austin introduced it very long time ago, if you compare with other David Austin introductions about 20 years ago, Ambridge would certainly be a standout performer.

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).

Fourth, Ambridge forms an attractive bush. It can stay relatively small even in warmer States in the US. David Austin reported that its size is about 3ft (height) x 2ft (spread). However, sometimes Ambridge can get to 4ft x 4ft. Therefore, it is really a rose bred for the US. Gardeners there can plant it closer the front of the border.

Ambridge rose: The cons

Ambridge rose has two weaknesses.

First, its coloring can vary dramatically in the heat. David Austin described its colors as Soft apricot pink. However, again, its colors can change across a wide range of colors, depending the weather, time of the year, and probably the soil in your garden. It can go from a dark pink rose, to a light pink rose, and then into an apricot pink rose. It is very interesting. The color of each bloom may come as a presant surprise because you never know what to expect with Ambridge. However, for some gardeners, they just want a monotone rose. One color all the time. No fading. No changing.

Second, Ambridge is not a very healthy rose. According to David Austin, its disease resistance is ‘average’. However, we believe that Ambridge’s healthy is ‘slightly poor’. In some gardens with a high pressure on black spot, its disease resistance is really poor. Gardeners have experienced so many troubles with black spot, rust and so on when they grow Ambridge. Therefore, you should really keep in mind its poor disease resistance when you decide to plant Ambridge in your garden.

Ambridge rose: The similarities

It is particularly difficult to identify a rose or two which looks like Ambridge. As you know, its coloring varies so dramatically.

At some point, we think that Ambridge looks quite similar to The Generous Gardener. It is such a healthy rose with an addictive fragrance. It is one of most fragrant David Austin roses, to be precise.  Although it is a climbing rose, we can grow it as a shrub because it can self-support very well.

Another one is Scepter’d Isle. It is probably one of the most popular David Austin roses. It produces a strong and tasty fragrance. It is also so floriferous and relatively disease resistant (‘good’).

Ambridge rose: The details

Height & Spread: 3ft x 2ft Color: Soft apricot pink Fragrance: Medium-strong
Fragrance notes: Myrrh Flowering: Repeat Flowering Suitable for containers: Yes
Sun exposure: Full sunlight Bloom size: Medium (2 – 3.5’’ or 5 – 9 cm) Disease resistance: Slightly poor (The Right Roses), Average (David Austin)


Photo credit: T.Kiya from Japan, T.Kiya from Japan, T.Kiya from Japan



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3 months ago

I love my Ambridge which is in a container. My biggest con is that in it’s second year of flowering it rained a lot and all the buds rotted. Flowers do not cope with rain at all. I’ve had no disease issues.

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