The Right Roses

When You Just Want The Very Best

Anne Boleyn rose The Right roses review english roses david austin gardening
'Rose Review' Series Color: Pink David Austin roses Disease resistance: Excellent Flowering: Repeat flowering Fragrance: light Ideal: Pots & Containers Rose: Shrub rose Shrub size: Small - Medium (3.5 ft)

Anne Boleyn Rose Review | David Austin 1999

Anne Boleyn rose


Fragrance Strength


Repeat Flowering


Bloom Size




Suitable for containers


Tolerance of shade


Disease resistance


Tolerance of poor soil


Few thorns


Best for cuttings



  • Incredibly gorgeous
  • Attractive polished leaves
  • Very floriferous
  • Excellent disease resistance
  • Relatively compact growth habit


  • Blooms are not large
  • Anne Boleyn would shatter quite quickly
  • Stems spread a little bit
  • Fragrance is only ‘light’



English Shrub Rose bred by David Austin

David Austin

Large sprays of cupped, rosette blooms, with symmetrically arranged petals. They are a soft shade of warm mid pink and have just a hint of a button eye. Its low, spreading growth builds up to form a neatly mounded shrub with soft green, highly polished foliage. Named for the second of Henry VIII’s six wives. David Austin, 1999.

The Right Roses:

David Austin introduced Anne Boleyn for the UK in 1999. He named this rose after Anne Boleyn, the Queen of England from 1533 to 1536 as the second wife of King Henry VIII. Queen Anne Boleyn is well-known for playing a key figure in the political and religious transformation in England about 500 years ago.


“Anne Boleyn, Boleyn also spelled Bullen, (born 1507?—died May 19, 1536, London, England), second wife of King Henry VIII of England and mother of Queen Elizabeth I. The events surrounding the annulment of Henry’s marriage to his first wife, Catherine of Aragon, and his marriage to Anne led him to break with the Roman Catholic Church and brought about the English Reformation.

Anne’s father was Sir Thomas Boleyn, later earl of Wiltshire and Ormonde. After spending part of her childhood in France, she returned to England in 1522 and lived at Henry’s court and drew many admirers. A desired marriage with Lord Henry Percy was prevented on Henry’s order by Cardinal Wolsey, and at some undetermined point the king himself fell in love with her.

In 1527 Henry initiated secret proceedings to obtain an annulment from his wife, the aging Catherine of Aragon; his ultimate aim was to father a legitimate male heir to the throne. For six years Pope Clement VII, under pressure from Henry’s rival Charles V, refused to grant the annulment, but all the while Henry’s passion for Anne was strengthening his determination to rid himself of his queen. About January 25, 1533, Henry and Anne were secretly married. The union was made public on Easter of that year, and on May 23 Henry had the archbishop of CanterburyThomas Cranmer, pronounce the marriage to Catherine null and void. In September Anne gave birth to a daughter, the future queen Elizabeth I.

Anne’s arrogant behaviour soon made her unpopular at court. Although Henry lost interest in her and began liaisons with other women, the birth of a son might have saved the marriage. Anne had a miscarriage in 1534, and in January 1536 she gave birth to a stillborn male child. On May 2, 1536, Henry had her committed to the Tower of London on a charge of adultery with various men and even incest with her own brother. She was tried by a court of peers, unanimously convicted, and beheaded on May 19. On May 30 Henry married Jane Seymour. That Anne was guilty as charged is unlikely; she was the apparent victim of a temporary court faction supported by Thomas Cromwell”.



Rose ‘Anne Boleyn’ is an incredibly gorgeous little rose. Almost everything about her is so attractive that she is a great option towards front of the border.


Rose ‘Anne Boleyn’ is an incredibly gorgeous little rose.

The Right Roses |


Anne Boleyn rose: The pros

Anne Boleyn has five main strengths.

First, her blooms are incredibly gorgeous! Each bloom is truly a unique masterpiece of art. We often hear that some gardeners are not very happy with David Austin roses because they tend to fade in heat or as they age. Many would consider fading as one of the weaknesses of David Austin roses. However, color variation must be one of the biggest strengths of Anne Boleyn. She shows such a sensational color variation over time that you would enjoy and treasure every single stage of that process. Absolutely every single stage is so exquisite! Gradually evolving from pink to soft pink, and then very soft pink. So delicate and attractive. The team at The Right Roses strongly believes that in terms of appearance, Anne Boleyn is everything David Austin meant when he said that his “goal remains the same – to try to develop the healthiest roses possible without compromising the beauty, fragrance, grace, most importantly, their charm.”

Second, Anne Boleyn has attractive polished leaves. The Right Roses would always prefer to look at the holistic rose experience when we evaluate a rose. It is the total experience that a rose can generate. How happy you are with many and many aspects of a rose? The attractiveness of the blooms. Her fragrance strength. The notes of her fragrance. And, so on. We particularly pay a lot of attention of the leaves. Perhaps, the foliage may not be the thing that capture your immediate attention when seeing a rose. However, it is something that would make the blooms much more attractive. Anne Boleyn produces lovely polished leaves. Team The Right Roses is big fans of shiny and polished foliage, which gives the image of freshness and healthiness to a rose. David Austin has introduced a few roses with polished foliage, such as Anne Boleyn, The Mill On The Floss, The Generous Gardener, and Emily Bronte.

Third, Anne Boleyn is very floriferous. She is indeed an exceptionally free-flowering rose bearing neat rosettes. At the moment (2020), she is not one of the best David Austin roses for flowering. However, considering she was introduced in 1999, it is very impressive.

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, Anne Boleyn’s disease resistance is excellent. She is not totally clear of black spot. However, it is absolutely very good. If the black spot pressure in your area is high, you may want to consider Olivia Rose Austin as well. She is such a terrific rose in terms of disease resistance.

Fifth, Anne Boleyn has a compact and relatively small growth habit. Therefore, she is an ideal rose for front of the border or pots. In our opinion, she is a great rose being planted under (around) a standard rose. Very lovely. Of course, we understand that it is about personal preference.

Anne Boleyn rose: The cons

Anne Boleyn has four main weaknesses.

First, her blooms are not large. The bloom size is about medium (2’’ or 5 cm). David Austin has introduced a few rose varieties producing very large blooms, e.g., The Lady Gardener, Jubilee Celebration, Golden Celebration and Princess Alexandra of Kent. The last two roses (Golden Celebration and Princess Alexandra of Kent) consistently produce very large blooms (probably the largest ones). You may also want to consider Brother Cadfael. The bloom sizes of Gabriel Oak, The Ancient Mariner, and Princess Crown Margareta are also very nice.

Second, Anne Boleyn would shatter quite quickly in heat. In the UK or Europe in general, she would last just fine. However, in the warmer climates, this weakness would become a bigger problem.

Third, although Anne Boleyn has a smaller growth habit, her stems spread a little bit. In other words, she has a delicate sprawling habit. Therefore, her shrub is not the neatest one. Just has a slightly messy look. However, with good pruning, her shrub would look a lot more attractive after a couple of years.

Fourth, her fragrance is only ‘light’. Therefore, she probably would thrill the avid gardeners who select roses only based on fragrance strength.

Anne Boleyn rose in different climates

To be updated.

Anne Boleyn rose: The similarities

In our opinion, Anne Boleyn resembles three roses. They are all wonderful roses.

Boscobel is a wonderful. We believe that it should be one of the highest rated David Austin roses. Very floriferous with a beautiful bloom form. It also has a relatively small growth habit.

Gentle Hermione, like Anne Boleyn, is an incredibly delicate rose. Very attractive to bees. Very healthy. And, very strong fragrance. However, you must make sure that it is the fragrance you like.

Eustacia Vye (2019) is almost a perfect rose. She tolerates shade. Strong fragrance. Very healthy. And, extremely (!) floriferous!

Anne Boleyn rose: The details

Height & Spread: 3.5ft x 3ft Color: Mid pink Fragrance: Light
Fragrance notes: Flowering: Repeat flowering Suitable for containers: Yes
Sun exposure: Partial sunlight Bloom size: Medium (2’’ or 5 cm) Disease resistance: Excellent
Zones: Zones 5-11 Petal count: 110 petals Sub type: English Musk Hybrid

Photo credit: The Right Roses | and

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