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Carding Mill rose the right roses english rose review david austin
'Rose Review' Series Color: Apricot & Orange Color: Orange Color: Pink Color: Yellow David Austin roses Disease resistance: Good Flowering: Repeat flowering Fragrance: medium Heat tolerance Highest rated roses by gardeners worldwide Rose: Shrub rose Shrub size: Medium (4 ft) Shrub size: Small - Medium (3.5 ft)

Carding Mill Rose | David Austin 2004

Carding Mill 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 blooms
  • Upright blooms
  • Very good bloomer
  • Tolerate heat very well
  • Bushy shrub


  • Colors can widely vary.
  • Only 'good' disease resistance (not 'excellent')
  • Only 'medium' fragrant (not 'strong')



English Shrub Rose – bred by David Austin

David Austin

A flower of beautifully mixed shades of pink, apricot and yellow, overall, giving the impression of rich apricot. At the bud stage, when the petals are just starting to unfurl, the inside of the petals are a very rich, deep apricot as opposed to the paler, soft yellow undersides. When fully open the center of the flower is well filled with petals, their closeness giving the impression of a rich, apricot – pink. Around the center, the loose ring of petals curl in slightly and so show their pale apricot yellow undersides. It will quickly make a lovely, bushy, rounded shrub with quite straight stems, the many flowers nodding just slightly. There is a strong and beautiful myrrh fragrance.

The Right Roses:

David Austin introduced Carding Mill in 2004. He named this rose after an extremely beautiful valley, Carding Mill Valley, in the Long Mynd, which is about 30 miles away from David Austin Roses Ltd.



Carding Mill has been considered as one of the classic David Austin roses such as Graham Thomas, Molineux, and Munstead Wood. Unfortunately, it is not available in the UK.


Carding Mill has been considered as one of the classic David Austin roses such as Graham Thomas, Molineux, and Munstead Wood”.


The Right Roses |

Carding Mill rose: The pros

Rose ‘Carding Mill’ has five main strengths.

First, it produces extremely gorgeous blooms. The bloom size is about ‘medium’ (3’’ or 7 cm) with 80 petals. Interestingly, Carding Mill blooms provide a very wide range of rich and unexpected colors, such as pink, apricot and yellow.

In terms of petal counts, the number of petals that Carding Mill produces is about ‘average’. David Austin has introduced a few varieties with very high petal counts. Charles Darwin produce full blooms with a large number of petals (140). Probably among those with the higher number of petal counts. The Ancient Mariner blooms have 160 petals. Young Lycidas blooms have 90 petals. Roald Dalh blooms have 55 petals. As far as we are aware, Spirit of Freedom is the variety having the highest number of petals (200).

Second, Carding Mill blooms are very upright. They do not flop. This is an extremely important characteristic for us. Nodding blooms make it very hard for you to enjoy their beauty. Some of you may find this trait not very important. We understand that it is all about personal taste when talking about roses. However, let’s think about some absolute beauties such as Jubilee Celebration. It is an incredible variety. Large blooms. Stunning and tasty fragrance. Everything about it is just perfect, except its nodding habit. Every time you want to see its blooms, you must lift them up. It is so frustrating! We really cannot emphasize this point enough. Carding Mill is among those varieties which don’t flop. We have seen a few other varieties possessing this great characteristic, such as Queen of Sweden or Boscobel.

Third, Carding Mill is a very good bloomer. Not a blooming machine like Boscobel or Roald Dahl. However, it is still a very good bloomer.

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, it can tolerate heat very well. That is why David Austin introduced it in the US while it is not available in the UK. It is really the variety for the warmer climates.

Fifth, it will form a bushy shrub in your garden. This can improve the look of your garden tremendously. It is quite hard to include a giant rose with octopus canes (e.g., Young Lycidas) in your garden. Especially, if you have a relatively smaller city-sized garden, large roses with octopus’ canes could be a nightmare. Carding Mill can be a relatively neat rose, with an attractive shrub shape. Queen of Sweden is another good rose in this sense.

Carding Mill rose: The cons

Carding Mill has three main weaknesses.

First, its colors change all the time. The blooms are pink in the spring, while sometimes its blooms have orange shade, like Lady of Shalott, in the Fall. On one hand, it is the thing that makes Carding Mill so attractive to some gardeners. However, on the other hand, some other gardeners just want its blooms not to fade to any other colors. However, to be fair, not many David Austin varieties can retain their colors under heat. Michael Marriott, the technical manager and senior rosarian of David Austin roses keep saying that David Austin Roses Ltd intentionally wants their roses’ colors to vary from one to another. However, it would be great if they can produce some varieties which do not fade for a significant group of gardeners.

Second, Carding Mill is quite healthy. However, its disease resistance is only ‘good’. Therefore, you should expect some degree of black spot or rust.

Third, its fragrance strength is good, but not absolutely ‘strong’. In addition, its myrrh fragrance may not be the favorite for all gardeners. 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.

Carding Mill rose: The similarities

Carding Mill is very unique in the sense that its colors vary across a very wide range of colors. Therefore, it is hard to choose a variety which closely resembles Carding Mill.

When Carding Mill is orange, somehow it reminds us of Lady of Shalott and Grace. However, Lady of Shalott is more floriferous and healthier. The drawback of Lady of Shalott is its shrub form. It is quite messy. Therefore, Lady of Shalott may not suitable for city-sized gardens.

When Carding Mill is pink, it reminds us of Wildeve, which is incredibly beautiful. Nonetheless, Wildeve produces a very awkward shrub form, not like Carding Mill. In addition, Wildeve blooms not are upright like Carding Mill.

Carding Mill rose: The details

Height & Spread: 4ft x 3.5 ft Color: Apricot Fragrance: Medium
Fragrance notes: Myrrh Flowering: Repeat Flowering Suitable for containers: Yes
Sun exposure: Full sunlight Bloom size: Medium (3’’ or 7 cm), 80 petals Disease resistance: Good

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