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Dame Judi Dench English Rose. David Austin rose. Photo credit: Rose review:
'Rose Review' Series Color: Apricot & Orange David Austin roses Disease resistance: Excellent Fragrance: light - medium Ideal: Shady areas Rose: Shrub rose

Dame Judi Dench Rose Review | David Austin 2017

Dame Judi Dench rose


Fragrance Strength


Repeat Flowering


Bloom Size




Suitable for containers


Tolerance of shade


Disease resistance


Tolerance of poor soil


Few thorns


Best for cuttings



  • Gorgeous color
  • Magnificent name
  • Large blooms
  • Floriferous
  • Excellent disease resistance


  • “light – medium” fragrance



English Shrub Rose bred by David Austin

David Austin

A beautiful rose; the blooms are a particularly rich shade of apricot-orange, paling prettily towards the edges. The striking, red-tipped buds gradually open to reveal large informal rosettes, each with ruffled petals and a button eye. They are very resistant to rain damage and the petals drop neatly. There is a light-medium Tea scent. A very healthy shrub; it produces strong, arching stems which, over time, form an attractive mound of blooms. Named after one of Britain’s most beloved stars of stage and screen. David Austin, 2017.

The Right Roses:

David Austin introduced Dame Judi Dench rose for the UK in 2017. He named this rose after the UK’s national treasure, English actress, Dame Judi Dench.

If you love James Bond 007

Would you want to hear my review in a nutshell? If you are a big fan of James Bond 007 like I am, just her name, Dame Judi Dench, would make me include her in my shopping list! Dame Judi Dench, in her role as ‘M’ in 007, is ice-cool. Mind you, ‘M‘ is the only one who gains the total respect from James Bond. That speaks volumes! Many see Dame Judi Dench as one of the best actresses of all time.

Dame Judi Dench English Rose. David Austin rose. Photo credit: Rose review:
Dame Judi Dench with her David Austin rose. Photo credit: Rose review:


If you are a big fan of James Bond 007 like I am, just her name, Dame Judi Dench, would make you include her in your shopping list!

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If you do not know much about James Bond 007

If you are not very into James Bond 007, there are still many things else about this rose.

It took David Austin since 2009 to breed Dame Judi Dench rose. So, that is about 8 years between 2009 and 2017 with the highest level of expertise, excellence, dedication, joy, and of course, frustration. Dame Judi Dench rose represents them all. For you information, she is one of just three roses out of 60,000 to have made it in 2017. You must put your hat off to the David Austin team for their sheer commitment to improve our gardens!

Dame Judi Dench rose is not one of the most fragrant rose varieties that David Austin has introduced. David Austin rates her fragrance strength only as “light – medium” with a fresh note of tea, cucumber, and kiwi.

However, the charm of Dame Judi Dench rose comes from her rich shade of apricot that pales toward the edges. Her blooms look magnificent from the very first moment with numerous red-tipped buds gracefully held on her dark-red (mahogany) stems. Those red-tipped flower buds gradually turn into large-sized blooms (3.5 – 5’’ or 9 – 12.5 cm) with an abundance of elegance. Despite having a large number of petals (about 76), the blooms just slightly nod. I do not like nodding rose varieties too much. But, slightly nodding like Dame Judi Dench rose just adds to her attractiveness. One more positive about Dame Judi Dench rose for those who hate deadheading, the spent petals could fall away cleanly. I know many would be very delighted to hear that.

In addition, Dame Judi Dench rose is a productive rose, start blooming from late spring until right to the end of autumn.

Regarding disease resistance, she is a very healthy rose. Dame Judi Dench rose is one of the best David Austin roses in terms of disease resistance. David Austin rates her as “excellent disease resistance”. In my opinion,  David Austin is doing a great job recently, only introducing to the market  the very healthy roses.

Furthermore, Dame Judi Dench rose can tolerate shade. You can plant her in more challenging locations, which are slight shady (3-4 hours of sun). Even better, she is very resistant to rain damage. This positive trait, coupled with the shade tolerance, Dame Judi Dench rose would probably be among the most loved roses in the UK in no time. Her characteristics just fit the UK climate like a glove.

The last characteristic of Dame Judi Dench rose probably made David Austin name this rose after Dame Judi Dench. She is so vigorous that it is not easy to take control of her. This trait very well reflects the personality of ‘M’ in James Bond 007. In the first couple years, she looks quite lanky with quite a few arching stems. Nonetheless, after the third year in your garden, she forms an attractive shrub. Moreover, you can also grow her as a short climber. Due to her arching stems, it would be quite tempting to plant her in a big urn planter. Indeed, in a big urn planter, she looks absolutely gorgeous, like a weeping cherry blossom with continous shows of incredibly rich apricot blooms.

David Austin has introduced 3 similar rose varieties with the same apricot shade, including Tea Clipper, Crown Princess Margareta, and Port Sunlight. Beautifully, all of them can tolerate shade. The first two varieties, Tea Clipper and Crown Princess Margareta, have strong fragrance, while Port Sunlight produces medium fragrance. In terms of bush size, Tea Clipper is very similar to Dame Judi Dench rose. Crown Princess Margareta, and Port Sunlight can form larger bushes. In terms of bloom size, Crown Princess Margareta will win this competition.

To sum it up, Dame Judi Dench rose is a gorgeous David Austin rose. However, there is nothing like ‘one size fits all’. And, the “beauty is in the eye of the beholder”. Each gardener has her own preference and pick the right roses for herself. That makes our gardens so unique. And, that makes gardening such a joy.

Dame Judi Dench rose: The details

Height & Spread: 3.5ft x 4ft Color: Apricot-orange Fragrance: Light-medium
Fragrance notes: Tea Flowering: Repeat flowering Suitable for containers: No
Sun exposure: Partial sunlight Bloom size: Large (3.5 – 5’’ or 9 – 12.5 cm) Disease resistance: Excellent

Photo credit:

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1 year ago

I am not really a fan of the shape of Dame Judi DA rose. I prefer the shape of Princess Margareta rose. But it seems Dame Judi DA rose is more apricot. team
1 year ago
Reply to  Alexandra

Thank you Alexandra for your review and comments. Well, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Both Crown Princess Margareta and Dame Judi Dench are fabulous roses. Their colors can vary according to the temperature. But, yes, Dame Judi Austin rose produces more apricot blooms.

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