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Gentle Hermione rose. The Right Roses. Rose review comments. English roses. Photo credit: David Austin
'Rose Review' Series Attracting bees Color: Pink David Austin roses Disease resistance: Excellent Flowering: Repeat flowering Fragrance: strong Rose: Shrub rose

Gentle Hermione Rose Review | David Austin 2005

Gentle Hermione rose


Fragrance Strength


Repeat Flowering


Bloom Size




Suitable for containers


Tolerance of shade


Disease resistance


Tolerance of poor soil


Few thorns


Best for cuttings



  • Strong fragrance
  • Attracting bees
  • Very hardy
  • Wonderful as cut flowers
  • Generous bloomers
  • Very healthy
  • No octopus canes


  • Does not tolerate shade well
  • Colors can fade
  • Blooms do not last long
  • Mixed opinion regarding her fragrance
  • Not the most vigorous grower
  • Her bloom size is just about medium (2 – 4’’ – or 5 – 10 cm)



English Shrub Rose bred by David Austin


David Austin

The perfectly formed, shallow cups are pure light pink, paling to soft blush on the outer petals. There is a strong, warm myrrh fragrance. It forms an attractive, quite broad shrub, with slightly arching stems. The leaves are tinged red at first, later turning green. Hermione is the faithful wife of Leontes, the King of Sicila, in Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale. David Austin, 2005.

The Right Roses:

David Austin introduced Gentle Hermione for the UK in 2005. He named this rose after the faithful wife of King Leontes, a character in The Winter’s Tale. Many critics consider it to be one of the greatest plays by William Shakespeare (1564 – 1616). The play was first published in the First Folio of 1623.

Here is quick summary of the play.


The jealous King Leontes falsely accuse his wife Hermione of infidelity with his best friend, and she dies. Leontes exiles his newborn daughter Perdita, who is raised by shepherds for sixteen years and falls in love with the son of Leontes’ friend. When Perdita returns home, a statue of Hermione “comes to life”, and everyone is reconciled”.

The Board of Trustees of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust |


And, this is a trailer of this wonderful play.


Gentle Hermione is an all-round David Austin rose. Indeed, Gentle Hermione has nearly everything that gardeners all around the world dream about.


Indeed, Gentle Hermione has nearly everything that gardeners all around the world dream about ”.

The Right Roses |


Gentle Hermione rose: The pros

Gentle Hermione rose has seven main strengths.

First, she produces a strong fragrance with hints of Myrrh. Indeed, when talking about her fragrance, it is very interesting that we usually see two groups of gardeners. On one hand, some gardeners just adore it! They use all the positive words to describe Gentle Hermione’s fragrance. Very tasty. Incredible. On the other hand, we also see another group of gardeners who compare Gentle Hermione’s fragrance with something quite unpleasant, e.g., baby wipes or baby poop.

In addition, we may also see another group of gardeners, who used to hate the fragrance of Gentle Hermione and then have grown to like it more and more. The longer they live with Gentle Hermione, the more they love her.

The team at The Right Roses belongs to the second group of gardeners. We believe that Gentle Hermione’s fragrance can be as strong and unique as Munstead Wood’s fragrance (although a lot of gardeners like the scent of the latter more).

In fact, we champion the uniqueness of every rose. As individuals, we would like to be just ourselves. As much as we love roses in general and David Austin roses in particular, we would like our gardens to be full of characters! Our gardens very much resemble a melody. Probably not many things would be more boring if a melody only has notes of the same pitch! Similarly, gardening can be quite boring if all plants have the same character!

David Austin has introduced 12 rose varieties best for fragrance including: Emily Bronte (2018), Harlow Carr, The Generous Gardener, Princess Alexandra of Kent, Gabriel Oak (2019), Gertrude Jekyll, Desdemona, R. Rugosa Alba, Claire Austin, Summer Song, Charles Darwin, The Poet’s Wife. According to our own experience, other David Austin roses are also heavenly scented, although they are not in David Austin’s list, e.g., Golden Celebration, Lady Emma Hamilton, Munstead Wood, Carolyn Knight. To a certain extent, Crown Princess Margareta also deserves a special mention.

Second, Gentle Hermione attracts bees. As gardeners, there is nothing that makes us happier and more satisfied than seeing our gardens attractive to bees. To be honest, we have many plants in our gardens that attract bees such as lavender, sunflower, etc. So far, David Austin has introduced 21 rose varieties which can attract bees to your garden. Here is the list: Lady of Shalott, The Lark Ascending, Tottering-By-Gently, The Lady of The Lake, Kew Gardens, Scarborough Fair, Scepter’d Isle, The Generous Gardener, Butter Cup, Morning Mist, Gentle Hermione, Skylark, The Lady’s Blush, Wild Eric, Comte De Champagne, Fighting Temeraire, Cariad, Windflower, Cordelia, Corvedale, and The Herbalist.

Third, Gentle Hermione is very hardy. She can tolerate even bad winters with the temperature ranging between -20 F and –10 F. Therefore, she would be the right rose for gardeners in Chicago, for example.

Fourth, Gentle Hermione is wonderful as cut flowers. The delicate charm jointly created by her bloom forms and innocent light pink color makes her an ideal rose for your dining table and windowsills as cut flowers. Although she may not last particularly long, but being able to enjoy her incredible beauty already makes it so fulfilling.

Fifth, she is a very generous bloomer. Indeed, such a wonderful repeater. She may give you about 3 main flushes a year if you keep deadheading her and provide her with a good supply of rose food and manure.

Sixth, she is very healthy. David Austin rated her disease resistance as “excellent”. Not many gardeners can fault her in terms of disease resistance.

Seven, she forms an attractive shrub without octopus canes. Therefore, she is the right rose for smaller gardens or those of you who want your gardens to be extremely neat.

Gentle Hermione rose: The cons

Gentle Hermione rose has six weaknesses.

First, she does not tolerate shade very well. You need to plant her in full sunlight.

Second, given that she needs to be in full sunlight, her delicate color can fade dramatically. In extreme heat, she may look like a white rose.

Third, her blooms do not last very long. About 3 days. This is a big regret to us at The Right Roses.

Fourth, it is about her fragrance. As we mentioned above, many gardeners do not find her fragrance extremely tasty. However, at the end of the day, only your own preference matters!

Fifth, she may not be the strongest grower. As we mentioned above, she does not produce octopus canes. Therefore, the drawback of that great trait is that it may take her longer to get established in your garden.

Sixth, her bloom size is just about medium (2 – 4’’ – or 5 – 10 cm). Therefore, her blooms are not as big as those of Golden Celebration, Jubilee Celebration, and Princess Alexandra of Kent.

Gentle Hermione rose: The similarities

Gentle Hermione rose reminds us of two David Austin roses.

In terms of look, for some reason, to us, she looks quite similar to Wisley 2008. They produce very similar colors. Same bush size (4.5 ft x 4.5 ft). However, Wisley 2008 can tolerate shade. The drawback of Wisley 2008 is that her fragrance is only ‘light’.

In terms of ‘all-round’ roses, Gentle Hermione is very close to Gabriel Oak (2019) and Eustacia Vye (2019). They have many great traits as you may find in our reviews. However, Gabriel Oak (2019) and Eustacia Vye (2019) produce extremely tasty, pleasant and strong fragrance. Moreover, they both can tolerate shade.

Gentle Hermione rose: The details

Height & Spread: 4ft x 4.5ft Color: Light pink Fragrance: Strong
Fragrance notes: Myrrh Flowering: Repeat Flowering Suitable for containers: No
Sun exposure: Full Sunlight Bloom size: Medium – Large (2 – 4’’ – or 5 – 10 cm) Disease resistance: Excellent

Photo credit:

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10 months ago

Gentle Hermione is one of my favourite DA roses, she has just finished her first flush which lasted for weeks & weeks. she has only been in my garden for 3 years in part shade which doesn’t seem to trouble her at all. I quite like her fragrance which isn’t pure myrrh like St Swithun which I find a bit unpleasant. I planted Gentle Hermione next to The Poet’s Wife, so when stood down-wind of them & their fragrances combine it is really lovely ( PW is tea/lemon) GH makes a tidy shrub of about 3x3ft after 3 years in… Read more »

Jane Levers
Jane Levers
9 months ago

I have only had Gentle Hermione this year but I agree she is a lovely rose. When I first smelled her fragrance I wasn’t too keen and felt it had the Marmite – love it or hate it effect. Now she is blooming again I absolutely love her fragrance. She is such a delicate looking rose but is truly a tough cookie who can withstand quite a battering from the elements. I live near Portsmouth UK

Amy Morris
Amy Morris
18 days ago

I have had GH in my garden a couple seasons in my Central California garden. I wasn’t sure what I thought of her and she took awhile to really bloom beautifully then this spring she was amazing! I think she started off slow unlike Lady Emma Hamilton that sets lots of flowers right for the bat. Right now she is my favorite spring blooming shrub. . She is covered in masses And has more blooms than Emma. She is blooming of similar to my Eden Climber which is jaw dropping beautiful. Although Eden doesn’t repeat flower as well as my… Read more »

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