The Right Roses

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Gertrude Jekyll rose. The Right Roses. Rose review. Comments. David Austin.
'Rose Review' Series Award winning Color: Pink David Austin roses Disease resistance: Good Fragrance: very strong Highest rated roses by gardeners worldwide Ideal: Pots & Containers Ideal: Shady areas Rose: Shrub rose

Gertrude Jekyll Rose Review | David Austin 1986

Gertrude Jekyll 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
  • Large bloom size: (3.5 – 5’’ or 9 – 12.5 cm)
  • Tolerance of shade


  • Stingy bloomer
  • Unhealthy rose
  • Extremely thorny
  • Making an ugly shrub



English Shrub Rose bred by David Austin


David Austin

Always one of the first English Roses to start flowering, its perfect scrolled buds open to large, rosette-shaped flowers of bright glowing pink. The beautiful, perfectly balanced Old Rose scent is often described as being the quintessential Old Rose fragrance. A vigorous rose; it will form a medium-sized, upright shrub. Named for the famous garden designer and author. David Austin, 1986.

The Right Roses:

David Austin introduced Gertrude Jekyll for the UK in 1986. He named this rose after Gertrude Jekyll (1843 – 1932, London), who was a famous garden designer and author. Gertrude Jekyll has had an influential effect on the style of English gardens. She was also the one who came up with the idea of incorporating roses in mixed borders.

The team at The Right Roses believe that Gertrude Jekyll is like a beautiful woman. She is extremely attractive. However, at the same time, she also has many negative traits. You may hate her so much because of those negative traits. However, you just cannot deny her attractiveness.


You may hate her so much because of those negative traits. However, you just cannot deny her attractiveness”.

The Right Roses |


Gertrude Jekyll rose: The pros

Gertrude Jekyll is a multiple award-winner. She has won four prestigious awards. In particular, she is the country’s favorite rose according to BBC Gardener’s World.


  • RHS Garden of Merit Award
  • England’s Favourite Rose by BBC Gardener’s World viewers
  • The Nation’s Favourite Rose conducted by RHS in 2012
  • James Mason Award (Royal National Rose Society in 2002)


The team at The Right Roses believe that Gertrude Jekyll rose deserves all of those credits.

First, Gertrude Jekyll rose produces an extremely (extremely!) strong fragrance. Her fragrance is just so divine and so dreamy for all rose lovers. It is such a strong and tasty fragrance. For many gardener, the strength of the fragrance is the reason why they love roses so much. And, what do they mean by a “strong” rose fragrance? Gertrude Jekyll rose is just that rose. She sets a prime example for how rose fragrances should be. It has notes of old rose.

If you have a Gertrude Jekyll rose in your garden, believe us, it is just too difficult for you, just passing by without getting closer to her and taking as much as her gorgeous fragrance in. And, in fact, you don’t need to get close to her to detect her beautiful scent. The fragrance just moves through the air in your garden. If you have a couple of blooms in the vase on your dining table, the fragrance would fill up the room. In fact, the strength of her fragrance is one of the best traits that Gertrude Jekyll rose offers. In our opinion, there are just a few roses that can compete with Gertrude Jekyll rose in terms of fragrance: (1) Lady Emma Hamilton rose, (2) Munstead Wood rose, and (3)  Souvenir du Docteur Jamain rose. As a result, Gertrude Jekyll rose is a great rose variety as a cut flower.

Second, Gertrude Jekyll rose produces incredibly gorgeous blooms. They are large and bright pink. We hate it when we have to describe how large a rose’s blooms can be. Obviously, we all know that the bloom size can vary. The same rose variety even gives us very different bloom sizes due to the age, the temperature, and even the time of their year. That is actually a beauty of gardening. It gives us all kinds of surprises. It is so hard to predict the future. We just enjoy the very moment. Coming back with Gertrude Jekyll rose, if you give her time to get establish, her blooms can be as big as your palms. Now, could you please just imagine, holding up those big blooms and taking in all of those beautiful scent through your nose. Somebody spends all their life chasing happiness. The team at The Right Roses thinks, the moment you can enjoy those beautiful bloom, it is happiness! It is heaven!

Third, Gertrude Jekyll rose can tolerate shade quite well. She can thrive with a just 3 – 4 hours of sun. This is a big plus for all gardeners based in the UK. Who does not want to her this piece of information? Music to our ears, indeed!

Fourth, you also can plant her a climber. This characteristic gives us more flexibility with her.

Gertrude Jekyll rose: The cons

Gertrude Jekyll rose has for serious weaknesses.

First, she is a stingy bloomer. Her productivity can vary according to climates and the length of time you are willing to give her. However, overall, she is not a particularly prolific bloomer. If you buy her for her fragrance, yes, she is the right rose for you. Nonetheless, you could be making a mistake if you choose her for her productivity.

Second, she is not a healthy rose. David Austin considered her disease resistance as “good”. However, we think that is an overstatement. Gertrude Jekyll can defoliate very badly due to all of diseases. She reminds me a lot of Souvenir du Docteur Jamain rose. Both have such a beautiful fragrance. However, both have very bad disease resistance. In recent years, David Austin has made a lot of improvement in this aspect. Their recent introductions are very healthy roses, such as Gabriel Oak or Eustacia Vye.

Third, she is such a thorny rose. If you think Munstead Wood is a thorny monster, then how about Gertrude Jekyll rose? She is even thornier than Munstead Wood. You need a very good protection, hands or even arms, when you get closer to her. Unless, you don’t mind being scratched and bled.

Fourth, Gertrude Jekyll rose will make an ugly shrub. Please don’t get us wrong. We all love Gertrude Jekyll rose to bits. But, the fact must be stated. She will produces all kinds of octopus canes. Interestingly, David Austin suggested that her size is only 3.5ft x 3ft. She will be much bigger than that if you live in a warm climate. She will try to take over your garden. The bad thing is that she will just pay you back with her bad blooming performance.

Gertrude Jekyll rose: The similarities

Gertrude Jekyll rose resembles Lady Emma Hamilton rose, Munstead Wood rose, and Souvenir du Docteur Jamain rose in terms of their strength of fragrance. However, if you talk about the size of her blooms, she is very similar to Princess Alexandra of Kent rose and Young Lycidas. Their bloom sizes are quite impressive!

Gertrude Jekyll rose: The details

Height & Spread: 3.5ft x 3ft Color: Bright pink Fragrance: Very strong
Fragrance notes: Old Rose Flowering: Repeat Flowering Suitable for containers: Yes
Sun exposure: Partial Sunlight Bloom size: Large (3.5 – 5’’ or 9 – 12.5 cm) Disease resistance: Good

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Rebekah Hacking
Rebekah Hacking
6 months ago

Thank you !!! i could never understand why the countries”favourite” rose was so rubbish in my garden. Yes the fragrance is wonderful but after the flowers finish – end of June – despite fervent dead heading and feeding, it never repeats flowers and the foliage is ugly. After reading your review im going to try ” Gabriel Oak” instead and no longer think that i am utterly useless with roses. THANK YOU!

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