The Right Roses

When You Just Want The Very Best

Grace rose The Right Roses review David Austin english gardening
'Rose Review' Series Award winning Color: Apricot & Orange David Austin roses Disease resistance: Excellent Flowering: Repeat flowering Fragrance: medium Ideal: Pots & Containers Rose: Shrub rose Shrub size: Small - Medium (3.5 ft)

Grace Rose Review | David Austin 2001



Fragrance Strength


Repeat Flowering


Bloom Size




Suitable for containers


Tolerance of shade


Disease resistance


Tolerance of poor soil


Few thorns


Best for cuttings



  • Absolutely beautiful blooms
  • Repeating well once she gets established
  • Healthy
  • Not very thorny


  • Slow grower
  • 'Medium' bloom size
  • Spindly shrub
  • Not strongly fragrant






English Shrub Rose bred by David Austin


David Austin

Lovely pure apricot flowers – darker in the middle, paler towards the edges. They form perfect rosettes with reflexed outer petals and a warm Tea scent. A branching shrub; its growth is broad and arching. Named to celebrate the defining characteristic of the English Roses. David Austin, 2001.

The Right Roses:

David Austin introduced rose ‘Grace’ for the UK in 2001. He named this rose to celebrate the best characteristic of English roses, grace.

Grace is the favorite rose of many gardeners around the world. However, in our opinion, David Austin has introduced a few better apricot roses since 2001.


In our opinion, David Austin has introduced a few better apricot roses since 2001.”

The Right Roses |


Grace rose: The pros


  • RHS Garden of Merit Award


Grace has four main strengths.

First, she produces absolutely stunning blooms. Just incredibly beautiful blooms. They look so beautiful and ‘tasty’ that we sometimes feel like eating them. We just cannot deny that we are suckers for apricot roses. Her blooms are exceptionally beautiful!

Second, she repeats very well once she gets established in your garden. Please don’t shovel her in the first two years if she does not meet your expectation. From year 3 or 4, she would truly be a masterpiece of art. She will be a blooming machine. Cannot stop blooming.

Third, Grace is a healthy rose. David Austin ranked her disease resistance as ‘excellent’. However, at the moment (2020), Grace is not one of the healthiest David Austin roses.

In the last ten years, David Austin has vastly improved in this aspect. Most of his new introductions are very healthy, rated as “excellent”, for instance, Gabriel Oak (2019), Eustacia Vye (2019), and Emily Bronte (2018).

If ‘disease resistance’ is the thing that matters most to you, here is the healthiest David Austin roses you can find: Olivia Rose Austin, The Mayflower, Mortimer Sackler (climbing), Princess Anne, Hansa, England’s Rose, Kew Gardens, Susan Williams-Ellis, Claire Austin (climbing), Roald Dahl, Tottering-by-Gently, Malvern Hills (Rambling). The team at The Right Roses think that Olivia Rose Austin, Princess Anne, and Roald Dahl are 3 of the very healthy roses. You really cannot do much wrong with them in terms of disease resistance.

Fourth, Grace is not the thorniest David Austin rose. She is not completely without any thorns. However, Grace is better than average.


Grace rose The Right Roses review David Austin english gardening
Rose ‘Grace’ | David Austin 2001. Not the thorniest David Austin rose. Photo credit: The Right Roses

Grace rose: The cons

Rose ‘Grace’ has four main weaknesses.

First, she is a slow grower. It would take her a lot of time to get established in your garden. 3 or 4 years. In general, you must be very patient with David Austin roses. Some roses do not perform particularly well in year 1 or 2. Nonetheless, they would become a completely different rose in year 3. Sometimes you cannot believe that a David Austin rose in year 3 would look that different to the one that you used to feel quite disappointed in the previous year. This point is particularly true with many older varieties such as Jubilee Celebration. Please do not get us wrong. We are the biggest fan of  Jubilee Celebration. Her blooms are exceptionally gorgeous. And, her productivity and fragrance. However, she is not very vigorous.  In general, more recent introductions at David Austin are more vigorous, floriferous and healthier, e.g., Emily Bronte (2018).

Second, Grace does not produce large blooms. Her bloom size is about ‘medium’ (2 – 3.5’’ or 5 – 9 cm), which is not totally impressive. They are still absolutely gorgeous!!! However, Grace may not be the right roses for those gardeners who only love roses with the largest blooms. 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.

Third, her shrub is not very attractive. ‘spindly’, ‘broad’, and ‘arching’ are the right words to describe her shrub. Therefore, you either want to plant Grace in a group of 3 or 5 to make a statement in your garden or include her in a mixed border with other plants.

Fourth, her fragrance is not strong, which is slightly disappointing. Given the fact that she is not very tall (3.5 ft), and that she is a slow grower, many of us would want to plant her towards front of the border. It is just a pity that her fragrance strength is not particularly impressive. Personally we would prefer to plant the most fragrant and shapely roses closer to front of the border so that: (1) they do not block other plants and (2) we can enjoy their fragrance easier.

Grace rose in different climates


To be updated.


Grace rose: The similarities

As we mentioned above, David Austin has introduced a few better apricot roses.

Roald Dahl is a lovely one. He would form a lovely and healthy bush. He can tolerate shade very well. And, importantly he is such a wonderful bloom machine for his size.

The Lady Gardener is a great rose. Very healthy. She produces very large blooms. One of a few varieties produces largest blooms as an English rose. Unfortunately, her fragrance is not strong either.

Dame Judi Dench is a good rose. Beautiful blooms. Extremely vigorous. However, her shrub could be quite uncontrollable with arching canes, just like the personality of the great actress after which she was named.

Grace rose: The details

Height & Spread: 3.5ft x 4ft Color: Apricot Fragrance: Medium
Fragrance notes: Tea Flowering: Repeat Flowering Suitable for containers: Yes
Sun exposure: Partial sunlight Bloom size: Medium (2 – 3.5 or 5 – 9 cm) Disease resistance: Excellent
Zones: 5-11 Petal count: 80 petals Sub type: English Leander Hybrid

Photo credit: The Right Roses | and

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