The Right Roses

When You Just Want The Very Best

Harlow Carr rose. David Austin. The Right Roses. Rose reviews. Rose comments. Photo credit:
'Rose Review' Series Color: Pink David Austin roses Disease resistance: Good Flowering: Repeat flowering Fragrance: strong Ideal: Pots & Containers Rose: Shrub rose

Harlow Carr Rose Review | David Austin 2004

Harlow Carr rose


Fragrance Strength


Repeat Flowering


Bloom Size




Suitable for containers


Tolerant to shade


Disease resistance


Tolerance of poor soil


Few thorns


Best for cuttings



  • Strong fragrance
  • Breathtaking mass (!) of perfectly mid-pink, shallow-cupped blooms


  • Small blooms: 2 '' or 5 cm
  • Does not tolerate shade very well
  • Not a constant bloomer
  • Very thorny
  • Very short lived
  • Not a good rose for cutting
  • Only good disease resistance



English Shrub Rose bred by David Austin

David Austin

Bears flowers of the most perfect formation – shallow cups of the purest mid pink. They flower very freely from early summer until well into the autumn and have a strong, pure Old Rose fragrance. It has an excellent bushy habit with upright, vigorous growth. Maturing into an attractively rounded shrub; it flowers almost to the ground. Named after the Royal Horticultural Society’s garden in Yorkshire, to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the society’s formation. David Austin, 2004.

The Right Roses:

David Austin introduced Harlow Carr rose for the UK in 2004. David Austin named this rose to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the establishment of the Royal Horticultural Society. Harlow Carr is the Royal Horticulture Society’s trial ground and display garden, located in Yorkshire.

Harlow Carr rose is an interesting one. Harlow Carr rose has generated thousands of mixed reviews all over the world. Some gardeners really love it, while the others hate it with passion. The team at The Right Roses believes that your climate plays an extremely important role in your likelihood of success with Harlow Carr. If you decide to go with it, you may want to know very well why it must be the right rose for you.


Harlow Carr rose has generated thousands of mixed reviews all over the world. Some gardeners really love it, while the others hate it with passion. The team at The Right Roses believes that your climate plays an extremely important role in your likelihood of success with Harlow Carr”.

The Right Roses |


Harlow Carr rose: The pros

  • Best for fragrance
  • Best for flowering
  • Best for smaller shrubs
  • Best for pots & containers
  • Best for smaller hedges
  • Best for cutting

First, Harlow Carr rose produces an exceptionally tasty and strong fragrance with beautiful notes of old roses. Its fragrance is so tasty that David Austin listed it as one of his most fragrant roses, along with Princess Alexandra of Kent rose, Gertrude Jekyll rose, and Boscobel. In the Handbook of Roses 2019/2020, not surprisingly, David Austin selected it as one of the best roses for fragrance.

Second, Harlow Carr can put on a breathtaking mass (!) of perfectly mid-pink, shallow-cupped blooms. It has an interesting habit. The majority of its flower buds usually bloom at the same time. As a result, its whole shrub is covered by strikingly gorgeous and pink blooms. At that moment in time, there is nothing in your garden which can get close to her in term of sheer beauty.

Harlow Carr rose: The cons

Harlow Carr has seven serious weaknesses which lead to the mixed reviews from gardeners.

First of all, Harlow Carr rose produces a very small bloom size. It is a shrub rose. However, in terms of bloom size, it is very similar to rambling roses with tiny, tiny blooms. In general, his bloom size is about 2’’, which is very disappointing to the team at The Right Roses. If you want a great shrub rose with fragrant and large sized blooms, Princess Alexandra of Kent rose or Boscobel rose could be the right roses for you.

Second, Harlow Carr rose does not tolerate shade very well. According to David Austin, it can thrive in partial shade However, you may want to take that piece of information with care. In other words, you can vastly improve its productivity by planting it in full sunlight.

Third, Harlow Car rose is not a constant bloomer. It gives you a couple of great flushes of beautiful blooms. However, there is almost little in between. Therefore, you must plant it very carefully during the summer if and when you should go on holiday. If you leave on holiday during the main flushes, you may have lost the chance to enjoy it when it is at its best.

Fourth, Harlow Carr is very thorny. It will give you a horrible job when you prune it in February. Even deadheading would not be a piece of cake. To be even more extreme, sometimes you just don’t want to get close to it because of its horrible thorns. As a result, even though it can produce a very tasty fragrance, the thorns will just stop you from fully enjoying it. Having said that, Munstead Wood is just an exception. He is also extremely thorny. However, we forgive him for his great charm and fragrance.

Fifth, Harlow Carr is extremely short lived. In particular, its blooms last even SHORTER in the heat. It is just so frustrating that it can only last that short. Its blooms are literally fried in the heat. Therefore, it may be a great rose for cooler climates (see its list of positive traits advertised by David Austin above). However, in the warmer regions in the US or South East Asia such as Thailand or Vietnam, it could be such a disaster!!! For your information, the team at The Right Roses has reviewed another gorgeous and extremely fragrant rose, Souvenir du Docteur Jamain rose. He is such as great old rose with a special maroon shade. However, he is also very bad at heat tolerance.

Sixth, Harlow Carr rose is not a good rose for cutting. This point contradicts what David Austin thinks. We believe that people usually have different ideas of what makes a good cut flower. To be a good cut flower, the team at The Right Roses believe that it should be very fragrant, not thorny, and have a good vase life. Harlow Carr has a good fragrance. However, his thorns and very bad vase life do not make him a strong candidate for a good cut flower.

And seventh, although David Austin listed Harlow Carr’s disease resistance as “excellent”, it still has black spot. It does not matter if you spray your garden or not, Harlow Carr is still quite susceptible to diseases. As a result, it may defoliate and look quite awkward if you have it in front of the border.

Harlow Carr rose: The similarities

David Austin has introduced several fabulous pink roses so far. Boscobel is a compact pink shrub rose. He produces an exceptionally beautiful perfume with very large blooms. He is also very floriferous and well repeated. In terms of shrub size, he is very similar to Harlow Carr (3.5 ft x 3.5 ft vs 3 ft x 3 ft). Therefore, Boscobel is a great rose for front of the border.

Princess Alexandra of Kent rose is such a great David Austin rose. She is probably one of the most popular David Austin roses around the world. She has a great vase life. Her blooms are HUGE (5 – 6 ‘’ or 12 – 15 cm). You may not trust your eyes when you see that information. Her fragrance is not very strong in the first couple of years in your garden. However, indeed she is one of the most scented David Austin roses from year 3. She is slightly bigger than Harlow Carr and Boscobel (4 ft x 4 ft).

Harlow Carr rose: The details

Height & Spread: 3 ft x 3 ft Color: Mid pink Fragrance: Strong
Fragrance notes: Old rose Flowering: Repeat flowering Suitable for containers: Yes
Sun exposure: Partial sunlight Bloom size: Small (2’’ or 5 cm) Disease resistance: Good (The Right Roses), excellent (David Austin)

Photo credit:

Notify of
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
David Weber in Virginia USA
David Weber in Virginia USA
1 year ago

I wholeheartedly disagree with your review of Harlow Carr. I’ve had tremendous success with it in Virginia. It has bloomed constantly since the spring (now is November and there are buds still on the branches). The fragrance is intense. So there are thorns, get over it and yourself. This is a rose bush, not a peony – of course there are thorns. The green colour of the foliage and the growth nature of the plant is unique in the world of David Austin roses.

How to whitelist website on AdBlocker?

How to whitelist website on AdBlocker?

  1. 1 Click on the AdBlock Plus icon on the top right corner of your browser
  2. 2 Click on "Enabled on this site" from the AdBlock Plus option
  3. 3 Refresh the page and start browsing the site
error: Content is protected !!
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x

For more updates, please subscribe to our newsletter!

You have successfully subscribed to the newsletter!

There was an error while trying to send your request. Please try again.

The Right Roses will use the information you provide on this form to be in touch with you and to provide updates and marketing.