The Right Roses

When You Just Want The Very Best

James Galway rose. The Right Roses. English rose. David Austin. Rose review. Photo credit:
'Rose Review' Series Color: Pink David Austin roses Disease resistance: Excellent Flowering: Repeat flowering Fragrance: light Rose: Climbing

James Galway Rose Review | David Austin 2000

James Galway rose


Fragrance Strength


Repeat Flowering


Bloom Size




Suitable for containers


Tolerance of shade


Disease resistance


Tolerance of poor soil


Few thorns


Best for cuttings



  • Very gorgeous blooms with a high number of petals (130)
  • He hardly balls in the rain
  • Very healthy ('excellent')
  • Vigorous
  • You can plant him as a shrub or climbing rose.
  • Hardy (Zones 4 - 11)
  • Not thorny


  • Light fragrance
  • Not floriferous
  • Hard to train due to his stiff canes



English Climbing Rose bred by David Austin


David Austin

With its vigorous, upright growth it makes a wonderful climber in a short time. The strikingly beautiful flowers are mid pink at the centre, gradually becoming lighter towards the edges. The numerous, neatly placed petals in each bloom create a slightly domed shape. Named after the British flautist. DavidᅠAustin, 2000.

The Right Roses:

David Austin introduced James Galway for the UK in 2000. He named this rose after Sir James Galway, a British “living legend of the flute” (born on 8 December 1939).



James Galway is a very beautiful rose. You can grow him both as a shrub and climbing rose.


James Galway is a very beautiful rose”.

The Right Roses |

James Galway rose: The pros

James Galway has six strengths.

First, he produces such an impressive Spring flush of absolutely gorgeous blooms. His blooms are soft pink at the center, and then gradually become lighter toward the edge. His bloom size is about medium (3.5’’ or 9 cm).

Second, James Galway belongs to the group of David Austin roses having the largest number of petals (130). Charles Darwin produce full blooms with a large number of petals (140). The Ancient Mariner blooms have 160 petals. Young Lycidas blooms have 90 petals. Roald Dalh blooms have 55 petals. As far as we are aware, Spirit of Freedom is the variety having the highest number of petals (200). Therefore, the number of petals James Galway (130) can produce is very respectable.

Third, one thing about James Galway that makes thousands of gardeners worldwide so much in love is that he hardly balls in drowning rainfalls. This is particularly impressive if you think about the large number of petals he produces in each bloom. In addition, if you live in an area receiving high levels of precipitation, this is a great quality to have.

There are a few David Austin roses which never ball in the rain. More specifically, Gabriel Oak (2019), Boscobel, Carolyn Knight, James Galway, and Emily Bronte are very good at this aspect. On the other hand, Eustacia Vye (2019) is quite bad at this. She would ball a lot if she gets a high level of rainfall.

Fourth, James Galway is a very healthy rose. David Austin rated his disease resistance as ‘excellent’. He is such a healthy rose that many gardeners think that he could be the healthiest David Austin rose. Nonetheless, according to our experience in the UK, there are a few other David Austin roses, being healthier than James Galway.

In the last ten years, David Austin has vastly improved in disease resistance. 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.

Fifth, James Galway is a very vigorous rose. Even better, you can grow him as both a free-standing shrub rose (6ft x 6ft) and a climbing rose (12ft tall).

Sixth, James Galway is a hardy rose (Zones 4 – 11). He can do better many other David Austin roses in the very cold winter.

James Galway rose: The cons

James Galway has three weaknesses.

First, his fragrance strength is not very impressive. David Austin rated his fragrance strength as ‘light – medium’. However, the team at The Right Roses believe that it should be only ‘light’. Of course, we are aware that fragrance strength is very subjective.

Second, James Galway does not repeat well. He is almost like an once flowering rose.  Therefore, unless he is a must-have rose, you really should think twice. David Austin has introduced a few great roses, which do not repeat particularly well. For instance, Gertrude Jekyll. Absolutely stunning rose. Addictive fragrance. However, she does not repeat well either.

David Austin has introduced 2 climbing roses and 1 rambling rose, being best for flowering, including: Mortimer Sackler, Iceberg, Malvern Hills. In addition, some shrub roses can rebloom extremely well, including Harlow Carr, Olivia Rose Austin, Princess Anne, Thomas a Becket, Gabriel Oak (2019), Kew Gardens, William & Catherine, Lady of Shalott, and Roald Dahl. The team at The Right Roses would like to add three more varieties being best for flowering, including Royal Jubilee (2012), Princess Alexandra of Kent (2007), and Boscobel (2012).

Third, his canes are very stiff. Therefore, he may not be the right rose if you plan to train him to cover a large area. In fact, this is also a strength of his. Due to the stiffness of his canes, you can grow him as a shrub rose without supporting.

James Galway rose: The similarities

David Austin has introduced many incredibly beautiful climbing roses. However, as you know, there is no perfect rose, at least at the moment. Each one has its own strengths and weaknesses. If you want to wait for the perfect rose, you may have to wait very long, if not forever.

St. Swithun is slightly smaller than James Galway (10ft or 3 m tall). As St. Swithun’s canes are more flexible, you can train them easier than those of James Galway. Moreover, St. Swithun produces a stronger fragrance than James Galway. Nonetheless, it is not as healthy as James Galway.

You may also want to consider The Generous Gardener. It is also a very healthy rose with a strong fragrance. Unfortunately, its beautiful blooms do not last very long (about 2 days only).

Apart from The Generous Gardener,  Wollerton Old Hall also produces a strong fragrance. However, it is not as healthy as either James Galway or  The Generous Gardener.

Claire Austin is also a great climbing rose. Very healthy. Strong fragrance. Nonetheless, she does not tolerate the heat very well. And, her blooms only last about 2 days.

James Galway rose: The details

Height: Up to 12ft (3.75m) Color: Light pink Fragrance: Light (The Right Roses), Light-medium (David Austin)
Fragrance notes: Old Rose Flowering: Repeat Flowering Suitable for containers: No
Sun exposure: Partial Sunlight Bloom size: Medium (3.5’’ or 9 cm) Disease resistance: Excellent


Photo credit: The Right Roses | and

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
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.