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Lady of Shalott rose. English rose. David Austin rose. Photo credit: Rose review:
'Rose Review' Series Attracting bees Color: Orange David Austin roses Disease resistance: Excellent Flowering: Repeat flowering Fragrance: medium Ideal: Poor Soil Ideal: Pots & Containers Ideal: Shady areas Rose: Shrub rose

Lady of Shalott Rose Review | David Austin 2009

Lady of Shalott Rose


Fragrance Strength


Repeat Flowering


Bloom Size




Suitable for containers


Tolerant of shade


Disease resistance


Tolerance of poor soil


Few thorns


Best for cuttings



  • Extremely vigorous
  • Extreme floriferous
  • Excellent disease resistance
  • Extremely well tolerant of shade
  • Tolerance of poor soil


  • Too vigorous. Can be messy.
  • Medium fragrance



English Shrub Rose bred by David Austin

David Austin

Rich orange-red buds open to chalice-shaped blooms, filled with loosely arranged, orange petals. The surrounding outer petals are salmon-pink with beautifully contrasting golden-yellow undersides. There is a pleasant, warm Tea fragrance, with hints of spiced apple and cloves. It quickly forms a bushy shrub with slightly arching stems and mid-green leaves, which have attractive, slightly bronzed tones when young. The name is taken from one of Alfred, Lord Tennyson’s poems to commemorate the 200th anniversary of his birth. David Austin, 2009.

The Right Roses:

David Austin introduced Lady of Shalott rose for the UK in 2009. He named this rose after a poem of Alfred, Lord Tennyson, “The Lady of Shalott” (1842). Alfred, Lord Tennyson was born on 6 August 1809 in Somersby, Lincohnshire, England. He died on 6 October 1892 in Lurgashall, Sussex, England. His resting place is in Westminster Abbey.

“On either side the river lie 

Long fields of barley and of rye, 

That clothe the wold and meet the sky; 

And thro’ the field the road runs by 

       To many-tower’d Camelot; 

And up and down the people go, 

Gazing where the lilies blow 

Round an island there below, 

       The island of Shalott


Alfred, Lord Tennyson, “The Lady of Shalott” (1842)


We would like to make a comment regarding the name of this beautiful David Austin rose. Many of us usually make a little spelling mistake when it comes to Lady of Shalott. Her actual name is Lady of Shalott, which has a double ‘t’ at the end, NOT ‘Lady of Shallot”.

Lady of Shalott is a great David Austin rose. Among all David Austin introductions so far, apart from Jubilee Celebration, probably no other roses have received as many mixed reviews as Lady of Shalott. To other David Austin roses, many gardeners can say it is a “Go” or “No Go” in the first minute. However, it would take them a very long time to decide if Lady of Shalott is the right rose for their gardens. Some gardeners do not even want to think about Lady of Shalott anymore because they just cannot make decision.


Among all David Austin introductions so far, apart from Jubilee Celebration, probably no other roses have received as many mixed reviews as Lady of Shalott”.

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Lady of Shalott rose: The pros

  • Best for flowering
  • Best for mixed borders
  • Best for larger hedges
  • Best for shady areas
  • Best for poor soil

Lady of Shalott is an extremely and incredibly vigorous rose. As a bare root, she will form a 3-4ft (height) x 3 ft (spread) shrub after just 3 months in your garden. Even you plant her in a pot, she can get to 3 – 4 ft tall after just a 2 – 3 months. After a few months in your garden, she will be surrounded with a large number of 3 – 4ft-long canes. Perhaps, you have heard about the octopus arms of David Austin rose. If so, Lady of Shalott is a prime example for that characteristic.

In addition to her vigor, Lady of Shalott is a very productive and floriferous rose. She reblooms incredibly quickly with beautiful blooms all over her canes. This trait differs a lot to many other David Austin roses, which only have blooms at the top of the shrubs, e.g., Brother Cadfael rose. According to Handbook of Roses 2019/2020, David Austin listed Lady of Shalott as one of his best rose varieties for flowering.

Lady of Shalott produces gorgeous blooms of rich orange. In my opinion, Lady of Shalott must be the best David Austin rose so far with an orange shade. How can you say no to her after seeing her absolutely stunning performance like this? Her competitor is Lady Emma of Hamilton. I will get to this at the end of this review. However, Lady of Shalott and Lady Emma of Hamilton are both absolutely gorgeous rose varieties with completely different traits.

Moreover, Lady of Shalott can tolerate shade extremely well. If you have a shady spot, it is usually the case that you don’t know how to best use it. And, for gardeners like us, we love every single inch in our garden.

Have you ever wished for a sunnier garden when you went past that shady spot? It happens to me all the time, as I have a North-facing front garden. Lady of Shalott must be the answer for that challenge: find a gorgeous plant for our shady spots. For your information, Lady of Shalott is one of the best David Austin roses for shady spots, based on Handbook of Roses 2019/2020.

Finally, Lady of Shalott is an “excellent” disease resistance variety. David Austin did not consider her being one of their best at this aspect. However, you would hardly find any back spot in the foliage of Lady of Shalott, even in your no-spray gardens. This positive trait adds a lot to the attractiveness of this already gorgeous rose variety.

Lady of Shalott rose: The cons

The first weakness of Lady of Shalott is her vigor. As I talked above, vigor is one of her strengths as well. However, in this case, it is also her serious weakness. She is so vigorous that it is very hard to take control of her. She has long arching stems everywhere around her. As a result, she will not form an attractive shrub.

In fact, you have three options if you decide to go with her. First, you have to give her a lot of space for her to grow. So, if you have a relatively small garden or if you would like a neat garden, Lady of Shalott is not the right rose for you. Second, you can grow her as a short climber. She will be very beautiful. If not, third, you may want to grow her in a big pot or container. However, you still need to give enough room to grow.

The second weakness of Lady of Shalott is her “medium” fragrance. She produces a very soft and honey-sweet fragrance. However, it is also quite light. So, she is not the right rose for those who think about fragrance first, and everything else comes later.

Lady of Shalott rose in different climates

Gardener Country Zone Experience
Bethany USA 7 Biggest surprise and favorite

Lady of Shalott rose: The similarities

Lady Emma of Hamilton gives you a similar bloom color. Both Lady of Shalott and Lady Emma of Hamilton give you the beautiful orange shade. Lady Emma of Hamilton  blooms look more cupped and globular, while the petals of Lady of Shalott blooms are more loosely arranged. Lady of Shalott can tolerate shade very well, whereas you need to plant Lady Emma of Hamilton in full sunlight spots. Lady Emma of Hamilton also produces tasty and strong fragrance, while that of Lady of Shalott is only medium.

Most importantly, Lady Emma of Hamilton makes an attractive and shapely shrub (3ft x 3ft), while Lady of Shalott will be an absolute monster in your garden. However, Lady of Shalott is definitely the winner in terms of reblooming.

Lady of Shalott rose: The details

Height & Spread: 4ft x 4ft Color: Orange Fragrance: Medium
Fragrance notes: Tea Flowering: Repeat flowering Suitable for containers: Yes
Sun exposure: Partial sunlight Bloom size: Large (3.5 – 5’’ or 9 – 12.5 cm) Disease resistance: Excellent


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5 months ago

The disease resistance on this variety is excellent. This year fungal diseases attacked *everything* in our area; I learned that far more plants will get black spot than I ever imagined. I’m pretty sure two of my no-name roses are done for. But my LoS? I found exactly three yellowed leaves with telltale spots the entire season. After a few rounds of spraying fungicides, I began skipping the LoS, as it didn’t need it at all. Thrips adore the buds, and cucumber beetles the blooms, but the spider mites which attacked everything around it didn’t seem to find it very… Read more » team
5 months ago
Reply to  MMN

Dear MMN,

Thank you for sharing with us your rose experience of Lady of Shalott. It was our incredible pleasure to hear that you had such a great experience with her. She is such a good rose.

Best wishes,

The Right Roses

3 months ago

Will she do well in full sunlight? My garden has hardly any shady spots. team
3 months ago
Reply to  Hema

Hello Hema,

It depends on where you are located. In general, roses love sunlight. So, if you are not located in an extremely warm (hot) climate, your garden would be perfect for roses.

Best wishes,

The Right Roses

3 months ago

Thank you. I live in zone 7b.

16 days ago

I live in zone 10 of Spain . Here my Lady of Shalott doesn’t do well because of our humid climate. I plant it in a full-sun spot. The first year it was perfect, grown up to 5 ft tall with plenty of blooms. It looked so gorgeous! But in this year it rains a lot, and it is suffering from a serious mildew and black spot. But to muy surprise, its vigor doesn’t affected at all, I’ve already seen a lot of buds. In general, to grow roses in a very humid climate, some of other DA roses may… Read more » team
16 days ago
Reply to  Emy

Dear Emy, Thank you for your comments. It does not surprise us a bit to know that Desdemona and Olivia are doing well in your zone. They are indeed such great roses. Lady of Shalott does have some weaknesses. However, in general, she is quite healthy. So, thank you very much for sharing with us your valuable rose experiences. Princess Alexandra of Kent is not a healthy rose in most places, including our garden. Nonetheless, she produces lots of amazing blooms. Please share with us your further rose experiences this year. Millions of rose-lovers worldwide would highly appreciate them. Best… Read more »

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