The Right Roses

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Rose Silas Marner The Right Roses review experience score gardening power tool
'Rose Review' Series Color: Pink David Austin roses Disease resistance: Excellent Flowering: Repeat flowering Fragrance: medium - strong Ideal: Pots & Containers Rose: Shrub rose Shrub size: Medium (4 ft)

Silas Marner Rose Review | David Austin 2020

Silas Marner Rose


Fragrance Strength


Repeat Flowering


Bloom Size




Suitable for containers


Tolerant to shade


Disease resistance


Tolerance of poor soil


Few thorns


Best for cuttings



  • Gorgeous blooms
  • Retain his color relatively well
  • Quite healthy
  • Vigorous


  • Small blooms
  • His blooms wilt in hot weather
  • Not strong fragrance



English Shrub Rose bred by David Austin


David Austin

An unfussy rose of soft mid pink, the petals are pale on the reverse and fade at the edges creating a gentle quality. Held on red stems, the medium-sized cupped blooms have relaxed, almost ruffled petals which are set around an attractive button eye. There is a medium-strong Old Rose fragrance with accents of fruity lemon, green banana and apricot. A very healthy medium-sized shrub with glossy dark green foliage and wide, arching growth. Named after the kindhearted hero of George Eliot’s classic novel.

The Right Roses:

David Austin introduced rose ‘Silas Marner’ for the the UK in 2020. David Austin continued his beloved trend by naming this rose after the main character in the novel of  one of the leading 19th century novelists, ‘Silas Marner: The Weaver of Raveloe’ by George Eliot. The writer has been more well known by her pen name than her actual name, Mary Ann Evans (22 November 1819 – 22 December 1880).

Incidentally, David Austin made a typo in his Handbook of Roses 2020 (for the UK market) when he introduced the renowned novelist. George Eliot died in north London in 1880, instead of 1890 (Handbook of Roses 2020, page 6). For your information, in 2018 (UK market), David Austin also named one of his roses after another novel of George Eliot, ‘The Mill on the Floss’.

The first thing we would love to say is ‘thank you for all the hard work’ to all the staff at David Austin Roses: David Austin Junior, Michael Marriott, Carl Bennett, Steve Parnham, Joe Spencer, and many others.  We are fully aware of the great deal of time, effort, love, and of course financial resources, you have invested in the two recent introductions, rose ‘Silas Marner’ and rose ‘The Country Parson’. Your wonderful talent and dedication never cease to amaze us!

It is always an exciting time for us to review a new rose. We do it in the most professional and responsible way we can. We only do it when we think we have a good understanding of the rose. We consider a new rose as truly a masterpiece! We try to get to know more about them and appreciate them slowly and naturally. Of course, that takes a lot of time and effort. And, perhaps, to some people, it may not be a ‘smart’ approach as they would prefer to move faster and take shortcuts. However, we strongly believe that doing it thoroughly and responsibly is the only way for us to show our respect to gardeners, our readers, and the talented rose breeders. Everyone deserves the best rose reviews possible!


We strongly believe that doing it thoroughly and responsibly is the only way for us to show our respect to gardeners, our readers, and the talented rose breeders.”

The Right Roses |

We also emphasize that we are very open to any conflicting opinions that other gardeners have. The performance of a rose depends on so many factors. Some of them are very specific to a certain garden. In addition, our understanding of the roses may improve as they get established further in our gardens. Therefore, we commit ourselves to updating our reviews to truly reflect the personalities of the roses.

In our opinion, rose ‘Silas Marner’ is a good rose. He may not be one of those phenomenal roses that catch everyone’s eyes. But he is still a nice rose to have!


He is still a nice rose to have!

The Right Roses |


The appellation (plant legal name) of rose ‘Silas Marner’ is very interesting to us. ‘Ausraveloe’ consists of two parts: ‘Aus’ and ‘raveloe. The appellation of David Austin roses always start with ‘Aus’. And, ‘raveloe’ is the name of the rural village in Warwickshire which Silas Marner travelled to, after he left Lantern Yard. ‘raveloe’ also came from the title of the novel, Silas Marner: The Weaver of Raveloe’.

Please see the milestones of rose ‘Silas Marner’ in our garden in the UK.

Silas Marner rose: The pros

Rose ‘Silas Marner’ has four strengths.

First, he looks very pretty in vase. He has an incredibly lovely shade of soft-pink that we also find in other varieties, such as Olivia Rose Austin, The Ancient Mariner, and Wisley 2008. Many gardeners just cannot have enough of that beautiful, beautiful color. The color mixes very well with other colors in the garden. Silas Marner exudes an abundance of charm and elegance that refresh your mind after a day of hard work. You may want to mix rose ‘Silas Marner’ with other roses and flowers which have similar, small – medium bloom sizes so that Silas Marner is not easy to be ignored.


Rose Silas Marner The Right Roses review experience score gardening power tool
Rose ‘Silas Marner’ (top row) and rose ‘The Mill On The Floss’ (bottom row)


Second, rose ‘Silas Marner’ keeps his mid-pink color relatively well in the UK weather. In the UK, we don’t have many chances to test him out in extremely hot weather (something like 100F or 40C). However, rose ‘Silas Marner’ would not fade very easily like a few other David Austin roses. We believe that this is a big positive for many gardeners like us. If you really like the mid-pink shade of newly opened Silas Marner, you just want the rose to retain that color as long as it can. In that sense, Silas Marner is a good rose. We are aware that he may not be able to retain his color as well in other extremely warm climates such as Texas or Florida. We look forward to hearing feedback from gardeners around the world when he is available to buy in your region.

Third, rose ‘Silas Marner’ is relatively healthy. David Austin Roses is quite enthusiastic about Silas Marner’s disease resistance. They suggested that Silas Marner is best for health. He is indeed quite healthy so far in our garden at the moment. He did get a bit of back spot at the base of his shrub where we watered him (26 June 2020). However, we have not had any big troubles with him yet.

In the last ten years, David Austin has vastly improved the disease resistance of their roses. Most of their 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 and Roald Dahl are two of the very healthy roses. You really cannot do much wrong with them in terms of disease resistance.

Fourth, Silas Marner is a vigorous rose. We planted him on March 3, 2020. He quickly leafed out and rewarded us with the first bud on May 6, 2020. After that, we never look back. Very vigorous. Please take a look at our ‘The Milestones’ Series to see how quickly Silas Marner got established in our garden. However, he is not as vigorous as a few other roses such Carolyn Knight and The Mill on the Floss. They are truly amazing in terms of their vigor.

Silas Marner rose: The cons

Rose ‘Silas Marner’ has three weaknesses.

First, his bloom size is very small! David Austin suggested that Silas Marner blooms are medium-sized, ranging between 2 – 3.5’’ (5 – 9 cm). Based on our experience so far, many blooms fall in the range between 2 – 2.5’’ or 5 – 6 cm. This is particularly true in hot weather. Silas Marner is not the right rose if you want your roses to consistently produce large blooms or even the high end of the medium-sized blooms (2 – 3.5’’ or 5 – 9 cm). To make it clearer, we cannot emphasize enough that Silas Marner blooms do not quench the thirst for good sized blooms. We expect that his bloom size may be even smaller in warmer climate. However, for many other gardeners, who love cute, little, and pretty blooms, he is exactly what you want.

Second, his blooms tend to wilt in hotter weather. And, we are not talking about cut flowers. He may look rather sad between noon and 2 or 3 PM in hot weather. Please keep in mind that we water him frequently (as much as other varieties around him). Therefore, Silas Marner is not the rose that can tolerate heat very well. The heat may make both his bloom size and bloom form suffer. We believe that this is the biggest weakness of Silas Marner so far. Silas Marner needs the perfect, dry and cool weather to perform to the best of his potential.

Third, Silas Marner does not produce a wonderfully strong perfume. David Austin suggested that his fragrance strength is between medium – strong. However, it is very ‘light’ in the garden most of the time that you hardly can detect. To be able to enjoy his perfume, you should bring him in and wait for the magical moment. At that time, his fragrance strength is indeed medium – strong with very lovely notes of old rose. You still need to take a good sniff of the blooms to detect it though.

We are aware that it is very person-specific when talking about the attractiveness and strength of fragrance. Some gardeners think that something is very strong, while others hardly can smell anything. Therefore, we are very keen to learn the opinions of other gardeners.

David Austin has introduced 12 rose varieties best for fragrance including: Emily Bronte (2018), Harlow Carr, The Generous Gardener, Princess Alexandra of Kent, Gabriel Oak (2019), Gertrude Jekyll, Desdemona, R. Rugosa Alba, Claire Austin, Summer Song, Charles Darwin, The Poet’s Wife. According to our own experience, other David Austin roses are also heavenly scented, although they are not in David Austin’s list, e.g., Golden Celebration, Lady Emma Hamilton, Munstead Wood, Carolyn Knight. To a certain extent, Crown Princess Margareta also deserves a special mention.

We would like to make an extra comment regarding the fragrance strength of David Austin roses. For some David Austin roses, it may take them 2 or 3 years to live up to their true potential. For example, Princess Alexandra of Kent is extremely fragrant. However, in the first 2 or 3 years in your garden, her blooms hardly smell anything.

If you want some David Austin roses having an instant impact in terms of fragrance, you may want to consider 5 roses: Golden Celebration, Emily Bronte (2018), Lady Emma Hamilton, Munstead Wood, and Gabriel Oak (2019). They smell wonderful even in their first ever flush. You do not even have to put your nose into the blooms to detect their incredible scent. Just standing close to them is enough. Having 5 of them next to each other would make every morning of yours very delightful. Your garden is filled with their beautiful perfume.

If you really want us to rank those 5 incredibly fragrant varieties in terms of their fragrance strength, it is a tough job. The team at The Right Roses would include the first four roses (Golden Celebration, Emily Bronte (2018), Lady Emma Hamilton, Munstead Wood) in the first tier and Gabriel Oak (2019) in the second tier. David Austin may have a different idea. He thought that  Gabriel Oak (2019) was one of his most scented roses, while he did not include Golden Celebration, Lady Emma Hamilton, Munstead Wood into that prestigious list in 2019/2020. One of the possible reasons could be that David Austin would like to drive more attention to his newer introductions.

Silas Marner rose in different climates

To be updated.

Silas Marner rose: The similarities

In our opinion, rose ‘Silas Marner’ look relatively similar to four other rose varieties: The Mill On The Floss (2018), The Ancient Mariner (2015),  and Wisley 2008.

In terms of bloom form and bloom size, Silas Marner look quite similar to The Mill On The Floss (2018). Both produce a lovely perfume. And, they both look very pretty. However, based on our experience, The Mill On The Floss (2018) is more vigorous than Silas Marner. The Mill On The Floss (2018) can get to 4 – 5 ft high in just a couple of months after being pruned to only 1ft.

In terms of color, The Ancient Mariner (2015) looks rather similar to Silas Marner. The Ancient Mariner (2015) is a wonderful rose. He is tough and vigorous. He produces masses of large blooms. He can tolerate shade and quite floriferous as well.

Silas Marner also looks quite similar to Wisley 2008. Both are very beautiful, producing medium-sized blooms. If we look at them carefully, perhaps there are not that many things that can separate them from each other. We hope that Silas Marner would repeat better.


Silas Marner rose: The details

Height & Spread: 3.5 ft x 4.5 ft Color: Mid pink Fragrance: Light in garden, medium – strong in vase (The Right Roses), Medium – strong (David Austin)
Fragrance notes: Old rose Flowering: Repeat flowering Suitable for containers: Yes
Sun exposure: Partial sunlight Bloom size: Medium mostly 2 – 2.5’’ or 5 – 6 cm (The Right Roses), Medium 2 – 3.5’’ or 5 – 9 cm (David Austin) Disease resistance: Excellent (The Right Roses), Excellent (David Austin)

Photo credit: The Right Roses |

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