The Right Roses

When You Just Want The Very Best

spirit of freedom rose The Right Roses review comments english roses
'Rose Review' Series Color: Pink David Austin roses Disease resistance: Excellent Flowering: Repeat flowering Fragrance: medium - strong Rose: Shrub rose

Spirit of Freedom Rose Review | David Austin 2002

Spirit of Freedom rose


Fragrance Strength


Repeat Flowering


Bloom Size




Suitable for containers


Tolerance of shade


Disease resistance


Tolerance of poor soil


Few thorns


Best for cuttings



  • Producing a high number of petals (200)
  • Blooms last long
  • A wonderful rose as cut flower
  • She hardly balls
  • 'Excellent' disease resistance


  • Does not form an attractive bush
  • Boom size is only medium (2 - 3.5'' or 5 - 9 cm)
  • Not very floriferous
  • Her fragrance is only 'medium - strong', not 'strong'



English Shrub Rose bred by David Austin

David Austin

A variety of typical Old Rose beauty, bearing large, very full, deeply cupped flowers of soft glowing pink, gradually turning lilac-pink over time. They are held elegantly poised on the branches with the greyish-green foliage. There is a pleasing fragrance with a hint of myrrh. It will form a large shrub or can be trained as a short climber. David Austin, 2002.

The Right Roses:

David Austin introduced Spirit of Freedom for the UK in 2002. He named this rose after The Freedom Association. According to its website, “all of the work it undertakes falls within the following Eight Principles of a Free Society: Individual Freedom, Personal & Family Responsibility, The Rule of Law, Limited Government, Free Market Economy, National Parliamentary Democracy, Strong National Defences and a Free Press and Other Media”.

Overall, Spirit of Freedom is a good rose. However, she is not one of the very best roses David Austin has introduced so far.


Overall, Spirit of Freedom is a good rose. However, she is not one of the very best roses David Austin has introduced so far”.

The Right Roses |


Spirit of Freedom rose: The pros

Spirit of Freedom rose has four main strengths.

First, she produces incredibly gorgeous blooms with such a high number of petals, which can go up to 200. She could be among those David Austin roses which have the highest number of petals.

However, we believe that 200 is just a number. To give you a better idea, the team at The Right Roses would like to compare several David Austin roses being famous for large blooms and their high number of petals. Many gardeners love Princess Alexandra of Kent rose and Golden Celebration rose because they produce large blooms. Probably, among David Austin roses, they produce the largest blooms. However, Princess Alexandra of Kent blooms only have 130 petals. And, Golden Celebration blooms have about 55 – 75 petals. The Ancient Mariner is another David Austin rose producing very large number of petals. And, guess how many petals does he produce in general on each bloom? The Ancient Mariner blooms could have 160 petals. And, to remind you of the number of petals on each Spirit of Freedom bloom, it is 200. Now, we hope you realize how special Spirit of Freedom is.

Second, Spirit of Freedom blooms last long on the stems and in vase. Therefore, Spirit of Freedom is a wonderful rose as cut flower. You just cannot describe her beauty in words when she is in vase on your dining table.

David Austin has introduced several great roses with long-lasting blooms such as Jubilee Celebration, Golden Celebration and Princess Alexandra of Kent. In general, their blooms can last 5 – 6 days in the sun. In the rain, their blooms may last shorter.

If you would like to buy roses being best as cut flower, you may want to consider Boscobel, Charlotte, Darcey Bussel, Golden Celebration, Graham Thomas, Jubilee Celebration, Lady of Shalott, Molineux, Munstead Wood, Princess Alexandra of Kent, Queen of Sweden, Teasing Georgia, The Alnwick Rose. Windermere, and of course Spirit of Freedom.

Third, Spirit of Freedom hardly balls. This important trait just adds to her charms. As gardeners, we all know how frustrating it is after weeks (could be months) of waiting the process from growths to flower buds. We wait for the flower buds to mature for a couple of weeks. You know that the process takes forever.  And then, all your big, fat buds ball! Despite the high count of petals, Spirit of Freedom normally avoids this pitfall.

Fourth, Spirit of Freedom has ‘excellent’ disease resistance. This is a big plus for Spirit of Freedom about 10, 20 years ago when David Austin roses did not do particularly well on disease resistance. Recently, he is vastly improving on this dimension. Most of his introductions have ‘excellent’ disease resistance, such as Princess Anne, Emily Bronte (2018), Eustacia Vye (2019), and Gabriel Oak (2019).


Spirit of Freedom rose: The cons

Spirit of Freedom has four weaknesses.

First, she can be a big rose. David Austin suggested that her bush size is 4ft x 4ft. However, she can be bigger with very long canes. Even in the first couple of years in your garden, she can produce 6 – 8 ft long canes. In particular, if you live in the warmer climates such as Southern California, she could be very big. Now, you know why her name is “Spirit of Freedom”. In fact, only David Austin knew exactly why he gave that name to her. However, the team at The Right Roses believe that her growth habit could be the reason why she has that name. As a result, she may not produce a very attractive shrub. You need to give her a lot of space to thrive.

Second, Spirit of Freedom does not produce very large blooms. Her bloom size ranges between 2 – 3.5’’ or 5 – 9 cm. If you would like David Austin roses with large bloom sizes, you may want to consider Princess Alexandra of Kent rose and Golden Celebration rose.

Third, she is not one of those varieties being best for flowering. Nonetheless, she does improve with time.

David Austin has introduced 2 climbing roses and 1 rambling rose, being best for flowering, including: Mortimer Sackler, Iceberg, Malvern Hills. Alternatively, 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.

Fourth, her fragrance strength is only ‘medium – strong’. Therefore, her fragrance is nice. But, she is not the best rose for fragrance.


Spirit of Freedom rose: The similarities

In terms of growth habit, Spirit of Freedom resembles The Mill On The Floss (2018). Both of them are so vigorous. In the first year in my garden, she can get to 5 – 6 ft tall.

In terms of color, for some reason, Spirit of Freedom reminds me of Brother Cadfael. He is also a very big rose. Not very floriferous. However, he produces a strong fragrance.

Spirit of Freedom rose: The details

Height & Spread: 4ft x 4ft Color: Soft glowing pink Fragrance: Medium-strong
Fragrance notes: Myrrh Flowering: Repeat Flowering Suitable for containers: No
Sun exposure: Full sunlight Bloom size: Medium (2 – 3.5’’ or 5 – 9 cm) Disease resistance: Excellent

Photo credit:

Notify of
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
5 months ago

Hello. I’m in Belgium, zone 8b. My SoF was planted last autumn. In one year it grew three HUGE beautiful new canes 2 meters long with lush clusters of amaizing blooms! What a wonderful rose this is! It’s extremenly vigorous and big, but for me it’s not a “con”, but a huge “pro”! And the blooms are 11cm: big. It’s got morning and afternoon sun. Lovely, lovely rose! Healthy and strong, with lots of gorgeous blooms.

Last edited 5 months ago by Natasha
5 months ago

If you look up spirit of freedom on the David Austin u.s.a. website, it tells you why he named her that.

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.