The Right Roses

When You Just Want The Very Best

Sweet Juliet rose The Right Roses review english garden david austin gardening nature
'Rose Review' Series Color: Apricot & Orange David Austin roses Disease resistance: Good Fragrance: strong Ideal: Back of border Rose: Shrub rose Shrub size: Medium - Large (4.5 ft)

Sweet Juliet Rose Review | David Austin 1989

Sweet Juliet rose


Fragrance Strength


Repeat Flowering


Bloom Size




Suitable for containers


Tolerance of shade


Disease resistance


Tolerance of poor soil


Few thorns


Best for cuttings



  • Heavenly fragrant ('strong')
  • Attractive and narrow growth habit
  • Good for cutting and arrangements
  • Quite healthy ('good')


  • Not very floriferous
  • Slow grower
  • Blooms size is medium (2 - 3'' or 5 - 8 cm)or



English Shrub Rose bred by David Austin

David Austin

Attractive, neatly formed, medium-sized rosettes in shades of glowing apricot. There is a strong, delightfully fresh fragrance in the Tea Rose tradition, developing a cool lemon character as the flowers develop. The growth is strong, sending up numerous upright branches from the base. David Austin, 1989.

The Right Roses:

David Austin introduced Sweet Juliet for the UK in 1989. For your information, in 1989 David Austin also introduced a very famous variety, Sharifa Asma. He named rose ‘Sweet Juliet’ after the heroine of Romeo & Juliet, a tragedy written by William Shakespeare first published in 1595.

Sweet Juliet has attracted mixed opinion on her performance from gardeners in various climates. Certainly, she is not one of the most popular David Austin roses.


Sweet Juliet has attracted mixed opinion on her performance from gardeners in various climates

The Right Roses |


Sweet Juliet rose: The pros

Sweet Juliet has four main strengths.

First, she is heavenly fragrant with note of Tea. The team at The Right Roses strongly believes that her ‘to-die-for’ fragrance is her biggest strength. At the moment (Feb 2020), she is not one of the most fragrant David Austin roses. We don’t think that her perfume is less strong than other rose varieties currently best for fragrance. The reason why Sweet Juliet is not being listed among the most fragrant roses could be because of the fact that she was introduced 31 years ago. We also would like to remind you of the note of her fragrance: tea fragrance. Not like myrrh, tea fragrance is extreme popular among gardeners. David Austin has introduced several rose varieties with the same beautiful (!) note of tea, such as Golden Celebration, Charles Darwin, and recently Emily Bronte (2018).

Second, Sweet Juliet form a narrow and attractive shrub. We have seen many gardeners complaining about David Austin shrub roses. Many strongly indicated that David Austin roses are not the right roses if you intend to build a NEAT garden. David Austin roses tend to have too many octopus canes, particularly in the warmer climates. The team at The Right Roses totally understand your concerns. However, we do believe that it is extremely hard to find something truly perfect in life. Everything comes with strengths and weaknesses. Probably, we are not very different either. You and me. We are not perfect. In other words, we are perfectly imperfect. Although many David Austin roses tend to become a monster in warmer climates (e.g., Lady of Shalott, Golden Celebration), their elegance and fragrance can more than compensate for their less attractive shrub form. However, in this case, you really would not have to make that tradeoff with Sweet Juliet. She has an upright and narrow growth habit. She would be a great candidate for back of the border (4.5 ft x 4 ft).

Third, Sweet Juliet is a good rose for cutting and arrangements. Of course, it depends on your climate. However, in general, she lasts quite long in the vase.

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 flowers, 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, Teasing Georgia, The Alnwick Rose, Windermere, and of course Spirit of Freedom.

We would like to make an extra comment about the vase life of roses to make it clearer for the readers. What do we mean by ‘last 5 – 6 days’? Some gardeners may think that their roses of the same varieties in their gardens last much longer. Here is our response. That is definitely the beauty of nature. A lot of factors may influence how long a bloom lasts. The weather. The heat. The month of the year. And, the soil in the garden. However, what do we mean by ‘last 5 – 6 days’? We refer the vase (or stem) life of a bloom to the number of days in which the bloom is truly at its best. That means the number of days that a fully opened bloom is truly at its best and you do not feel like its best moment has been over. Therefore, a flower bud may take one or two weeks to go from the bud stage to completely shatter. However, once it fully blooms, its life is significantly shorter. We have to say that Jubilee Celebration, Golden Celebration and Princess Alexandra of Kent produce very long-lasting blooms. Even at their fully opened best, they can easily last 5 – 6 more days in vase or on stems. For your information, we have a silly habit. We would like to deadhead the blooms as soon as their best moment is over so that the plant can focus their energy for the next flush and repeat better. For instance, we usually deadhead The Ancient Mariner and Royal Jubilee about 2-3 days after they fully bloom. It takes a lot of time and effort to deadhead, we know. However, it is good for the roses and for us because we would have more blooms to enjoy.

Fourth, Sweet Juliet is quite healthy. David Austin only ranked her disease resistance as ‘good’. She can get black spot. However, she can be a lot better in this aspect compared with many other ‘good’ disease resistant David Austin roses.

Sweet Juliet rose: The cons

Sweet Juliet has three main weaknesses.

First, she is not very floriferous. There are two ways for you to overcome this weakness of hers. First, to encourage her to flower more, you should prune her very hard (about half her size). Second, you should plant a few (for example 3) Sweet Juliet in a group. Doing it that way would give you more blooms.

Second, she is a slow grower. If you really love her fragrance, please give her about 3 years. She will generously reward your patience!

Third, her blooms are not ‘large’, only between 2 – 3’’ or 5 – 8 cm. More like in the middle of that range. Therefore, you would not feel totally satisfied when seeing her blooms.

David Austin has introduced a few rose varieties producing very large blooms, e.g., The Lady Gardener, Jubilee Celebration, Golden Celebration and Princess Alexandra of Kent. The last two roses (Golden Celebration and Princess Alexandra of Kent) consistently produce very large blooms (probably the largest ones). You may also want to consider Brother Cadfael. The bloom sizes of Gabriel Oak, The Ancient Mariner, and Princess Crown Margareta are also very nice.

Sweet Juliet rose in different climates

To be updated.

Sweet Juliet rose: The similarities

Sweet Julie in many ways resembles Emily Bronte (2018) to us. However, we do think that it is extremely unfair to associate Sweet Julie with Emily Bronte (2018) because Emily Bronte (2018) is so much better. She is very healthy. And, like Sweet Juliet, she produces ‘to-die-for’ fragrance. Absolutely wonderful. Emily Bronte (2018) also has a very narrow growth habit (4 ft x 3.5 ft). Therefore, she is a great rose for many situations.

Sweet Juliet rose: The details

Height & Spread: 4.5ft x 4ft Color: Glowing apricot Fragrance: Strong
Fragrance notes: Tea Flowering: Repeat Flowering Suitable for containers: Yes
Sun exposure: Full sunlight Bloom size: Medium (2 – 3’’ or 5 – 8 cm) Disease resistance: Good
Zones: 5-11 Petal count: 70 Sub type: English Musk Hybrid

Photo credit: The Right Roses |

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