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The Alnwick Rose. The Right Roses. Rose review. Comments. Photo credit: David Austin
'Rose Review' Series Color: Pink David Austin roses Disease resistance: Excellent Fragrance: medium - strong Heat tolerance Ideal: Pots & Containers Rose: Shrub rose

The Alnwick Rose Review | David Austin 2001

The Alnwick rose


Fragrance Strength


Repeat Flowering


Bloom Size




Suitable for containers


Tolerance of shade


Disease resistance


Tolerance of poor soil


Few thorns


Best for cuttings



  • Incredibly pretty soft-pink blooms
  • Long bloom season
  • 'Excellent' disease resistance
  • Quick grower
  • Upright, bushy, attractive growth habit
  • Tolerance of heat


  • Blooms are small (1 – 2’’ or 2.5 – 5 cm)
  • Only 'medium - strong' fragrance (not 'strong')



English Shrub Rose bred by David Austin


David Austin

Pretty, many petalled, cupped blooms of soft pink. There is a rich Old Rose fragrance with raspberry notes. It flowers in flushes from early summer until the first frosts. It forms a nicely rounded, slightly upright, bushy shrub with plentiful, glossy green foliage. David Austin, 2001.

The Right Roses:

David Austin introduced The Alnwick rose for the UK in 2001. He named this rose after Alnwick Castle. This beautiful castle was built in 1096, located next to The River Aln.

The Alnwick rose is an incredibly pretty one. The ability to tolerate heat makes her the number-one rose of many gardeners all over the world.


The ability to tolerate heat makes her the number-one rose of many gardeners all over the world”.

The Right Roses |


The Alnwick rose: The pros

The Alnwick rose has six main strengths.

First, The Alnwick rose is extremely elegant and pretty. In fact, she is exactly what the word ‘pretty’ is supposed to mean. Her soft-pink blooms make a long-lasting impression in your mind as soon as you see her once. If you need gorgeous and little pink blooms for your garden, then The Alnwick rose must be the right rose for you.

Second, The Alnwick rose has a long bloom season, from early summer until the first frosts. She blooms in flushes. The Alnwick rose is very floriferous, reblooms extremely well. She repeats probably as much and fast as Princess Alexandra of Kent and Royal Jubilee, which are two of the varieties with a great reblooming performance. According to our experience, Boscobel is probably one of the best rose for reblooming. Absolutely incredible!

David Austin suggested 12 roses being best for flowering: Harlow Carr, Olivia Rose Austin, Mortimer Sackler, Princess Anne, Thomas a Becket, Kew Gardens, William & Catherine, Iceberg, Lady of Shalott, Roald Dahl, and Malvern Hills.

Third, The Alnwick rose is a very healthy rose. David Austin rated her disease resistance as “excellent”. In recent years, it has become a trend that David Austin roses have the ‘excellent’ disease resistance, e.g.,  Gabriel Oak (2019) or Eustacia Vye (2019). However, it was quite rare that David Austin could introduce an ‘excellently disease resistant’ rose about 20 years ago.

Fourth, The Alnwick rose is a quick grower. She gets established quite quickly in your garden. After 2 years in your garden, she can get from a bare root to about 3-4 ft tall and 3 ft wide.

Fifth, The Alnwick rose has an upright growth habit. She makes an attractive, rounded, and bushy shrub. She produces very few lax, octopus canes. Therefore, she is such a great rose for small gardens.

And, sixth, this is one of her best traits. She can take the heat very well. She can thrive even in very warm climates such as Southern California. This could be the reason why gardeners all over the world love her. The Alnwick can thrive in a wide range of climates. Her blooms do not get fried under heat. In addition, she remains her reasonable attractive shrub size even in warm climates.

The Alnwick rose: The cons

The Alnwick rose has two main weaknesses.

First, her blooms are small (1 – 2’’ or 2.5 – 5 cm). On one hand, her small bloom size really adds to her prettiness and cuteness. On the other hand, the small bloom size may not be able to quench gardeners’ thirst for roses with fragrant and large blooms. If you need a David Austin rose with large and fragrant blooms, Princess Alexandra of Kent, Gabriel Oak (2019), Golden Celebration, and Gertrude Jekyll.

Second, The Alnwick rose does not produce a ‘strong’ fragrance. David Austin ranked her fragrance as ‘medium-strong’. Her fragrance is very tasty with hints of raspberries. Nonetheless, she is not one of those roses being best for fragrance, such as Gabriel Oak (2019), Emily Bronte (2018), Harlow Carr, Gertrude Jekyll, Princess Alexandra of Kent, The Generous Gardener, Desdemona, Claire Austin, The Poet’s Wife, Charles Darwin, Summer Song, and R. Rugosa Alba.

The Alnwick rose: The similarities

Queen of Sweden is quite like The Alnwick rose. They both produce soft-pink blooms and shrub size (4ft x 3ft). However, The Alnwick blooms are more fragrant. However, Queen of Sweden last longer in vase with stronger stems. Therefore, Queen of Sweden rose is slight better as a cut flower.

The Alnwick rose: The details

Height & Spread: 4ft x 3ft Color: Soft pink Fragrance: Medium-strong
Fragrance notes: Old Rose Flowering: Repeat Flowering Suitable for containers: Yes
Sun exposure: Full sunlight Bloom size: Small (1 – 2’’ or 2.5 – 5 cm) Disease resistance: Excellent

Photo credit:

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