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The Country Parson The Right Roses review experience score powerful tools english David Austin gardening
'Rose Review' Series Color: White & Cream Color: Yellow David Austin roses Disease resistance: Excellent Flowering: Repeat flowering Fragrance: medium - strong Ideal: Pots & Containers Ideal: Shady areas Rose: Shrub rose Shrub size: Medium (4 ft)

The Country Parson Rose Review | David Austin 2020

The Country Parson Rose


Fragrance Strength


Repeat Flowering


Bloom Size




Suitable for containers


Tolerant to shade


Disease resistance


Tolerance of poor soil


Few thorns


Best for cuttings



  • Tolerates rain well
  • Heat tolerance (in the UK)
  • Long lasting
  • Very floriferous
  • Vigorous
  • Healthy


  • Thorny
  • Fading to white very quickly
  • Not strongly fragrant
  • His stems do not look very attractive when he first came.



English Shrub Rose bred by David Austin


David Austin

A pretty yet feisty rose of Scottish descent, bearing open, medium-large, almost flat rosettes of pure yellow. The petals appear gracefully translucent towards the outer edges of each bloom creating an illuminated effect. There is a delicious medium-strong fruity fragrance with notes of sweet apricot, green apple and honey. A rounded medium-sized shrub whose little spiny thorns mingle with small, greyish-green leaves. A very healthy and robust rose, producing continuous, plentiful blooms from June through to the first frosts.

The Right Roses:

David Austin Roses introduced rose ‘The Country Parson’ for the UK market in 2020. They named this rose after James Woodforde’s diary, ‘The Diary of a Country Parson’. In the diary, which was unpublished until the 20th century, James Woodforde (1740–1803) described everyday routines and concerns of  the 18th-century rural England.

Similarly to what we did we reviewed rose ‘Silas Marner’, 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 many others.  We are fully aware of the great deal of time, effort, love, and of course financial resources, you have devoted 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, it may not be a ‘smart’ approach as people 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. Please read our ‘The Milestone’ Series to follow the progress rose ‘The Country Parson’ makes in our gardens.

In our opinion, rose ‘The Country Parson’ is a good rose in a number of specific situations. However, he may not be one of those phenomenal roses that catches everyone’s eyes.


Rose ‘The Country Parson’ is a good rose in a number of specific situations.”

The Right Roses |


The appellation (plant legal name) of rose ‘The Country Parson’ looks particularly interesting to us. ‘Ausclergy’ consists of two parts: ‘Aus’ and ‘clergy’. As usual, the appellations of David Austin roses start with ‘Aus’. The other part, ‘clergy’ is the daily job of James Woodforde, the author of ‘The Diary of a Country Parson’.

David Austin roses are also known as English roses. Therefore, it is great to see David Austin Roses further enriching their brand meaning by honoring English writers, English traditions, English literature, and so on. This is one of the things we love most about David Austin roses.

The Country Parson rose: The pros

Rose ‘The Country Parson’ has six strengths.

First and foremost, he tolerates rain very well. It looks like that rain does not trouble him much. Even if it rained for a couple of days or more, his blooms would still look rather robust and beautiful. As we mentioned above, rose ‘The Country Parson’ is a good rose in a number of specific situations. If it rains a lot in your areas, rose ‘The Country Parson’ is the right rose for you.

Second, he tolerates heat relatively well. And, in this aspect, he is much better than the other new introduction in 2020, Silas Marner. Some English roses are not well-known for their heat tolerance. They look absolutely stunning in cooler climates, e.g., the UK. However, they may not look particularly exciting in other warmer climates. Rose ‘The Country Parson’ is better than many other English roses in this aspect. Please keep in mind that we are talking about the UK weather. It is still to be seen how well he can cope with the extremely hot weather in other climates, e.g., 40C or 100F.

Third, rose ‘The Country Parson’ lasts rather well (better than average). Based on our experience, David Austin roses tend to last longer in their 2nd or 3rd year. In the first year, perhaps their root system is not developed enough to support their blooms. Therefore, they may last shorter in the first couple of years in your garden. However, in the case of The Country Parson, he lasts longer than our expectation, which is quite promising.

Fourth, he is incredibly floriferous. This is a very positive surprise to us as well. He has been in our garden as a bare root for barely 3 months or so. However, his first flush is fantastic. We planted him next to one of our most reliable powerhouses, Boscobel. We believe that they will be a joy to see in the years to come.

Fifth, rose ‘The Country Parson’ is vigorous. And, we did not expect this either. When we bought him, we thought he would become a little, tiny, cute boy in the garden. However, it turned out that he grew so fast. David Austin suggested that his shrub size is about 3.5ft x 3.5ft. However, at the moment, we would expect that he can easily become a 4ft (height) x 4.5ft (spread) rose. Therefore, you may want to adjust your expectation and give him the necessary space to stretch his legs.

We also want to comment on his growth habit. The Country Parson has a similar growth habit with rose ‘Lady Emma Hamilton’. He would just spread his arms and legs horizontally first before gaining any height. Since we want to make his shrub more compact, we trained his arms and legs upwards early on. Interestingly, David Austin Roses did not mention this point in their description of this rose, while they did mention the arching growth habit of Silas Marner. Interestingly, we have not seen that growth habit of rose Silas Marner yet. However, it is still the early day. We will keep a close eye on them.

Sixth, rose ‘The Country Parson’ is rather healthy. David Austin indicated that he is among the best for health. So far, you have not got any problems with him. He got a bit of black spot at the base where we usually watered. We will keep you updated regarding this point. It would be better to talk about the disease resistance of a new rose in August or September when the weather is wetter.

The Country Parson rose: The cons

Rose ‘The Country Parson’ has five weaknesses.

First, it is so clear to see that he is extremely thorny. It is a battle even when you want to do some simple things such as tying a stem to a stake. Oh my God, it hurts! We don’t think that we need to emphasize the challenges of having a thorny rose. For your information, quite interestingly, we have rose ‘The Country Parson’ next to rose ‘Munstead Wood’. Let’s see who win this contest: the scariest rose. However, please don’t get us wrong. No matter how thorny rose ‘Munstead Wood’is, he is still a unique rose. He can even be thornier and whatsoever he wants to be, he is still a special rose that we would love to treasure.

Second, rose ‘The Country Parson’ fades to white very quickly (even in the UK). Therefore, to manage your expectation, you should just consider him as a white rose. His white blooms still look very pretty though.

Third, his fragrance is not strong. David Austin described his fragrance strength as ‘medium – strong’. However, we really think that it should be ‘light’ in the garden and ‘medium’ indoors at most. Silas Marner produces a stronger fragrance than that of The Country Parson. It would be interesting to see if his fragrance strength improves in the future.

Fourth, his stems did not look very attractive when he first came from David Austin. Please see ‘The Milestones’ Series for more details. The stems were wiry, tiny, and brown-ish. A visitor even mentioned to us that, he/she was surprised to find out that he did bloom because the rose did not look very good at first (March 3, 2020). To be honest, we were very worried as well! We did not feel very easy seeing the condition of the rose like that until we saw the first bud on May 9, 2020. However, as a matter of fact, he lost about 20% of his stems because of ‘die-back’. We are not sure if this is a characteristic of his or it was because he just came out of the cold storage at David Austin. We decide to put this point as a weakness of rose ‘The Country Parson’ just for your information. It is also good for your expectation.

Firth, his bloom size is very tiny at first. In particular, in the first flush, it is so tiny. However, the bloom size may improve as he gets established more in your garden. Having said so, it would be good for you to expect that he produces small blooms.

The Country Parson rose in different climates

To be updated.

The Country Parson rose: The similarities

Rose ‘The Country Parson’ looks quite similar to three roses: The Pilgrim, Molineux, and Harlow Carr.

The Pilgrim is a lovely and reliable climbing rose. Probably, it can be the perfect rose to be trained on those red-brick walls in the UK. We expect that rose ‘The Country Parson’ is healthier and more floriferous.

Molineux is the favorite rose of many gardeners in the US. It is very floriferous and tolerant to heat. Similarly to rose ‘The Country Parson’, its fragrance is not strong.

Harlow Carr is an interesting rose. It produces a different color (pink) and much stronger fragrance. However, we still think that it is very similar to The Country Parson due to the bloom size and the look of stems: very thorny. It is still a very pretty rose.

The Country Parson rose: The details

Height & Spread: potentially 4ft x 4.5 ft (The Right Roses), 3.5ft x 3.5ft (David Austin) Color: Mostly white (The Right Roses), Yellow (David Austin) Fragrance: Light in garden, medium in vase (The Right Roses), Medium – strong (David Austin)
Fragrance notes: Fruity Flowering: Repeat flowering Suitable for containers: Yes
Sun exposure: Partial sunlight Bloom size: Medium 2 – 3’’ or 5 – 7 cm (The Right Roses), Medium – large (David Austin) Disease resistance: Excellent

Photo credit: The Right Roses |

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9 months ago

I have to say that I was surprised when David Austin released this rose, especially after the 2 wonderful introductions last year – Eustacia Vye & Gabriel Oak. Every year I look forward to buying a new release rose from David Austin, however I won’t be getting the Country Parson as it will feel like a step backwards. My priorities are Fragrance & few thorns, so unfortunately it looks like he isn’t a new rose for my garden.

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