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The Lady Gardener. Photo credit: Rose review:
'Rose Review' Series Color: Apricot & Orange David Austin roses Disease resistance: Excellent Flowering: Repeat flowering Fragrance: medium Ideal: Pots & Containers Ideal: Shady areas

The Lady Gardener Rose Review | David Austin 2013

The Lady Gardener


Fragrance Strength


Repeat Flowering


Bloom Size




Suitable for containers


Tolerant of shade


Disease resistance


Tolerance of poor soil


Few thorns


Best for cuttings



  • Upright habit
  • Large blooms: 3.5 - 5 '' or 9 - 12.5 cm
  • Attractive shrub
  • Very floriferous
  • Excellent disease resistance
  • Tolerance of shade


  • Color can fade quickly
  • Medium fragrance
  • Quite thorny



English Shrub Rose bred by David Austin


David Austin

Bears large, quartered rosettes, each about 4” across, packed with loosely arranged petals. They are a beautiful shade of pure apricot, paling towards the edges. There is a lovely Tea fragrance, with hints of cedar wood and vanilla. Named for Plant Heritage, who do so much to protect Britain’s garden plant diversity. David Austin, 2013.

The Right Roses:

David Austin introduced The Lady Gardener rose for the UK in 2013. The Lady Gardener is not one of the finest David Austin introductions. However, overall, she is a good rose.


The Lady Gardener is not one of the finest David Austin introductions. However, overall, she is a good rose”.

The Right Roses |

The Lady Gardener rose: The pros

  • Best for smaller hedges
  • Best for windy, wet and exposed

The first and foremost strength of The Lady Gardener is her upright habit. Not like a few other David Austin varieties such as Jubilee Celebration, The Lady Gardener’s neck is strong and very upright. As a result, it is very easy for you to enjoy her beauty without having to lift each bloom up. For those who like posing for photos next to your dear roses, she is the one you must have. She can tolerate the heat very well. Even in the heat, she does not flop.

Next, The Lady Gardener produces large-sized blooms (3.5 – 5’’ or 9 – 12.5 cm). Most likely, her blooms are about 4’’ large with a charming shade of pure apricot, paling towards the edges.

If you like apricot roses and want a neat rose garden with shapely shrubs, then I would suggest The Lady Gardener. David Austin forms an attractive 4 ft x 4 ft shrub. After two years in your garden, she can get to about 3.5 ft height x 3.5 ft spread. Her bush is dense and shapely without many octopus canes like a few others such as Lady of Shalott. Therefore, The Lady Gardener is a very good option for the front of border.

In addition, The Lady Gardener is very floriferous. She blooms early and continuously. Many gardeners are absolutely in love with her prolific flowering habit. However, The Lady Gardener could not make it to the list of the best David Austin roses for flowering in their Handbook of Roses 2019/2020.

Moreover, The Lady Gardener is a very healthy rose. David Austin voted her as one of their “excellent” disease resistant roses. In the first year in your garden, you may find some back spot here and there on her bush. However, from the second year, she is probably disease-free.

Finally, The Lady Gardener can tolerate a little shade. Coupled with her ability to tolerate windy, wet and exposed, she is a great option for the English gardeners.

The Lady Gardener rose: The cons

The Lady Gardener may disappoint a few gardeners with three weakness of hers.

First, if you buy her mainly for her beautiful pure apricot color, then you could be quite disappointed. Her color is very inconsistent, greatly varying across the time of the year and your climate. If you live in a hotter region, she will spend a lot of time as a cream rose. If you live in a cooler region or being closer to the autumn, her color will turn to deeper orange-apricot. However, for some gardeners, The Lady Gardener may open pink, then quickly fade to white-cream.

Second, The Lady Gardener only produces a medium fragrance. Therefore, if you buy a rose purely for her strength of fragrance, The Lady Gardener is not the right rose for you. However, her tea fragrance is extremely tasty with notes of cedar wood and vanilla when you sniff an individual bloom.

Finally, she is very thorny. So, be careful with her whenever you get closer to her. She could bite! However, she is not as thorny as some other David Austin roses such as Munstead Wood.

The Lady Gardener rose: The similarities

Her upright habit reminds me a lot of Queen of Sweden, which as make a relatively small shrub (3ft x 3ft) and produce a medium fragrance. However, Queen of Sweden blooms are soft pink, while it is apricot with The Lady Gardener.

In terms of the apricot shade, The Lady Gardener is similar to Lady of Shalott. Lady of Shalott produces rich apricot blooms. However, her blooms would not fade as much as The Lady Gardener. Lady of Shalott blooms are also only medium-fragrant. However, most importantly, Lady of Shalott will be a monster in your garden in terms of shrub size. The Lady Gardener will make a more reasonable, attractive shrub.

The Lady Gardener rose: The details

Height & Spread: 4ft x 4ft Color: Apricot Fragrance: Medium
Fragrance notes: Tea Flowering: Repeat flowering Suitable for containers: Yes
Sun exposure: Partial sunlight Bloom size: Large (3.5 – 5’’ or 9 – 12.5 cm) Disease resistance: Excellent

Photo credit:

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