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The Poets Wife rose. English rose. David Austin rose. Photo credit: Rose review:
'Rose Review' Series Color: Yellow David Austin roses Disease resistance: Good Flowering: Repeat flowering Fragrance: strong Ideal: Front of border Ideal: Pots & Containers Ideal: Shady areas Rose: Shrub rose

The Poet’s Wife Rose Review | David Austin 2014

The Poet's Wife


Fragrance Strength


Repeat Flowering


Bloom Size




Suitable for containers


Tolerant of shade


Disease resistance


Tolerance of poor soil


Few thorns


Best for cuttings



  • Best for fragrance
  • Attractive shrub
  • Extremely quickly rebloom
  • Tolerance of shade
  • Rare color: rich yellow


  • Color can fade quickly
  • Only "good" disease resistance



English Shrub Rose bred by David Austin

David Austin

Bears rich yellow flowers, which pale over time. Their formation is most pleasing, having a neat outer ring of petals enclosing an informal group of petals within. There is a strong, wonderfully rich fragrance with a hint of lemon, which becomes sweeter and stronger with age. It forms a bushy, nicely rounded shrub with arching branches and rather shiny foliage. David Austin, 2014.

The Right Roses:

David Austin introduced The Poet’s Wife rose for the UK in 2014. It is still unclear where this rose’s name came from. David Austin has a wonderful habit of giving literacy names to his roses, such as Eustacia Vye (2019), Gabriel Oak (2019), or The Mill On The Floss (2018). So, my guess is that this rose was named after the main character in Judith Allnatt’s novel, “The Poet’s Wife” (2011).

The Poet’s Wife is an incredible rose. She is probably among the best alternative for your front of border, alongside Lady Emma Hamilton, with so many positive traits, while seems without any notable negative traits.

The Poet’s Wife is an incredible rose. She is probably among the best alternative for your front of border…”.

The Right Roses |

The Poet’s Wife rose: The pros

  • Best for fragrance
  • Best for pots and containers

The Poet’s Wife rose is a fabulous rose variety. She is the must-have rose for those gardeners who love the yellow shade. Michael Marriott, a senior rosarian at David Austin was very enthusiastic when he talked about this rose variety: The Poet’s Wife produces “a rare colour in our range because we haven’t found a really good one for years”. The Poet’s Wife blooms are bright yellow, without the gold or apricot shade. So far, only about four or five David Austin roses produce this beautiful rich yellow shade, e.g., Golden Celebration, Graham Thomas, or Charlotte.

In addition to her rare color, The Poet’s Wife rose produces a very delicious and strong fragrance. It is a great mixture between lemon scent with a note of myrrh. In the Handbook of Roses 2019/2020, David Austin voted The Poet’s Wife rose as one their best for fragrance. To many gardeners, this is exactly the decisive point, including me. Her scent is truly to die for! Her blooms have approximately 77 petals and are “large” (3.5 – 5” or 9 – 12.5 cm).

Another positive trait of The Poet’s Wife rose is her attractive shrub. Like Lady Emma Hamilton, she will make a very shapely and rounded 3.5 ft height x 3.5 ft spread shrub. In the first couple of years in your garden, she usually has a few drooping canes, especially when she is in blooms. However, there is nothing too much serious. Consequently, she is an ideal candidate for your front border, where you do not want any huge roses blocking your view of those plants in the back of border. She is not very thorny.

Moreover, The Poet’s Wife rose is extremely floriferous. Although she is not one of the best for flowering in Handbook of Roses 2019/2020, she reblooms exceptionally quickly. Many said that she is continuously in blooms. Therefore, you will never miss the opportunity for enjoying her beauty, even though you could be away for a few weeks.

Finally, The Poet’s Wife rose is very shade-tolerant. The ability to tolerate shade, coupled with her relatively smaller size, make her an ideal candidate for the English garden. As gardeners, we definitely are not very keen on those monster-sized shrubs which can eat up all the space in our gardens.

The Poet’s Wife rose: The cons

The Poet’s Wife rose has two little weaknesses.

First, it is about her color. Many gardeners fall in love with her color at first sight. This is not surprising because David Austin has not introduced many yellow rose varieties. Nonetheless, unfortunately, The Poet’s Wife’s rich yellow color can fade quickly to cream, especially in heat. Many would say, that is even better because they could enjoy a wider range of color. However, it could be disappointing for those who only love the rich yellow shade.

Second, The Poet’s Wife is a healthy rose. Many said that they hardly saw any black spot in her. However, David Austin only rated her disease resistance as “good”. Surprisingly, David Austin also rated Golden Celebration as “good” disease resistance. However, The Poet’s Wife definitely can do better at this aspect than Golden Celebration.

The Poet’s Wife rose: The similarities

In the shrub rose category, The Poet’s Wife reminds me a lot of Golden Celebration. Both have delicious and strong fragrance. Indeed, they are both among the most fragrant David Austin rose varieties. However, Golden Celebration will make a larger shrub (4ft height x 4ft spread). In addition, Golden Celebration must be planted in full sunlight locations.

Furthermore, The Poet’s Wife also looks quite similar to Graham Thomas. Graham Thomas can tolerate shade, like The Poet’s Wife. However, he makes a larger shrub (4ft height x 4ft spread) and only produces a light fragrance.

The Poet’s Wife rose: The details

Height & Spread: 3.5ft x 3.5ft Color: Rich yellow Fragrance: Strong
Fragrance notes: Fruity Flowering: Repeat flowering Suitable for containers: Yes
Sun exposure: Partial sunlight Bloom size: Large (3.5 – 5’’ or 9 – 12.5 cm) Disease resistance: Good

Photo credit:

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1 year ago

Hi, Rightroses. If planted in the UK, how high will the poet’s wife be? I found different height in Helpmefind and Gardenia. team
1 year ago
Reply to  Sue

Thank you Sue for your question. provides the information on her height and spread in the UK. Like many other Austin roses, her height and spread can greatly vary depending on where you plant her. In warmer climate, such as in Texas, she can get bigger. I think, Helpmefind and Gardenia showed you her height and spread in the US.

1 month ago

How much sun does this need if it is shade tolerant? team
1 month ago
Reply to  Renee

Hello Renee,

It would be great if you could give her something between 5 – 6 hours of direct sunlight.

We hope that helps.

Best regards,

The Right Roses

1 month ago

Thanks for the very detailed discribtion😍🙋‍♀️ team
1 month ago
Reply to  Britta

Dear Britta,

Thank you for your kind comment. As you know, at The Right Roses we will do our best to enhance the rose experience of gardeners worldwide.

We look forward to hearing YOUR OWN ROSE EXPERIENCE as well. Millions of gardeners would highly appreciate that.

Best wishes,

The Right Roses

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