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Thomas a Becket. David Austin English Rose. Photo credit: DavidAustinRoses.com. Rose review: RightRoses.com
'Rose Review' Series Color: Red David Austin roses Disease resistance: Excellent Flowering: Repeat flowering Fragrance: medium Ideal: Shady areas Rose: Shrub rose

Thomas à Becket Rose Review | David Austin 2013

Thomas à Becket rose

£24.50
7.1

Fragrance Strength

6.0/10

Repeat Flowering

8.0/10

Bloom Size

8.0/10

Vigor

8.0/10

Suitable for containers

5.0/10

Tolerant of shade

7.0/10

Disease resistance

8.0/10

Tolerance of poor soil

8.0/10

Few thorns

7.0/10

Best for cuttings

6.0/10

Pros

  • Productivity: best for flowering
  • Large blooms: 3.5 – 5’’ or 9 – 12.5 cm
  • Very vigorous
  • Extremely disease resistant: "excellent"
  • Tolerant of shade

Cons

  • Fragrance strength: "medium"
  • Droopy blooms

THOMAS À BECKET ROSE REVIEW | THE RIGHT ROSES

Auswinston

English Shrub Rose bred by David Austin

David Austin

“This is a variety of very different character from the general run of English Roses, being rather closer to the Species Roses than to the Old Roses and more natural and shrubby in growth. A striking crimson-red; the individual flowers can best be described as shallowly cupped, opening as informal rosettes; the petals quickly reflexing as the flowers age. They are held in medium-sized heads; the individual blooms nodding attractively on the stem. They have an Old Rose fragrance with a strong lemon zest character. It forms a strong, rather informal shrub. Named for Canterbury Cathedral. David Austin, 2013”.

The Right Roses: RightRoses.com

David Austin introduced Thomas à Becket for the UK in 2013. He named this rose after Thomas à Becket, also known as Saint Thomas of Canterbury, Thomas of London. Thomas à Becket was born on 21 December 1119 and murdered on 29 December 1170. He engaged in conflict with Henry II, King of England, over the rights and privileges of the Church. Thomas à Becket was murdered by the followers of Henry II in Canterbury Cathedral. Just for your information, Canterbury Cathedral is one of the oldest (founded in 597) and most famous Christian structures in England.

This rose closely resembles Thomas à Becket. They are both renowned for their strong and vibrant personality. Similar to species roses, Thomas à Becket is one of the best David Austin roses for informal rose hedges.

Similar to species roses, Thomas à Becket is one of the best David Austin roses for informal rose hedges”.

The Right Roses | RightRoses.com

 Species roses: What are they?

Species roses are the ones that we found in nature. Many also call them wild roses. Compared with other kinds of roses, species roses are extremely robust and hardy. They thrive in tough conditions that hardly any other kinds of roses can survive with minimum maintenance. In addition, they are extremely well resistant to pests and diseases. There are approximately 200 species roses. However, only about 20 of them are popular around the world. If you want to know more about species roses, this is a beautiful piece of writing for you.

Thomas à Becket rose: The pros

  • Best for flowering

The best trait of Thomas à Becket rose is his productivity. In the Handbook of Roses 2019/2020,  David Austin voted Thomas à Becket as one of his best rose varieties for flowering! Like species roses, Thomas à Becket does bloom his heart out! However, even better, Thomas à Becket is very well repeated-flowering, while many species roses are only once flowering.

Next, Thomas à Becket produces extremely gorgeous and large blooms (3.5 – 5’’ or 9 – 12.5 cm). The blooms are vividly Crimson-red. Interestingly, Thomas à Becket produce beautifully varied bloom forms. In the earlier stage, his blooms are shallowly cupped. Then, in the later stage, they become informal rosettes. Despite his large blooms, he hardly flops! Therefore, it is very easy for you to enjoy his beauty every day.

Not surprisingly, Thomas à Becket is a vigorous and exceptionally healthy rose. He requires a very little effort from you for maintenance. At the end of the day, this makes him very similar to species roses. They are naturally beautiful and particularly resistant to all kinds of diseases, such as rose rust, black spot, and pests.

Finally, Thomas à Becket can tolerate a good amount of shade. As a result, he can almost thrive in whatever condition you can provide him with, including against a North-facing wall.

Thomas à Becket rose: The cons

Thomas à Becket is such a strong rose. If I must pick up one thing as a weakness of his, it would be the strength of his fragrance. David Austin rates his fragrance as “medium”, which is slight light, according to many rosarians. However, his strengths discussed above can more than enough compensate for this weakness.

Thomas à Becket  rose: The similarities

In terms of colour,  Thomas à Becket resembles Falstaff, Young Lycidas and Gabriel Oak, which is a new introduction in 2019. Falstaff rose (4ft height x 3 ft spread) forms a smaller shrub than Thomas à Becket (4.5 ft x 4.5 ft). Falstaff also produces a “medium” fragrance like Thomas à Becket. However, you need to plant Falstaff in a full sunlight spot, whereas Thomas à Becket can tolerate shade. Young Lycidas provides you with a similar size shrub (4 ft x 4 ft) with Thomas à Becket. However, it cannot tolerate shade. On the other hand, its fragrance is described as “strong”. Among those 4 roses, Gabriel Oak may be the best alternative. He can tolerate shade and produce a “strong” fragrance. He also makes a very attractive, shapely shrub in your garden (4 ft x 4 ft).

Thomas à Becket  rose: The details

Height & Spread: 4.5ft x 4.5ft Color: Crimson-red Fragrance: Medium
Fragrance notes: Old rose Flowering: Repeat flowering Suitable for containers: No
Sun exposure: Partial sunlight Bloom size: Large (3.5 – 5’’ or 9 – 12.5 cm) Disease resistance: Excellent

Photo credit: DavidAustinRoses.com

 

 

 

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Sophie
Sophie
1 year ago

Thank you for the interesting post. I really like the colour of Thomas a becket DA rose. It is a pity that it cannot tolerate the shade. How many hours of sunlight do you know it needs?

RightRoses.com team
Admin
1 year ago
Reply to  Sophie

Thank you Sophie for your comment. Indeed, Thomas a Becket rose can tolerate shade. Not as much as Lady of Shalott though. He is such a vigorous rose. Like a wild rose, he can thrive in very tough conditions. David Austin suggested gardeners plant his roses where they can get at least 4 hours of sun.

keli
keli
2 months ago

Can this tolerate afternoon heat, or full sun? it can get to 100 in summer, and winter is cold here. I absolutly love the color.

RightRoses.com team
Admin
2 months ago
Reply to  keli

Hello Keli,

We love his color as well. However, we are not sure if he can retain that color in your climate. Even in the UK, the dark red color only lasts about 2 days, then fades (to pink). In addition, he has a sprawling growth habit. So, if you want, you can also grow him as a (short) climber. He is a very good rose though. But, it is always good to know the cons before we make the final decision.

Best wishes,

The Right Roses

keli
keli
2 months ago

Thank you so much.

Ronald O'Brien
Ronald O'Brien
2 months ago

I noticed you recently updated Thomas A Becket Roses from a high 7.9 down to 7.1? Aside from the vigor and poor soil, the repeat flowering and disease resistance went down which surprised me seeing they were so closely compared to the wild species rose? Gorgeous looking red rose! I am trying to understand the logic because I have found this site useful relating to judging DA roses. While I am commenting, I also noticed the Munstead Wood maintains an overall 7.1 (as the Becket) which is based on the listed pro con criteria. And as much as I am… Read more »

RightRoses.com team
Admin
2 months ago
Reply to  Ronald O'Brien

Dear Ronald, Thank you for your comments. At The Right Roses, we highly value any inputs that our visitors can provide us with. You are absolutely right. Thomas A Becket is a wonderful rose. Stunning color. And, his bloom form is exceptional. However, as many other roses, he also a couple of weaknesses. For example, his shrub is not absolutely attractive. His blooms are not very upright. And, most of all, it is such a pity that he can only keep his gorgeous color one or two days, then fade to pink. Therefore, we think that it would probably be… Read more »

Ronald O'Brien
Ronald O'Brien
2 months ago

I must first say that I have noticed that your responses to your readers have all been professional and helpful. I have come to value and look forward to the reviews of DA roses. Upon reading your reviews I have ordered an Emily Bronte. However, prior to reading your response, I had also ordered ad shipped a Munstead Wood, and then learned that some gardeners have had issues with it. I live in a very rainy area. What do the experts do to keep a Munstead Wood healthy? Is there any hope for my keeping the BS and mildew away… Read more »

RightRoses.com team
Admin
2 months ago
Reply to  Ronald O'Brien

Dear Ronald, Thank you so much for your kind words. We truly understand how frustrated it is when a rose does not perform as we expected. That frustration cannot be simply measured by the amount we pay for the rose! It happened to us as well. As a result, we would like to try our best to improve the rose experience of gardeners. If we feel like we must update our The Right Roses score to better reflect the quality of a rose, we would certainly do so. The Right Roses scores and our reviews are professional, independent, and unbiased.… Read more »

Ronald O'Brien
Ronald O'Brien
2 months ago

That is encouraging to hear. Thank you.
I will be more than happy to share how they do. 🙂

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