For a dazzling pink climbing rose, look no further than Gertrude Jekyll. David Austin rates this as one of his top scented varieties, so if fragrance is important to you, it's well worth considration.
Named after a famous garden designer, Gertrude Jekyll is a classic English rose from the 1980s. Producing his first rose in 1961, rose breeding has been the Austin family business to the present day since 1969. The company specializes in breeding English roses focused on combining the forms and fragrances of old roses with the repeat flowering characteristics of modern roses. The Gertrude Jekyll was the result of crossing the Wife of Bath rose and the Portland rose. Owing to its characteristics, the Gertrude Jekyll won the James Mason awards in 2002 from the Royal National Rose Society. It has also beeen voted England's Favourite Rose (twice!).
The rosette-shaped blossoms start as little scrolled buds that open into the large, double petalled pink flowers. English roses often have significantly strong fragrances and the Gertrude Jekyll is no exception, and could be described as traditional "old rose" scent. Fragrance being a top characteristic, this rose was used as the first rose essence in England for quite some number of years. The foliage consists of widely spread leaflets which is a characteristic of a Portland rose. Blooms appear through early summer until the first frosts.
The Gertrude Jekyll rose grows as a disease resistant shrub or small climber, or even as a regular climber in warmer climates. Shrubs reach a height of around 4 - 5ft and an extra couple of feet as a climber. The bush has healthy foliage, tall and strong, growing to maximum heights in the warmer climates. Like most of the English roses, Gertrude Jekyll will do well on own roots, so a good candidate to get a few cuttings from friends.
More English Roses
With around 200 different varieties, we are never going to get a definitive collection of them. However, we will continue to add new pictures and descriptions as we come across more varieties in both public and private gardens.
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