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Jude the Obscure - A Classic English Rose

gertrude jekyll rose
Wondefully fragrant cupped blooms

One thing I like about the David Austin series of English roses... they do so well on their own roots. That is a bit of a shortcoming of the modern H.T roses, but roses that have some of the old stock in their genes tend to do well from cuttings. I think one of the most enjoyable parts of rose gardening is exchanging cuttings with friends. And I love to get them started and give them away. There is something very satisying about it.

While I have never liked the name Jude the Obscure, I have always loved the actual rose. Beautifully cupped very full blooms of a plae peach or apricot fading to a delicate pale cream as the flower ages.

The Name; Jude the Obscure

There is nothing descriptive of the rose in this name. And nothing romantic either, unless you are a fan of the novelist Thomas Hardy. The titled character was an orphaned wanderer who is hopelessly in love with his cousin. The book Jude the Obscure was a publicly burned novel at one point. This type of novel is never going to appeal to me, but even reading the review on wikipedia gives me a sense of despondency. Regardless of Austin's reasons for naming this rose as he did, I despise the name ( for a rose, that is)... even more so after reading the plot of the book. Now when I see this rose, insead of appreciating it for it's beauty, I remember the storyline behind the book!

Growing Jude The Obscure

It will do very well as a taller free standing shrub, growing up to perhaps 6 foot in good conditions. Paler blooms can tend to wash out a little in hot sunny weather, so some partial afternoon shade might help with this. Something else to consider is that the very full booms can "ball" in wet damp climates. But in general, this is easy care, blooms well (though may take a year or two to get going if planted on it's own roots) and a lovely addition to any garden.

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.

Abraham Darby
Bred in 1985, part of David Austins English Rose collection. Rated by Austin as one of the more fragrant of his creations.
Constance Spry
The very first of David Austins English rose collection, Constance Spry is still as popular as ever after more than 50 years.
Falstaff
While the picture of the Falstaff rose is not of a perfect specimen, it does still show the wonderful coloring and form.
Gertrude Jekyll
Named after a famous garden designer, Gertrude Jekyll is a classic English rose from the 1980s. A creation of David Austin Roses.
Golden Celebration
You may also see this labeled as the Ausgold.  It was first released by David Austin in the early 1990s.
Jude the Obscure
There is nothing descriptive of the rose in this name. And nothing romantic either, unless you are a fan of the novelist Thomas Hardy.
Othello
This is one of the earlier of the Austin English roses. No longer actively marketed due to it being superceded by better varieties.
The Pilgrim
David Austin did the rose world a great service, with his introduction of the English Roses. The Pilgrim is one of his best.
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