Abraham Darby, bred in 1985 and part of David Austins English Rose collection. Rated by Austin as one of the more fragrant of his creations, this will make a great specimin shrub, or a small climber.
This rose has a lot going for it. It has an exceptionally beautiful fruity fragrance, it's happy to train as a small climber, and it has the lovely old style blooms we all know and love. The only real negative is the large and plentiful thorns.
Somewhat surprising to me, is the fact that this rose doesn't have any of the old fashioned heritage roses as parents. Aloha (Hybdrid Tea, 1949) x Yellow Cushion (Floribunda 1945). Look at the parents however, and you can definitely see the resemblence.
As this will grow quite large (perhaps 5' as a shrub, another few feet as a climber) it will take some time to get itself established. If you plant this a a new bareroot rose, allow 3 years before you see it at its best. Those first 3 years it will be getting settled. That means only a spring bloom, with sporadic flowers through the rest of the season.
But don't get discouraged. Once it has put on some growth and is well settled, watch out! It will bloom all summer, with masses of huge fragrant flowers. Prepare your rose bed well with plenty of rotted horse manure (roses LOVE it) and compost, and Abraham Darby will reward you with years of beautiful blooms.
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.