Fortwilliam Rose Collection

The Fortwilliam Gardens contain a huge variety of plants ranging from mature trees to the newly planted Fortwilliam Rose Collection. There has been a lot of investment in the past year in developing the new Rose Gardens in particular. The different varieties of the roses are listed below:


First Bloom of 2015:

Fortwilliam is delighted to announce that the first bloom of 2015 has appeared. The first Rose is the stalwart Rose variety “Jacques Cartier” gracing us with its appearance. Stunning blooms and heaven scent are the hallmarks and there are many more on the way now that June is just round the corner . Returning Visitors to Fortwilliam have enjoyed seeing our many improvements and the new rose plantings supplied by David Austin are a wonderful work in progress. The Fortwilliam Rose collection has now increased to over 25 varieties.


Jacques Cartier:

(Portland) Similar to ‘Comte de Chambord’, but with even more perfect flowers. Large, rosette-shaped, rich pink flowers with a very strong fragrance. Very healthy, tough and reliable. (Moreau-Rbert 1868).



(English Musk Hybrid) The English Musk Roses are notable for the perfection of their flowers and ‘Tranquility’ lives up to this reputation. The flowers are of a beautifully rounded shape with neatly placed petals, making up a perfect rosette. The opening buds are lightly tinged with yellow but become pure white. There is a light yellow fragrance. The growth is upright, gradually curving outwards at the top to provide us with an excellent garden shrub which would, if desired, work equally well as a bedding rose. It has excellent vigor and is very healthy. It has a typical light green Musk Rose foliage and is almost thornless. (David Austin 2012, Ausnoble).


(English Leander Hybrid) ‘Boscobel’ bears beautifully formed flowers of rich salmon colouring. They commence as red buds which open at first to pretty cups, gradually developing into perfectly formed blooms of classic rosette foramtion. The numerous small petals are of varying shades, mingling to provide a most pleasing effect. The delightful, medium-strong myrrh fragrance has a hawthorn character with hints of elderflower, pear and almond.

It forms an upright shrub of medium size, with dark green, glossy foliage. It is vigerous and healthy. Boscobel House, owned by English Heritage, was built in 1632. It is famous for the fact that Chatrles II hid there in a oak tree, whilst being pursued by Cromwell’s soldiers during the English Civil War. (David Austin 2012, Auscousin).


Darcey Bussell:

One of the best and healthiest of the red roses. The flowers are not excessively large, but are produced freely and with excellent continuity. When young, their outer petals form a perfect ring, later developing into a beatiful rosette. The colour is a deep rich crimson that takes on a tinge of mauve just before the petals drop. It has a plesing, fruity fragrance with just a hint of green. This rose, with its short, bushy growth, is an excellent shrub for the front of a border, for planting in formal rose beds or in a large pot. (David Austin 2006, Ausdecorum).

Munstead Wood:

Light crimson buds generally open to reveal very deep velvety crimso blooms, the outer petals remaining rather lighter in colour. The flowers are large cups at first, becoming shallowly cupped with time. The growt is quite bushy, forming a broad shrub with good disease resistance. The young leaves are red-bronze, later turning mid-green. There is a strong Old Rose fragrance which according to fragrance expert, Robert Calkin, assesses as ‘Warm and fruity with blackberry, blueberry and damson notes’. Voted ‘Flower of the year 2009’ by readers of the French magazie Rustica. Winner of a gold medal for fragrance from Japan. (David Austin 2007, Ausbernard).

The Generous Gardener:

An exquisite rose with large, cup-shaped flowers of delicate appearance and palest pink colouring. This is primarily a climbing rose, but it will also make an excellent, large rounded shrub for the back of the border or is surprisingly effective planted in a large container. An extremely healthy variety. Winner of the award for fragrance at The Hague Trials. (david Austin 2002, Ausdrawn).

Lady Emma Hamilton:

Quite a bright colour for an English Rose which will create a little excitement in the border. The tight buds are a wonderful dark red with dashes of orange. When fully open the flowers are a lovely misture of a rich, tengerine-orange with a more yellow-orange back to the petals, the flowers contrasting beautifully with the very dark, bronzy green leaves. A fairly upright but bushy shrub of medium height that flowers freely and remains healthy. The strong, deliciously fruity fragrance has hints of pear, grape and citrus fruits and was awarded first prize for fragrance in the Nantes trials. ( David Austin 2005, Ausbrother).



Attractive, light yellow flower, occasionally flushed with pink. The large, rather heavy, globular blooms are most beautiful when fully opened. Stronmg and reliable. May be grown as a shrub. (Meilland 1945)

Gertrude Jekyll:

Perfect little scrolled buds expand into quite large rich pink rosettes of beautiful Old Rose character. The growth is tall and vigorous, making it perhaps more suitable for the middle or back of the border. The Old Rose fragrance is strong, superb and perfectly balanced: the quintessential rose fragrance. Very healthy and reliable. It can also be grown as a short climber. Winner of the James Mason Award in 2002 and voted the nations favourite rose in 2006. (David Austin 1986, Ausbord).


Kew Gardens:

More of a specied Hybrid than a typical English Rose. Small single flowers, held in very large heads, rather like a hydrangea, are produced almost cintinuously from early summer through to the end of the season. The soft apricot buds open to pure white, with a hint of soft lemon behind the stamens. The flowers are followed by small red hips which should be removed to encorage repeat flowering. Extremely healthy and almost thornless, with bushy, upright growth. Creates the beautiful effect of a mass of white blooms, As though covered with snow. Ideal for hedges and mixed borders. Winner of the prestgious gold standard award at the NIAB trials. (David Austin 2009, Ausfence).


Wild Edric:

An unusually tough and reliable rose, excellent for borders, semi-wild positions and hedges. The ponted, purple-pink buds gradually open to semi-double flowers of deep, velvety pink with shades of purple and mauve, exposing a prominent bunch of golden-yellow stamens. The strong and delicious Old Rose fragrance has hints of cloves, watercress and cucumber. Winner at the 2006 Pencoed trials in South Wales where the roses are never sprayed. Wild Edric was a Saxon Lord fromShropshire whose ghost is stll, some believe, seen riding across the hills looking for his fairy wife. (David Austin 2005, Aushedge).

Mortimer Sackler CLG:

(English Musk) A rather unusual but very beautiful variety with medium sized flowers of a perfect soft pink, paling a little on the outer petals, the stamens gradually appearing as the flowers open. The blooms are borne on tall, dark stems that are almost thornless and so particularly useful for an arch or growing by a door. Extremely healthy. There is a lovely (Old Rose fragrance with a delicious hint of fruit. (David Austin 2002, Ausorts).

Louise Odier:

(Bourbon) One of the best and most beautiful of the Bourbons. Full, perfectly formed, cupped flowers. Warm pink, softly shaded with lilac. Strong, bushy growth. Exceedingly strong perfume. (Margottin 1851).

Rosy Cushion:

An excellent, well-rounded shrub with almost single, soft-pink flowers. The growth is healthy, dense and bushy. It can also be trained p as a short climber. One of the very few truly continuous flowering roses. (Ilsink 1979, Internall).

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