English rose recommendation

This forum has been so helpful in the past, I’m hoping for some more help. I would like to find a good English rose to use as a seed parent. I am currently considering Mary Rose because it is in the “old rose” section of David Austin’s offerings and appears to be in the breeding of several good roses. All of this is good, but I would wish for something with a stronger fragrance.

Any suggestions or experiences would be much appreciated.

Thanks once again,


p.s. any of you have any experience working with Armide as either seed or pollen?

Jude the Obscure.

This year I want to breed with Sister Elizabeth.

However, no hips developed in open pollination.

And the only hip (crossed with Aprikola) dropped.

I will try it once next year again.

The Mayflower set no hips.

Constance Spry have many hips and seed.

But only a few seeds germinated.

And the seedlings don`t have many vigor

and I have nobody more.

A bunch of local “Graham Thomas” plants were sprayed with orange / red hips this winter. I harvested a few of the OP achenes just to practice seed extraction. The resulting germination was just under 40%.

Now we are at the start of spring, and the seedlings are already vigorous, all with medium-green, matt foliage.

Some are at the 5-leaf stage already, and are starting to reveal a stem.

Now hoping for the flower buds to come on…


Graham Thomas worked well seed and pollen.

Health of seedlings above average.

One seedling has nice mauve/white high center blooms.

On a slight tangent here, if I may, but can anyone recommend DA roses that frequently pass on myrrh to their progeny?

I’ve used Constance Spry.

Although my seedlings had never bloomed except for one (and that one died)-- it passes on great health. The woman who is growing a sister seedling says that it’s very disease resistant.

The cross I’m talking about is Cologne x Constance Spry.

My seedling is starting to become a climber at this point… and it’s very healthy. I just wish that it would bloom at least once by this time.

My Jude the Obscure x Purple Heart smells like myrhh. It is weird. It is colored like Moon Shadow, single like Playgirl and smells like myrhh. Funky combo.

Has anyone used ‘Pegasus’? It set a lot of OP hips for me last season.


I volunteer at the Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, in Richmond, VA, USA. One of my favorite roses is Country Song, a Buck rose. It is a light pink semi-double with the most exquisite petals. When the sun is out, the light seems to shine through it (noticed an artist photographing the bloom to paint it laster when I asked). When I went to smell it, there was the hint of myrhh in the fragrance. Looking it up on “help me find”, it is a cross of Carefree Beauty x The Yeoman, an Austin Rose which in turn has Constance Spry in its parentage. So you might look into that IF it is available, it has been discontinued in general, or as suggested, just go back to CS.


This has given me some great ideas. Has anyone worked with Wife of Bath? That one also occurs in several DA ancestries.


Jim, yes I see what you mean.

Can anyone recommend here a myrrh-scented DA rose that has proven to be a good parent, and which is one of his newer varieties?


Constance Spry may be what I’m after. I was hoping for seedlings that would have more of an old garden look in growth and flower, only with repeat bloom. I know Constance Spry does not repeat, but carries the potential for it’s offspring.

Side question: Is Constance Spry really a diploid? Has anyone crossed this with diploids to test the theory? It seems a bit doubtful given its extensive use to make tetraploid DA roses.



Where did you read that ‘Constance Spry’ is a diploid?? Both of its parents are known tetraploids, so it should be also.

Paul, on helpmefind, it lists it as a diploid.

I think it would be very interesting to cross the newer David Austins back to Constance Spry-- or with moss roses.

HMF suggests more black spot susceptibility for “Golden Celebration” than for “Graham Thomas”, which seems to contradict some others’ ideas about this.

What are your collective views about this?

GT and GC both had good, not great, health in our garden in blackspot heaven.

I ripped out both GC and GT in my garden, the GT was ripped out because it was too large, the GC was ripped out because it suffered from very bad disease problems of various sorts. Both got BS, but we are in BS heaven here anyway!


I really do think some of you should take a glance at Jude the Obscure. If not for breeding, at least as an excellent garden rose. ps. it sets hips and they germinate well :wink: