Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: English Rose, Austin Rose
Rosa 'Abraham Darby'

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Family: Rosaceae (ro-ZAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Rosa (RO-zuh) (Info)
Cultivar: Abraham Darby
Additional cultivar information: (PP7215, aka Country Darby, AUScot)
Hybridized by Austin; Year of Registration or Introduction: 1985

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2 vendors have this plant for sale.

32 members have or want this plant for trade.

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Class:
English Rose (aka Austin Rose)
Shrub

Height:
4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)
6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)
8-10 ft. (2.4-3 m)

Spacing:
36-48 in. (90-120 cm)
4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)

Hardiness:
USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)
USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)
USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

Bloom Color:
Orange pink (op)

Bloom Shape:
Double
Cupped
Nodding

Flower Fragrance:
Very Fragrant

Bloom Time:
Late Spring/Early Summer
Blooms repeatedly

Habit:
Shrub
Trained to climb

Patent Information:
Non-patented

Other Details:
Resistant to black spot
Resistant to mildew
Susceptible to rust

Pruning Instructions:
Blooms on new wood; prune early to promote new growth

Soil pH requirements:
5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

Propagation Methods:
From softwood cuttings
From semi-hardwood cuttings
From hardwood cuttings
By grafting
By budding

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There are a total of 87 photos.
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Profile:

19 positives
4 neutrals
5 negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

RatingAuthorContent
Neutral mjk3 On Sep 9, 2014, mjk3 from Saint Paul, MN wrote:

My Wife bought an Abraham Darby this year to replace ones we lost. So far the blooms have had the shape of a Darby, but have been distinctly pink and not the apricot that we have been used to.

I think that we were sent a rose that was not a Darby, but my wife is trying to convince herself that the rose will bloom with the apricot color in later years. (The Darby is her favorite rose and mine too.)

Does anyone have experience with a Darby blooming pink the first year and reverting to the apricot shade in subsequent years?

Positive francesseth On Aug 18, 2014, francesseth from Evanston, IL (Zone 5a) wrote:

I have several David Austin roses, but this one is my favorite. I don't use any chemicals in my garden. Toward the end of August, there is sometimes a little black spot, but it doesn't seem to affect the plant the next year. Even after the worst winter the midwest has had for a long time (winter 2014), my three Abraham Darbys bloomed very well. We didn't even have Japanese beetles this year.
Frances Seth, Evanston, Illinois

Negative Denmandog On Jun 22, 2014, Denmandog from Denman Island
Canada wrote:

On Denman Island, B.C. I have good success with many roses but not this one. Although various publications seem to promote it I think it is oversold. Yes it is fragrant and puts out lots of bloom, but it is certainly not resistant to black spot, it drops many leaves, is droopy and the blooms are very susceptible to balling. Don't have the heart to chuck it but I wouldn't buy it again.

Negative wasbloomin On Jan 3, 2014, wasbloomin from Echo, LA wrote:

Very disappointed. After 4 years I'm about ready to give up. Yes the blooms are amazing but he's very stingy with them. Wimpy skinny canes with few leaves. A very ugly plant. I don't think he likes Louisiana. Not worth the effort.

Positive Cville_Gardener On Jun 3, 2013, Cville_Gardener from Middle TN
United States (Zone 7a) wrote:

This rose does very well here as far as beautiful prolific blooms. It is subject to quite a bit of black spot in our humid climate. I think it's worth the effort. Truly a lovely rose!

Positive HedgerowRose On Jan 4, 2012, HedgerowRose from State College, PA wrote:

We grow a whole bunch of roses in our zone 6 garden, and 'Abraham Darby' has to be one of our favorites. Even my husband has made note of it several times and gardening isn't his thing. It has several flushes of blooms during the growing season (usually around 4). The canes tend to grow thickly so I prune out the center of the plant to allow more air circulation as black spot does trouble ours usually around late summer, but never enough to cause serious concern. The biggest thing I would recommend if you grow this rose is to plant it in a very large container as the canes are lax and the flowers droopy. In a container it forms a more pleasing fountain shape and is at just the right level for smelling the roses heavenly scent!

Negative cabngirl On Jul 20, 2010, cabngirl from Sonoma, CA wrote:

I live in Sonoma CA and am one of those who has a hard time with this rose. I love the blooms, which when they come successfully are heavenly, it's one of my favorites and I am very frustrated. After the initial spring bloom the blooms end up nodding, the leaves look terrible and tend to mostly fall off, suffer from rust etc, leaving a pitiful tangle of sickly looking stems. (it's almost bald now mid-July) I've moved it, from a shadier location to a sunnier location, amended the soil and occasionally feed (various organic fertilizers) and still have the same issues and results on the whole. Perhaps I need to amend and feed more.... maybe it's something about my soil which probably tends to include ample clay/adobe. (I seem to have poor luck with other roses as well but this one is the worst).
I'd love to learn any recipes for success. I have read several comments elsewhere that suggest many others have the same issues.

Positive crisymei On Jul 19, 2010, crisymei from WILSONVILLE
United States wrote:

I love this rose very much! Its nice large blooms and the vivid color are exactly what I expected from an English rose. The flowers are first in peach tones and then turn to medium pink. This is its first year and the plant is very prolific. I indeed noticed the "drooping" problem people mentioned before. I just used a couple of U-shaped stalks to hold some stems.

Neutral Jabez On Jul 12, 2010, Jabez from Neskowin, OR wrote:

This has been my favorite rose ever since I discovered it about ten years ago, but I'm having a terrible time with it. My first plant grew well in Salem, Oregon, where most roses do well, though I transplanted it and it never quite bloomed as well as on first planting. Now I live on the Oregon coast (I know, I know, we aren't supposed to be able to grow roses here) and though I get nice blooms, I have lots of trouble with black spot and weak stems. I keep trying though, because the flowers and scent are so lovely.

Positive myezek On Jul 12, 2010, myezek from Carson City, NV (Zone 6a) wrote:

A wonderful old fashioned-looking rose. I have two that I grow as climbers. They are part of the backdrop for my cottage garden and never fail to please. Great smell, large, lush blooms. Yes, they're gangly which makes them good for climbers and the flower heads are heavy so they droop a bit. But they can't be beat for the soft apricot-pink color. Mine have been in almost tweny years and the yard has become shadier over time and they still thrive. Nevada Gardener is right, they're almost rampant here in northern Nevada. Highly recommend these.

Negative LeslieT On Jul 12, 2010, LeslieT from Bellaire, TX wrote:

I grew three Abraham Darby roses over a period of time, starting in 1995. I removed one after nine years and the other two a couple of years later because of their ungainly appearance. Their bloom was sporadic. Granted, I'm an organic gardener so they were never sprayed or coddled. The roses were also grown on their own roots in my Houston-area garden. I tried three different sun/shade locations. They were fed well twice a year. Nevertheless, they were, frankly, extremely ugly plants whose gorgeous blooms couldn't make up for their overall appearance. I really loved the blooms; but didn't like the plant. No amount of pruning could create a "bushier" plant. Perhaps the only way to enjoy them is as a climber with something planted to cover up the first four feet of the plant. I tried this in a flower bed, but still found the plant unattractive.
Leslie

Neutral Amanda4973 On May 26, 2010, Amanda4973 from Seattle, WA wrote:

This is the first of 11 rose bushes to bloom in my garden, all of which I planted last fall. It's getting big already, and the blossoms are a lovely pale pink with peach tones. It's got a moderate case of black spot, which is responding well to my ministrations with garlic spray and trimming infected leaves off the plant. The flowers are drooping to the ground because the stems are so thin and weak. I've learned that young Abraham Darby plants do have thin stems, and that if I'm patient, and stake it this year, it will have stronger stems in a year or two. I talked to a rosarian from the local rose society who said young roses sometimes need staking, and I found information on the David Austin website that mentioned that Abraham Darby is among the plants that have drooping blooms, but not so bad once it matures. I will wait to see how it develops before pronouncing it either a success or a failure.

Positive melody On May 18, 2010, melody from Benton, KY (Zone 7a) wrote:

Absolutely stunning! My plants are covered in huge fragrant blossoms and the perfume drifts all over the yard. Strong plants and no evidence of any of the rose diseases that seem to plague this hot humid climate. I'm thrilled with this plant and am enjoying everything about it.

Positive greenthum3 On Aug 28, 2009, greenthum3 from Jacksonville, FL wrote:

Our favorite from David Austin!!!!! Gorgeous blooms continuously until the frost. This one got us hooked on English roses.

Neutral Joan On Nov 14, 2008, Joan from Belfield, ND (Zone 4a) wrote:

According to David Austin's 2009 Handbook of Roses, they named this rose after Abraham Darby of Shropshire, and was one of the founding figures of the Industrial Revolution.


Editor's Note

Plant Patent number 7215 has expired
Positive astcgirl On Oct 20, 2007, astcgirl from Brandon, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

This is my favorite rose in my garden, Florida 9b. It's only 1 year old and I get 8-10 roses each week from it, perfect for a vase full and the vase lasts about 5 days. It does get all sprawly on me but that's because I"m not too sure how to prune it other than cutting blooms off. I have two tomato cages holding up the frame's at the base which it has already outgrown, but this helps. It does get a little bit of blackspot and had the dreaded Chilli Thrips this season, but after I fixed that, it is throwing out blooms each week. Wonderful bush, I think I will replace a few of my other failing roses with this.

Positive Moonglow On Jan 20, 2006, Moonglow from Corte Madera, CA wrote:

I love this rose, and I'm glad I've move it to an area where I frequent - - - along the walk way. A single bloom fills the room with its fragrance. It's not at all overpowering.

I grow four of them!

Positive seedpicker_TX On Nov 11, 2005, seedpicker_TX from (Taylor) Plano, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

I absolutely love everything about this rose!

The color is fabulous...peachy apricot and pink, with really bright yellow highlights.

The fragrance is really strong, and really nice and fruity.

The form is awesome. It starts out a beautiful classic tea shape, and then turns to a gorgeous cupped, cabbagey, old fashioned shape, which frequently nods.

The flower size is huge! This flower is about twice the size of most of my others.

The health and vigor of this rose is excellant. The foliage is always dark green and there is always lots of it.

Positive JeanneTX On Nov 8, 2005, JeanneTX from Willis, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

One of the BEST of the David Austins Roses, Intoxicatingly fragrant,majorly being a fan of the many petaled Roses, multi-pastel coloured,non stop blooming for me here in Texas...A Must have that only gets better with age.

Positive jasmerr On May 17, 2005, jasmerr from Merrimac, WI (Zone 4b) wrote:

I have had this rose for five years now. Three and one half years ago it was moved to our current home (end of July!) and is still surviving. It has more blooms every year, and the stems seem to get stonger also.

Positive Gindee77 On May 16, 2005, Gindee77 from Hampton, IL (Zone 5a) wrote:

I love the fragrance of this rose, and the blooms are very pretty. It needs some winter protection in zone 5. It gets a little black spot late in the season.

Positive rebkev On Apr 10, 2005, rebkev from Seaside, CA (Zone 10b) wrote:

The fragrance, the color, the petals, the shape - all are exhilarating on this flower. True, the flower is a bit large for its slender stems, but that makes it all the more tempting to cut and bring inside. The leaves are deep green and healthy except for occasional rust.

Blooms repeatedly and then profusely from April to December. Wow.

Positive nevadagdn On Feb 28, 2005, nevadagdn from Sparks, NV (Zone 7a) wrote:

This is a great rose, with a rampant habit in my climate. The flowers are large and fragrant.

Negative ladyannne On Sep 20, 2004, ladyannne from Merced, CA (Zone 9a) wrote:

This grows in a rose garden with many other roses, yet it is one of two I am considering tearing out. The limbs are far too weak to support the flower, which droops terribly.

Positive lincolnitess On Aug 19, 2004, lincolnitess from Lincoln, NE (Zone 5b) wrote:

My favorite of the 6 David Austin roses I have grown. Blooms are so full it would be very hard to count all the petals.
Fragrance is fruity, but not over-powering. My only wish is that it made a longer lasting cut flower.

Positive Petsitterbarb On Jun 5, 2003, Petsitterbarb from Claremore, OK wrote:

I agree with the others that have previously posted...it's my favorite rose! The form, color, and scent are marvelous to MY senses! I don't spray at all, and it's doing beautifully. This is it's fourth year for me, and it's the rose that hooked me on roses when I saw it blooming in the local rose garden. Yes, a little blackspot..but nothing outrageous. I don't exhibit, so who cares?! It lasts well in a vase (or an informal fruit jar!), and I keep a little bouquet by my kitchen sink, so I can enjoy this wonderful rose ALOT!

Positive higgypop On Mar 21, 2003, higgypop wrote:

This is my absolute favorite rose (planted it as a memorium to my beloved Great Dane Higgins). A robust, rebloomer that rarely suffers from black spot or other typical rose problems. The first season I had 6 blooms....the second season about 20...and this past season, as I was taking water out of my goldfish aquarium to freshen their water, I started to dump this goldfish water on the rose and I was blessed with over 60 blooms......amazingly lovely scent that is as described, fruity and soft. And the blooms are rich thickly petaled, tea cups of soft pinky/peach color. A perfect Rose......I want a whole yard of them.

Positive FLSuncoast On Aug 21, 2002, FLSuncoast from Sarasota, FL (Zone 9a) wrote:

Beautiful David Austin Rose, actually my favorite. I has a very rich and fruity fragrance. The flowers large and deeply cupped that bloom in early summer and continue through the season is deadheaded. The blooms are pink, apricot and yellow. Hardy and healthy, my plant has been easy to prune into a beautiful bush shape.

Regional...

This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Opelika, Alabama
Phoenix, Arizona (2 reports)
Calistoga, California
Corte Madera, California
Merced, California
Napa, California
Petaluma, California
San Diego, California
San Jose, California
Santa Rosa, California
Seaside, California
Denver, Colorado
Washington, District Of Columbia
Brandon, Florida
Groveland, Florida
Jacksonville, Florida
Maitland, Florida
Orlando, Florida
Marietta, Georgia
Evanston, Illinois
Hampton, Illinois
Lombard, Illinois
Palmyra, Illinois
Washington, Illinois
Elk Horn, Iowa
Andover, Kansas
Hesston, Kansas
Shawnee Mission, Kansas
Coushatta, Louisiana
Denham Springs, Louisiana
Echo, Louisiana
Hammond, Louisiana
Simmesport, Louisiana
Alfred, Maine
Gardiner, Maine
Mashpee, Massachusetts
Turners Falls, Massachusetts
Columbiaville, Michigan
Saint Paul, Minnesota
Choteau, Montana
Central City, Nebraska
Lincoln, Nebraska
Carson City, Nevada
Sparks, Nevada
Brick, New Jersey
Rhinebeck, New York
East Bend, North Carolina
Middlesex, North Carolina
Cleveland, Ohio
Mantua, Ohio
Mogadore, Ohio
Wadsworth, Ohio
Tulsa, Oklahoma
Yukon, Oklahoma
Wilsonville, Oregon
State College, Pennsylvania
Chapin, South Carolina
Easley, South Carolina
North Augusta, South Carolina
Clarksville, Tennessee
Knoxville, Tennessee
Austin, Texas (2 reports)
Bellaire, Texas
Georgetown, Texas
Gilmer, Texas
Melissa, Texas
Paris, Texas
Plano, Texas
Willis, Texas
Mc Lean, Virginia
Reston, Virginia
Tacoma, Washington
White Center, Washington
Merrimac, Wisconsin



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