The Teddington Gardener

A touch of the Lady Hamiltons


Lady Emma Hamilton, an English Rose from David Austin

Make no mistake, the impact of this rose is just as strong as Super Trouper, but it is saved from being at all garish by the dark foliage, plum when fresh, and the gold centre to each of the flowers. The young buds are flashed with raspberry whirls against a golden yellow.

Where Super Trouper however, has little fragrance, Lady Emma has it in abundance – a rich concoction of melon, mango, sauternes and citrus fruits. Quite intoxicating and I have yet to come across anyone not seduced by the scent. David Austin are I think, looking to produce a perfume based on the rose Gertrude Jekyll – a true Old Rose fragrance – what could be done with Lady Emma. Austin No. 5?

Typical of many English Roses, the habit is quite relaxed  – the opposite of the ‘stiff little soldiers’ typical of many Hybrid Teas and floribundas though in early years some support may be necessary while the framework develops sufficiently to hold the large trusses of flowers.

The flowers fade to a warm apricot and are held in wide sprays. Thorns are sparse. It grows to 4′ (1.25m), with as much wide, so enough room must be allocated. As such, it is probably not the best choice for a container, though there are large containers which would do the job – with a rich compost mix of John Innes No. 3 and some Rose, Tree & Shrub for lightness. Lax in habit though, it may be an awkward specimen however well you might feed and water.

I’ve written about our Emma before, so search out more comments and photographs if you, like me, think this is one of the finest English Roses.

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