10 award-winning roses for gardens

There are more than 100 roses that have been given the RHS Award of Garden Merit, proving that roses are still vital to today’s gardens

Rosa 'The Garland'

(Rambler) Long a favourite, the masses of small, creamy white flowers, perhaps with a tinge of pink, are carried in huge heads which give off a powerful citrus fragrance. The overall effect is of a foam of flowers. ‘The Garland’ is more restrained in its vigour than most ramblers of this type, so is more manageable. Ideal trained into a tree, where its hooked thorns help it cling well. 4.5 x 3m (15 x 10ft).

Rosa Sexy Rexy ('Macrexy')

(Floribunda) This splendid, tidy garden rose in rose pink with salmon overtones, begins with darker, tidy, little pointed buds then opens to large clusters of paler, rather flat, rosette flowers – buds and flowers make an attractive combination all summer. The fragrance is modest, but for a prolific display on small and manageable yet bushy little plants Sexy Rexy is ideal. 60 x 60cm (2 x 2 ft).

Rosa Prince William ('Korzaun')

(Hybrid Tea) Launched at RHS Chelsea Flower Show in 1983 to celebrate the birth of HRH Prince William in 1982, the flowers are a classic Hybrid Tea shape in bud and mature to look slightly flat and old-fashioned with an attractive, subtle fragrance. The deep velvety red blooms open prolifically over a long season on neat and bushy growth. An appealing combination of shape and colour. Rose of The Year in 1987. 75 x 60cm (30 x 24in).

Rosa 'Penelope'

(Hybrid Musk) From salmon-orange buds the opening flowers soften to creamy pink and may fade almost to white in periods of bright sun. Set against vigorous but bushy growth and broad foliage with reddish tints, the effect is impressive - only bettered by the blooms’ heavy fragrance. In autumn, the flowers are followed by small hips that turn from pale green to coral-pink. 1.3 x 1.2m (5 x 4ft).

Rosa 'New Dawn'

(Climber) One of the finest of all roses, and known for its unusually long flowering period. The pale blush, silvery pink, semi-double flowers with their lovely scent keep coming from June until the frosts, and are set against dark green foliage. Usually seen as a climber, when the style of pruning will determine its height, 'New Dawn' can also be grown as a large weeping standard. 3-6 x 1.3-2.4m (10-20 x 5-8 ft).

Rosa Mountbatten ('Harmantelle')

(Floribunda) A healthy rose with robust, upright, often thorny growth and distinctive leathery foliage. The flowers look old-fashioned and are pure yellow although their scent is modest. Makes a bold specimen and is especially good as a hedge. Raised by Jack Harkness, of Harkness Roses, who served with Lord Mountbatten in Burma. The first Rose of The Year in 1982. 1.3 x 0.9m (5 x 3ft).

Rosa Margaret Merrill ('Harkuly')

(Floribunda) Flowering continuously all summer, numerous, large white blooms are carried in small clusters over a long season. Blush-tinted in the centre, with golden stamens, they open from elegant buds and carry an exceptional fragrance. Less prone to mildew and other diseases than similar old favourite Iceberg ('Korbin'), and with darker foliage carried on sturdy growth, this is an ideal small-garden rose. 90 x 90cm (3 x 3 ft).

Rosa Kent ('Poulvoc')

(Ground cover) One of the best of the series of groundcover roses named for the English counties, its large trusses of pure white, semi-double blooms open over a long period on plants that remain remarkably compact and spreading in their growth. The flowers are unusually resistant to bad weather and are set against dense, healthy foliage which makes an ideal background. 60cm (2ft) high and spreading to 90cm (3ft).

Rosa Graham Thomas ('Ausmas')

(English Rose) Large and impressive, this English Rose was perhaps the first of David Austin’s to make universal impact. The cupped, unusually-rich yellow flowers are elegantly bowl-shaped and deliciously scented. Rather upright in habit, it can make an effective climber. Named for the scholar, introduced at Chelsea in 1983 and voted the world’s most popular rose in 2003. 1.2 x 1.2m (4 x 4 ft).

Rosa 'Buff Beauty'

(Hybrid Musk) Superb as a broad specimen rose, perhaps on a gentle slope or trailing over a low wall, the coral-tinted buds open to warm apricot buff flowers in long open sprays although the colour may vary from season to season. Opening from midsummer into autumn, the flowers have a wonderful fragrance reminiscent of Tea roses and are set against dark green foliage which is well-bronzed when young. Can also be grown as a climber. 1.8 x 1.8m (6 x 6ft).

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The Royal Horticultural Society is the UK’s leading gardening charity. We aim to enrich everyone’s life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place.