Rosa 'Scarborough Fair'

Nine of the best shrub roses

We pick some of the best shrub roses to grow, including scented and free-flowering varieties.

There are several different types of shrub rose, including floribunda, rugosa, musk, English and ground cover roses. They’re incredibly versatile – you can grow them in a mixed border among salvias, catmints and other herbaceous perennials, group them together in a rose garden, train them as a low-growing hedge and even grow them in containers.


One of the best qualities of shrub roses is their capacity for producing a continual supply of flowers, with little deadheading required. They’re usually in flower from June until the first frosts, so you’re never short of blooms to enjoy outdoors and indoors.

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Take your pick from this lovely selection of shrub roses to grow.

Rosa ‘Chinatown’

Floribunda rose 'Chinatown'
Floribunda rose ‘Chinatown’

Like all floribunda roses, ‘Chinatown’ is a robust, disease-resistant variety with flowers produced in clusters. The warm yellow flowers of this large variety have a lovely peach fragrance.

Height x spread: 1.5m x 90cm.

‘Burgundy Ice’

Rose 'Burgundy Ice'
Rose ‘Burgundy Ice’

Also known as ‘Prose’, ‘Burgundy Ice’ is a sumptuously coloured floribunda rose, with deep, magenta-violet coloured flowers and a light fragrance. Try combining it with contrasting pale or warm-toned flowers to bring out the colour.

H x S: 100cm x 80cm.


Rose 'Grace'
Rose ‘Grace’

Rosa ‘Grace’ is a divine English shrub rose with apricot-coloured blooms that have hints of pink. It has an arching growth habit and looks great growing in a large container or in the border alongside purple-flowered plants like Rosa ‘Hippolyte’, Verbascum ‘Violetta’ and Campanula glomerata

H x S: 1.5m x 100cm.


Rosa 'Nostalgia'
Rose ‘Nostalgia’

‘Nostalgia’ is a lovely hybrid tea rose with unusual flowers that are pink-red when closed, opening to reveal creamy white centres and with a gentle fragrance. The foliage is a deep, glossy green.

H x S: 100cm x 75cm.

‘Hot Chocolate’

Rosa 'Hot Chocolate'
Rose ‘Hot Chocolate’

A standout floribunda variety, ‘Hot Chocolate’ has fabulous smokey-red blooms held in clusters. The growth is strong and foliage a lustrous green. Good planting partners include Salvia verticillata and Trollius ‘Golden Queen’.

H x S: 100cm x 100cm.

‘Great Expectations’

Rose Great Expectations
Rose ‘Great Expectations’

This graceful variety has highly scented blooms that are a luminescent blend of pink and pale orange. As a floribunda rose, ‘Great Expectations’ has flowers held in clusters. It has a compact and bushy growth habit.

H x S: 100cm x 80cm.


Rose 'Boscobel'
Rose ‘Boscobel’

‘Boscobel’ is a particularly exuberant variety with large, pink and perfectly formed flowers with a rich fragrance. Orange eremurus and purple nepeta make lovely, colourful planting partners.

H x S: 1.2m x 100cm.

‘Scarborough Fair’

Rosa 'Scarborough Fair'
Rosa ‘Scarborough Fair’

This pale-pink flowered rose is a robust, bushy variety with semi-double flowers that open to reveal gorgeous gold centres. Better still, it has a lovely musk rose fragrance.

H x S: 100cm x 90cm.

‘Charles de Mills’

Rosa 'Charles de Mills'
Rosa ‘Charles de Mills’

Rosa ‘Charles de Mills’ is characterised by its delightfully large flowers with a rich plum-purple colouration and strong fragrance. It has an attractive arching growth habit.


H x S: 1.5m x 1.2m.