Jude The Obscure, English Rose

One thing I like about the David Austin series of English roses… they do so well on their own roots. That is a bit of a shortcoming of the modern H.T roses, but roses that have some of the old stock in their genes tend to do well from cuttings. I think one of the most enjoyable parts of rose gardening is exchanging cuttings with friends. And I love to get them started and give them away. There is something very satisying about it.

While I have never liked the name Jude the Obscure, I have always loved the actual rose. Beautifully cupped very full blooms of a plae peach or apricot fading to a delicate pale cream as the flower ages.

Jude The Obscure rose

The Name; Jude the Obscure

There is nothing descriptive of the rose in this name. And nothing romantic either, unless you are a fan of the novelist Thomas Hardy. The titled character was an orphaned wanderer who is hopelessly in love with his cousin. The book Jude the Obscure was a publicly burned novel at one point. This type of novel is never going to appeal to me, but even reading the review on wikipedia gives me a sense of despondency. Regardless of Austin’s reasons for naming this rose as he did, I despise the name ( for a rose, that is)… even more so after reading the plot of the book. Now when I see this rose, insead of appreciating it for it’s beauty, I remember the storyline behind the book!


Growing Jude The Obscure

It will do very well as a taller free standing shrub, growing up to perhaps 6 foot in good conditions. Paler blooms can tend to wash out a little in hot sunny weather, so some partial afternoon shade might help with this. Something else to consider is that the very full booms can “ball” in wet damp climates. But in general, this is easy care, blooms well (though may take a year or two to get going if planted on it’s own roots) and a lovely addition to any garden.

  • Class: English, shrub
  • Origin: Breeder David Austin
  • Habit: Taller shrub, thorny
  • Blooms: Large, double, globular. very frangrant, and will repeat
  • Parentage: Abraham Darby x Windrush