One of the essential characteristics of the English Roses is that they differ widely between one variety and another. This adds greatly to the pleasure we gain from them. Tam O'Shanter is so different that we hardly know in which group to place it.
Nonetheless, its flowers are in fact typical of an English Rose of the Old Rose group.
The growth however is long and gracefully arching; the flowers opening all along their length, rather as we might get on a Species Rose.
The individual blooms are of typical Old Rose formation, being of rosette shape. The colour is a deep cerise pink that takes on a slightly mauve shade when the flower is fully open.
There is a light fruity fragrance.
This is a very healthy rose that would look very well in an informal garden or as part of a mixed border.
It was named to commemorate the 250th anniversary of the birth of Robbie Burns. Tam O'Shanter is the hero of one of his best known poems, in which he has a lucky escape from the witches having stayed too long at the inn after market day.
Essential reading for all English Rose enthusiasts.
‘The English Roses’ by David Austin.
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