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Dame Judi Dench v Roald Dahl

AnniDAnniD Posts: 12,173
I am considering treating myself to one of the above roses as a birthday treat to myself and also as a means of remembering my late Mum.
Just wondering if any forum members have experience of either rose (or both !) and what you think.
Any comments gratefully received  :)


  • TopbirdTopbird Posts: 8,247
    I have Roald Dahl (2 actually) and it is probably my favourite rose. Lovely scent and the soft apricot works well with many other colours, especially deep rich blues, magentas and whites.

    The flowers are 'well behaved' in that they last longer than some other rose blooms (some rose flowers only last two or three days), stay reasonably upright (some roses have quite floppy heads) and they don't disintegrate into a pulpy brown mess at the first hint of rain.

    It's a very healthy rose and I think the DA blurb says there are few thorns. It's certainly not a spiny nightmare like Gertrude Jekyll or the Rugosa roses - but I still wear gloves when pruning!

    Don't have Judi Dench to compare I'm afraid.
    Heaven is ... sitting in the garden with a G&T and a cat while watching the sun go down
  • AnniDAnniD Posts: 12,173
    Thanks @Topbird, that's a great help  :)
  • AthelasAthelas Posts: 915
    That’s a lovely idea @AnniD

    I don’t have Judi Dench, but I have a two-year-old Roald Dahl in a large pot.

    I love the flowers, which range from an orangey yellow to pale peach depending on the age of the blooms. They last a while on the stem, as @Topbird mentions, and didn’t crisp up in last year’s dry heat.

    Completely healthy, lots of green bushy foliage with no blackspot (and I don’t spray), and few thorns.

    The only thing is scent — I detected very little in its first year, and in its second year (2022) there was no fragrance at all. But all in all I’m very happy with mine, I don’t think you can go wrong with it.

    Cambridgeshire, UK
  • Busy-LizzieBusy-Lizzie Posts: 23,155
    Wow @Athelas! That's gorgeous. I want one.
    Dordogne and Norfolk. Clay in Dordogne, sandy in Norfolk.
  • AnniDAnniD Posts: 12,173
    Thanks @Athelas :)
  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 29,852
    Thanks for asking this question @AnniD.  I've been looking for a rose I can peg and it lloks like Judi Dench will do nicely.    I have neither so looked them up and a French nursery I use gives a glowing account of Judi Dench and I think the stronger colour will be better for this sunny climate.

    They also like and stock RD but its growth is more compact, apparently.
    Vendée - 20kms from Atlantic coast.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • AnniDAnniD Posts: 12,173
    I think size wise Roald Dahl might be better for me @Obelixx , but l remember seeing Judi Dench at a GC a while back and the colour was lovely. 
  • TopbirdTopbird Posts: 8,247
    edited 8 March
    @AnniD - Roald Dahl is definitely one of the smaller shrub roses. I could imagine it would do well in a pot and it is very effective towards the front of borders.

    It's a shame Athelas hasn't been able to experience the scent because it is a lovely sweet, light tea scent. Maybe when it's had a year or two more....
    Heaven is ... sitting in the garden with a G&T and a cat while watching the sun go down
  • NollieNollie Posts: 7,490
    I have a new Roald Dahl this year, so can’t comment on that yet, but @Omori, I think, has Judy Dench so might be able to give you the lowdown if they see this..
    Mountainous Northern Catalunya, Spain. Hot summers, cold winters.
  • AnniDAnniD Posts: 12,173
    Thank you @Nollie , that would be helpful. I'm still dithering   :)
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