Rosa Jude the Obscure (Ausjo) is another award-winning rose from David Austin. In this case the plaudits were awarded for the overwhelmingly marvellous, fruity scent, evocative of guava and sweet white wine. But the appearance of the rose is equally remarkable.
This free-flowering, English shrub rose has an upright form with bushy growth of light green leaves, but the growth is not rampant, making it ideal for smaller gardens or containers. From this quite restrained shrub emerge surprisingly large blooms: full, chalice-shaped roses with a luxurious mass of inwardly curving petals. The outsides of the petals are predominantly warm deep yellow, which pale slightly in colour towards the centre.
Along with roses Eustacia Vye, Gabriel Oak and Tess of the d'Urbervilles, R. Jude the Obscure is named after the hero, in this case eponymous, of one of David Austin’s favourite Victorian authors – Thomas Hardy. Jude was a stonemason who strived but failed to become a scholar at Christminster (a thinly disguised Oxford) and was battered by the harsh vicissitudes of late nineteenth-century life. Ultimately a tragic novel, but the message to follow one's dreams is strong, which perhaps explains the hopeful naming of this warm coloured and sweetly scented rose after Jude.
Pot size: 6L
Height and Spread: 120cm x 110cm, over 5 years
Preferred Soil Type: Any free-draining soil
Aspect: East, south or west facing
Position: Open sunny position
Flowering Period: June – September
Care: Deadhead faded blooms to encourage repeat flowering. Water regularly if planted in a suitably large container.