Unsurprisingly, if roses were characters, Desdemona® would have to be an old fashioned heroine, fragile looking with inner strength, virtuously pure and utterly irresistible. This particular Venetian beauty starts out as peachy coloured buds that open into chalice shaped flowers of gorgeous white but with petals of the whitest shade of pink (if that makes sense). These then evolve into pure white as the flower develops. The multitude of petals curve in on themselves finally opening out to reveal the stamens as the flower ages. The effect is one of abundance and romance and is utterly captivating. The scent is deep and myrrh like; this flower would have to be a perfect wedding rose. The shrub itself is sturdy and grows into an open shape that is easy to prune. The other amazing thing about all of David Austin's roses is that while he keeps on producing more and more magnificent and ground breaking flowers, he also concentrates on improving disease resistance and staying power. Thus, a Desdemona® rose will be one of the earliest in the garden but you can guarantee that you will still have several still blooming as the frosts arrive in early winter. She is also extremely fit, rarely succumbing to any of the classic rose ailments.
See our full range of David Austin roses available for sale.
There is always a place for a white shrub rose, and Desdemona stands head and shoulders above most for her generosity of flowers, beauty and toughness. Small enough to live in a pot on a terrace - try two either side of the doors onto the terrace - but ample enough to hold her own in a rose bed with other shrub roses who might only flower once like Cardinal de Richelieu or Fantin Latour so that you have a continually varying array of colours over the season with the continuous thread of Desdemona's lovely flowers. Inevitably as a white rose Desdemona® would be a candidate for anyone planning a white garden and she also can be interspersed happily in a herbaceous border underplanted with Geranium Rozanne for example. It is also worth buying an extra plant for the cutting garden because the flowers are so exquisite.
Self-evidently Desdemona® is named after the Shakespearean heroine of Othello; the Venetian beauty who inspired such jealous passion and love is represented in this rose.....but we guarantee is not played out in her end.