Golden Celebration Rose:  History, Characteristics & Cultivation

The Golden Celebration Rose is a popular yellow shrub rose cultivar bred by British rose breeder, David C. H. Austin. It was introduced in 1992 and is part of the David Austin English Rose Collection. It was awarded the Royal Horticultural Society’s Award of Garden Merit in 2001.

David C. H. Austin (1926 – 2018) was an award-winning rose breeder, nursery owner and writer from Shropshire, England. He began breeding roses in the 1950s with the goal of creating new shrub rose varieties that would possess the best qualities of old-fashioned roses while incorporating the long flowering characteristics of hybrid tea roses and floribundas.

Austin developed ‘Golden Celebration’ using the apricot shrub roses, ‘Charles Austin’ and ‘Abraham Darby’. The rose is part of the David Austin English Rose Collection, and is one of the largest-flowered English Roses. ‘Golden Celebration’ was awarded the Royal Horticultural Society’s Award of Garden Merit in 2001.

This rose has large, deeply cupped, 3-inch flowers with up to 75 petals per bloom. The color is described as unusually deep and rich golden-yellow with an exceptional fragrance of sweet wine and strawberries. It is a repeat bloomer, and its blooms are set against dark, glossy green foliage. The yellow blooms have a blush of pink and a unique notch in the petals. The flowers of the Golden Celebration rose have a tendency to nod. The growth pattern of The Golden Celebration Rose is rather like a yellow version of Iceberg.

The Golden Celebration Rose has been a rose of moderate 4 foot stature. It is hardy from zones 5 to 11 and is recommended for full sun to partial shade. It is also noted for being disease resistant and slightly drought tolerant.

Characteristics of Golden Celebration Rose

  • Size and Growth Habit: Medium-sized shrub, 4 to 5 feet in height and width. Grows in a rounded, arching shape.
  • Growth Rate: Fast-growing.
  • Flower: Large, 3-inch blooms with up to 75 petals per flower. Blooms are a rich golden-yellow color.
  • Bloom Time: Repeat bloomer, flowering throughout the season, starting in late spring and continuing until the first frost.
  • Fragrance: Strong, fruity fragrance with notes of wine and strawberries.
  • USDA Zone: Hardy in zones 5 to 11.
  • Lifespan: Can live for approximately 20 years with proper care.
  • Hardiness: This rose have good cold hardiness, surviving winter temperatures down to -20°F (-29°C) in zone 5.
  • Disease Resistance: Good disease resistance, but watch for blackspot.

Cultivation Tips

  • Planting: Plant in well-drained soil rich in organic matter. Choose a location that receives at least 6 hours of direct sunlight daily.
  • Watering: Water regularly, especially during dry periods. Ensure the soil remains moist but not waterlogged.
  • Fertilizing: Feed with a balanced rose fertilizer during the growing season to promote healthy growth and abundant blooms.
  • Pruning: Prune in late winter or early spring to remove dead or weak growth and to shape the plant. This encourages vigorous flowering and maintains the plant’s form.
  • Mulching: Apply a layer of mulch around the base of the plant to retain moisture and suppress weeds.