Sally Holmes Rose

Sally Holmes is a great country garden shrub rose - she's quite tall, very healthy, and has a beautiful assortment of open pale creamy flowers and tight pointy soft-apricot buds. There are nice tinges of blushing pink in her autumn colour.

The Sally Holmes rose is a wonderful tribute to the woman after which it is named.

 A lovely cluster of the old and the new.
Sally Holmes Rose

I've seen the rose Sally Holmes grown up a pillar, and also pinned against a trellis (in the Mona Vale Rose Gardens). She is tall enough to definitely need support. Yet there are shrubs of this beautiful rose growing in the Christchurch Botanic Rose Gardens which are just above knee-high. Poor things - they must have a brutal pruning programme! My Sally Holmes roses are given the freedom to reach for the sky, and get only a light pruning each winter.

Shrub Support

I've got two Sally Holmes roses growing in the middle of the Island Bed, supported by a large Choisya Ternata (or Mexican Orange Blossom). The rose flower-heads tower above this shrub just as it stops flowering - perfect timing. I also have a row of five which I've planted on the sunny side of the garage - all recycled gifts from a gardening friend.

 A cluster of flowers.
Sally Holmes Rose

And who is Sally Holmes? My rose book mentions that the rose breeder is called Holmes - Sally certainly has a beautiful rose named after her!

 The colour shades are just beautiful.
Autumn Sally Holmes Rose


At the end of April 2012 the Reverend Amanda Boon wrote to me from England, with news of the passing of Sally Holmes. The family has kindly given their permission for me to include this news on my Sally Holmes rose page.

Sally Holmes: died April 12th 2012
'Sally was born in Northern Ireland in the 1920s and married Robert Holmes in 1944. They lived in Yorkshire for a while before settling in Stockport, Cheshire. Robbie was a rose breeder and named the rose after his deeply loved wife.'

Sally Holmes roses grow in gardens all around the world, and so her memory lives on. Five of these roses, given to me in October 2010 after the local Christchurch earthquake, are growing along the side of my dark-brown wood-stained garage. They are the most cheery, beautiful sight in late autumn, when much other colour in my garden has faded. And they remind me to give thanks for being able to be a gardener...