Elizabeth Harkness



Day 3

It’s rose season, again, and the first off the rank for this year is Elizabeth Harkness.

Looking at how beautiful this rose is, I wondered why I hadn’t noticed it before.

My reading revealed a few reasons.  Firstly, I read that this rose is best in cool climates which the summer in the South West of Western Australia is not.  Secondly, its beautiful blooms tend to fade to an ivory (read “off”) white as the temperatures rise.  So, during the heat of the previous summers when I have been seeking a pretty rose to photograph, Elizabeth Harkness would not have been at her best.

Given the above, Elizabeth Harkness is going to be at her best in my garden in early Spring before the heat really takes hold.  But, and it is a big “but”, in early Spring, some bloody beetle attacks many of my rose buds.  And, it appears, these very beetles prefer light, fragrant rose buds.  What hope does Elizabeth Harkness have?


Day 2

When at its best, Elizabeth Harkness bears large, shapely blooms on long stems.  The blooms are pearly white, with buff, yellow and pink tones.  Its colour is variable according to the season and weather conditions.  It, reportedly, has a strong fragrance but I would say it is, at best, light.  The foliage is dark green and, supposedly, abundant  but my bush is rather thinly clad and not at all vigorous.

Elizabeth Harkness is described as a refined rose with some of the form and delicacy of Ophelia.  Check out the link.  I am sure you will notice the similarity.


Day 1

Elizabeth Harkness was bred by Harkness in the UK and introduced in 1969.  The rose is named after the breeder’s daughter to mark her 21st  birthday.

It is a very popular rose for cool climates but, probably, not the best choice here in the West.


23 thoughts on “Elizabeth Harkness

    • Hi Karen, I often wonder if you are so busy with the work you fail to see their beauty. That is the reason I started doing the rose posts, so I would see their beauty.

  1. My neighbour has about 20 Pride & Prejudice rose bushes in her front garden – they’re all in bloom at present and look fabulous. I’d love to see a massed planting of Elizabeth Harkness – I’ve an idea they’d look a little like P&P, but with delicate pink edging.

    • Hi Nik I wasn’t familiar with Pride and Prejudice so I just looked it up. Its a beauty, your neighbour’s garden must look beautiful. I see it was also bred by Harkness.

    • Diane, I don’t know what type of beetles I have but I have read that you have a real problem with Japanese beetles. I sprayed mine so I have they have gone.

      • Yup, we’ve got the Japanese beetles, we’ve got these mite things, & unfortunately this year saw the return of the horrendous stink bugs – not that they do anything to my roses but they are just about the nastiest things around…plus they stink (of course)

  2. Your Elizabeth Harkness rose is very pretty… resembles an fancy cake icing rose.
    The G.O. and I spent quite some pleasant time last weekend looking through your rose posts trying to see if there were photos matching a bunch of frilly pink roses I’d bought at the farmers market… the closest I could find was Just Joey although it is apricot. (If you’re interested there’s a Instagram pic on the LH sidebar of my blog).
    But anyway we got side-tracked looking through all your lovely rose posts and choosing what we’d like in our own garden, although I doubt we have room for THAT many 🙂

Please, leave a comment - it makes me feel loved.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.