American roses with British roots

Calling all green thumbs! You’ll want to grow these beautiful British-inspired buds in your garden.

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Occasionally the stuff of make-believe seeps into real life. And with a show as popular as Downton Abbey these past six years, it’s hard for this historical soap opera to not make its mark on modern lives. The show has influenced real-life baby names, real-life modern-day fashion, and now, our real-life gardens.

Weeks Roses, a popular rose grower founded in Ontario, California in 1938, introduced their Downton Abbey Garden Rose Collection last spring with a blushy-golden rose with a “spicy, fruity fragrance” called Anna’s Promise, named, of course, after lady’s maid extraordinaire, Anna Bates. This spring, Weeks Roses brings us Pretty Lady Rose, a flower named after the wild-child-turned-beautiful-bride and Crowley cousin, Lady Rose Aldridge (née MacClare). The rose is described as old-fashioned, but not delicate, with a sweet, spicy fragrance. They plan to offer Violet’s Pride (after the feisty Dowager Countess) and Edith’s Darling (after Lady Edith’s secret daughter Marigold) next spring.

Blushy golden rose Downton abbey

Anna’s Promise. Photo courtesy of Weeks Roses

Though roses have long been used to convey meaning, there’s something extra fun about the story—and meaning—behind these roses. But Weeks Roses doesn’t only look to popular culture for inspiration. In their “celebrity” line of roses they feature a Coretta Scott King rose, a long-budded rose of frosty coral, which blooms in clusters, a slow-opening lemony yellow St. Patrick Rose, and a super-fragrant, pure white Pope John Paul II Rose.

Pope Jean Paul II white rose

Pope Jean Paul II Rose. Photo courtesy of Weeks Roses

So many amazing roses to choose from.

And some good news: if you’re inclined to pay homage to the dearly departing Downton Abbey this spring by planting roses in its honor, no need to have a huge (or even yet-existing) garden. Pretty Lady Roses grow well in compact spaces and even in pots. Of course, make sure the roses will get enough sun and have proper soil, drainage, and protection from wind. You can order them through various retailers or you can search for a nursery carrying them near you.

Coretta Scott King pink and white rose

Coretta Scott King rose. Photo courtesy of Weeks Roses


Caryn Rivadeneira
Caryn Rivadeneira
Caryn Rivadeneira is the author of five books and is a columnist for Her.meneutics and ThinkChristian. She lives outside Chicago with her husband, three kids, and one red-nose pit bull. Visit her at