Four Deer Proof Shrub Roses: Successfully Stymying Deer with Rosy Shrubbery

by DerdriuMarriner

With their vigorous growth, shrub roses serve as excellent natural barriers for gardens. Four deer-resistant shrub roses excel at barring deer as garden visitors.

Roses comprising the cross-species group of shrub roses exhibit splendidly healthy, upright, vigorous growth.

Their exuberant growth encourages shrub roses for consideration as natural barriers and fences, especially for sensitive yard specialty sections such as gardens.

With their reputation for repelling deer, four shrub roses excel as deer-proof barriers:

• 'Baronne Prévost,'

• 'Harison's Yellow,'

• 'Penelope,' and

• 'Robusta.'

'Baronne Prévost': pink prettiness

Los Angeles County Arboretum, Arcadia, southern California
Los Angeles County Arboretum, Arcadia, southern California

'Baronne Prévost'


'Baronne Prévost' was bred in 1841 by Jean Desprez, a retired official (fonctionnaire) with a passion for dahlias, roses, and tulips, in his garden in Yèbles, a town in north central France's Seine-et-Marne department located about 25 miles (41 kilometers) southeast of Paris.  'Baronne Prévost' was named for the sister of Jean's friend, Eugène Guenoux, who bred dahlias in Voisenon, a village about 9 miles (14 kilometers) southwest of Yèbles. 'Baronne Prévost' was introduced in 1842 by Pierre-Philémon Cochet (père) (1796 - 1853) of the Cochet rose breeding dynasty founded by his father Pierre Christophe Cochet (April 20, 1777 - October 12, 1819) and located in Grisy-Suisnes, about 7.5 miles (12 kilometers) northwest of Jean's walled garden in Yèbles.

The parentage of 'Baronne Prévost' is unknown.

Although 'Baronne Prévost' generally is classified as a Hybrid Perpetual, an alternative classification is as a Portland rose.

Sturdy and upright, 'Baronne Prévost' maximizes its height at 4.9 feet (1.5 meters) and its spread at 3.3 feet (1 meter).

Flowers open, singly or in clusters of up to four, as deep rich pink and fade to rose pink. The American Rose Society classifies the coloring of 'Baronne Prévost' as medium pink.

Framed with bright green leaves, remontant (repeat-flowering) 'Baronne Prévost' exude a deliciously sweet damask fragrance.

Flower size measures 4.3 inches (11 centimeters).

Stems are extremely prickly.

With a plant hardiness classification of Zone 5, 'Baronne Prévost' hardily survives in minimum temperatures ranging from -29° to -23° Fahrenheit (-20° to -10° Celsius).



'Harison's Yellow': deep yellow enchantment

"The Yellow Rose of Texas ~ aka 'Harison's Yellow'"
"The Yellow Rose of Texas ~ aka 'Harison's Yellow'"

'Harison's Yellow'


Although known as "the yellow rose of Texas," 'Harison's Yellow' first bloomed ca. 1824 - 1830 in the garden of New York lawyer and amateur rose hybridizer George Folliott Harison (March 5, 1776 – January 5, 1846) and was introduced ca. 1825 - 1830 by immigrant English nurseryman Thomas Hogg Sr. (1778 - 1855).

Classed as probably a Foetida Hybrid, 'Harison's Yellow' has an uncertain parentage. Suspected origins are Rosa spinosissima x Rosa foetida.

'Harison's Yellow' reaches an equiproportionate maximum height and spread of 5.7 feet (1.75 meters).

Flowers open once, early in the season, as bright yellow with matching, richly hued stamens. The American Rose Society classifies the coloring of 'Harison's Yellow' as deep yellow.

Flower size measures 2.4 inches (6 centimeters).

Its fruity scent is of medium intensity.

Small leaves have grey green coloring, and stems are very prickly.

Its dense shrubbery later is arched with long, open stems.

'Harison's Yellow' has a plant hardiness classification of Zone 4 (-35° to -29° Fahrenheit; -30° to -20° Celsius).


'Penelope': flirty pink-white perfection

Roseraie de Bagatelle, Paris, northern central France
Roseraie de Bagatelle, Paris, northern central France



'Penelope' was introduced in Britain in 1924 by Anglican curate Joseph Hardwick Pemberton (October 4, 1854 - July 22, 1926).

'Penelope' is classed as a Hybrid Musk.

Its parentage usually is given as 'Trier' x 'Ophelia.' Introduced in 1904 by meticulous German rose breeder Peter Lambert (June 1, 1859 - February 20, 1939), 'Trier' is renowned as the foundation rose for a new group of roses, the Hybrid Musks.

Maximum height and spread are equiproportionate at 6.6 feet (2 meters).

Flowers open, in dense clusters of 5 to 10 or more flowers, as shell pink, centered with gold and with prominent lemon yellow stamens. LIghtly ruffled petals fade quickly to white. The American Rose Society color classification for 'Penelope' is light pink.

Flower size is 2.8 inches (7 centimeters).

Remontant (repeat-flowering) 'Penelope' has a strong fragrance blending musk with sweetness.

Leaves first appear as plum red and then deepen to dark green semi-glossiness.

Its dense foliage famously resents pruning.

'Penelope' has a plant hardiness classification of Zone 7 (-18° to -12° Fahrenheit; 0° to 10° Celsius).


regal red of 'Robusta'

San Jose Heritage Rose Garden, northern California
San Jose Heritage Rose Garden, northern California



'Robusta' was introduced 1979 in Germany by its breeder, Reimer Kordes (February 19, 1922 - February 3, 1997), Director of W. Kordes’ Söhne in Klein Offenseth-Sparrieshoop, Schleswig-Holstein, north central Germany. The company, founded on October 1, 1887, by Reimer's grandfather, Wilhelm Kordes I (December 10, 1865 - August 20, 1935), enjoys an international reputation for new cultivars, cut roses, and garden roses.

'Robusta' is classed as a Rugosa Hybrid.

Its parentage is Rosa rugosa var. regeliana seedling.

Height maximizes at 6.6 feet (2 meters), with a spread of 4.9 feet (1.5 meters).

From long buds, flowers open as bright, glowing dark scarlet in clusters of 5 to 10 on short stems. The American Rose Society color classification for 'Robusta' is medium red.

Flower size measures 2.8 inches (7 centimeters).

Continuously flowering "Robusta' exudes a fragrance of light-to-medium delicacy.

Large, wrinkly leaves are bright green.

Its foliage is so covered with large prickles that wearing thick gloves is a necessity.

'Robusta' has a plant hardiness classification of Zone 4 (-35° to -29° Fahrenheit; -30° to -20° Celsius).


'Harison's Yellow': bred in New York, "the yellow rose of Texas" stymies deer far beyond the Lone Star State's borders

'Harison's Yellow' rose ~ in Gardiner, Montana
'Harison's Yellow' rose ~ in Gardiner, Montana

Conclusion: Four shrub roses for successfully stymying deer


Deer shy away from jumping over uneven surfaces. They are particularly disenchanted by rosy shrubs with their potential for anathematic aromas, prickly foliage, and vigorously uneven growth.

Four shrub roses, with reputations for repelling deer, serve as excellent natural barriers:

  • 'Baronne Prévost,' Hybrid Perpetual, hardy to Zone 5,
  • 'Harison's Yellow,' Foetida Hybrid, hardy to Zone 4,
  • 'Penelope,' Hybrid Musk, hardy to Zone 7, and
  • 'Robusta,' Rugosa Hybrid, hardy to Zone 4.

Although unpopular with deer, these four shrub roses prettify gardens with their fragrances and their range of colors, from light pink ('Penelope') to medium pink ('Baronne Prévost') to medium red ('Robusta') to deep yellow ('Harison's Yellow').

Of course, no excuse or reason is necessary for featuring these four charmers in gardens. Deer or no deer, these exceptionally exuberant shrub roses succeed at contributing sensory and visual appeal to their environments.


Water droplets after rain may bring out light pink, almost peachy, highlights of 'Penelope.'

Rose 'Penelope'
Rose 'Penelope'



My special thanks to:

  • Talented artists and photographers/concerned organizations who make their fine images available on the Internet;
  • Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University for superior on-campus and on-line resources.


Sources Consulted


Austin, David. The Rose. Woodbridge UK: Garden Art Press, 2012. 

Brenner, Douglas, and Stephen Scanniello. A Rose by any Name: The Little-Known Lore and Deep-Rooted History of Rose Names. Chapel Hill NC: Algonquin Books, 2009. 

Desmond, Ray. Dictionary of British & Irish Botanists and Horticulturists Including Plant Collectors, Flower Painters and Garden Designers. London UK & Bristol PA: Taylor & Francis, 2006.

Dickerson, Brent C. The Old Rose Adventurer: The Once-Blooming Old European Roses, and More. Portland OR: Timber Press, 1999.

Dickerson, Brent C. Roll Call: The Old Rose Breeder: A Gazeteer of Breeders, Introducers, and Their Roses Through 1920. Old Rose Researcher Book 1. San Jose CA: Authors Choice Press, 2000.

Ellwanger, H.B. The Rose: A Treatise on the Cultivation, History, Family Characteristics, etc., of the Various Groups of Roses, with Accurate Descriptions of the Varieties Now Generally Grown. Revised edition. New York: Dodd, Mead & Company, 1908.

  • Available via Internet Archive at:

Harkness, Peter. The Rose: An Illustrated History. London UK: Firefly Books Ltd., 2003.

Hart, Rhonda Massingham. Deerproofing Your Yard & Garden. North Adams MA: Storey Publishing, 2005.

Joyaux, François. La rose, une passion française : histoire de la rose en France 1778-1914. Brussels, Belgium: Éditions Complexe, 2001.

McCann, Sean. The Rose: An Encyclopedia of North American Roses, Rosarians, and Rose Lore. Mechanicsburg PA: Stackpole Books, 1993.

Modern Roses XI: The World Encyclopedia of Roses. San Diego CA: Academic Press, 2000.

Quest-Ritson, Charles and Brigid. Encyclopedia of Roses. New York: DK Publishing, 2011.

Roberts, Andrew V., Thomas Debener, and Serge Gudin, eds. Encyclopedia of Rose Science. Volumes I, II, and III. Oxford UK and San Diego CA: Elsevier Academic Press, 2003.


'Penelope': persistent pink-to-white prettiness

"Penelope rose"
"Penelope rose"
the end which is also the beginning
the end which is also the beginning

Bambi: world's most famous white-tailed deer, beautifully designed as Swarovksi crystal figurine.

Dimensions: 3 9/16" x 3 13/16" inches.
Swarovski Crystal Figurine #5004688, Bambi

Faceted clear crystal vase shows off six faceted rose blossoms in Ruby crystal.

Sparkling red flowers are complemented with silver-tone rhodium detailing on rose leaves and stems
Swarovski Crystal Red Roses

Earth Sun Moon Trading Company's rose-themed Light Pink 100% cotton t-shirt

Advice from a rose: Make someone's day / Enjoy the sunshine / Remember your beauty stems from within / Be colorful! / Look past the thorns / Make new buds / Bloom! / Be scent-sational!
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Rose Galaxy Hubble Space Photo: black t-shirt

Rose Galaxy Hubble Space Photo
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Me and my purrfectly purrfect Maine coon kittycat, Augusta "Gusty" Sunshine

Gusty and I thank you for reading this article and hope that our product selection interests you; Gusty Gus receives favorite treats from my commissions.
DerdriuMarriner, All Rights Reserved
DerdriuMarriner, All Rights Reserved
Updated: 08/20/2014, DerdriuMarriner
Thank you! Would you like to post a comment now?


DerdriuMarriner on 01/27/2014

KathleenDuffy, Me, too, I find these four roses to be quite gorgeous. It's nice to know that natural measures for diverting deer from garden treasures can and do prettify the landscape.
I also love the crystal roses!

KathleenDuffy on 01/27/2014

Gorgeous roses! And I love the faceted crystal roses. Lovely article.

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