Rosa 'The Endeavor', 'Mary Rose', and 'Charles Rennie Mackintosh'

Rosa 'The Endeavor'

'The Endeavor' is a bit of a mystery. It's a new rose, but it's not on Austin's website. Weeks is the wholesaler. The lady at the garden center said she thought it was only being sold in warm climates, but she didn't know why. A lack of Black Spot resistance, or tender to frost? She didn't know. Perhaps Weeks wanted to sell an Austin exclusive, and this is what Austin offered them, it being a rose that flopped in (cool, damp) UK trials. That's my purely 100% guess!

It's salmon with some yellow. It's in the color neighborhood of 'Jubilee Celebration' and 'Christopher Marlowe', but obviously the plant is going to be much bigger and bulkier than either of those, and the flower is much larger. More fragrance than 'Christoper Marlowe', but less than 'Jubilee Celebration'. The tag described it as a heavy bloomer. We'll see!

I've heard Austin criticized a bit for introducing a lot of roses that are very similar to each other. My take on that is--well, yes and no. There are many roses that are in photographs superficially very similar, for example, 'Mary Rose' and 'Charles Rennie Mackintosh'. However, in the garden they differ.

'Mary Rose' is a big, full, rounded shrub with somewhat slow re-bloom. Fragrance is hit-and-miss, sometimes the flowers radiate an intense old rose fragrance, most of the time, they have no fragrance at all. The variation seems to occur in all types of weather, dry and warm, cool and damp, 'Mary' either broadcasts her fragrance or she doesn't, according to rules only she is aware of. 'Mary' is not prone to much rust, but mildews slightly.

'Mary Rose':
Rosa 'Mary Rose'

'Charles Rennie Mackintosh' makes no pretensions to any fragrance at all. It's a slight, wobbly plant that must be stronger than it looks, because rust and mildew resistance are above average. Re-bloom is faster than 'Mary Rose'. The color is a cooler pink, as close to a lavender as Austin will ever get, but it is most certainly pink, not lavender, or even close. Cool pink.

The appealing thing to me about CRM is how photogenic he is. I can always get a good picture. CRM's petals have the same scalloping as 'Mary Rose', but he always comes out better in photographs. I believe CRM's centers are slightly higher, rather than dished or flat like 'Mary', so the camera captures these enchanting half-profiles:

Rosa 'Charles Rennie Mackintosh'

So, if you spend a lot of time in the garden, Austin's pink roses are not at all similar. But if you only look at them casually, or once a year at the garden center, then yes, they are very similar.

Myself, I like the subtle differences.  Perhaps I've "drunk the Kool Aid".  But this Kool Aid tastes good!

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