I first saw 'Wildeve' at the Huntington. It was about 2'x2', compact, with clean foliage. It showed up at our garden club plant sale, looking just as clean and compact, and the price was great, so I bought it because I had a spot for a compact rose. I got it in the ground. It bloomed, and bloomed again--great! A compact pink Austin!
I've been fooled before. 'Heritage' was a giant green monster with just a few flowers at the tips of the 10-12' canes. 'Sharifa Asma' was wonderful, but so virused with RMV that people would complement me on my "rose with the variegated foliage". 'Scepter'd Isle'--meh. 'The Wife Of Bath'--not bad, not my favorite. 'Mary Rose', mildew and long periods without flowers. Pink Austins have not prospered here. 'Bishops Castle'--I love the fragrance, but the jury is still out--the growth habit is puzzling.
So, I was delighted with compact, well-behaved 'Wildeve'. The flowers are something like a fuller 'Heritage', but they last two days instead of two hours--a huge improvement! The fragrance is a dusky Tea, not powerful, but addicting. Then it settled in and produced what I would call an "grown-up" cane. I took a picture of the new cane with a poster board behind the cane so it is more clearly visible. There's another foot beyond the poster board, forming a candelabra of a dozen buds.
Oh dear. Not Compact. Fooled again!
'Wildeve' has an odd collection of neighbors. She's in a narrow raised bed that runs along the driveway. Most of the bed is 'Jubilee Celebration'--six or eight of them. There's concrete in front of the bed and a stucco wall behind, with a steep slope above. The shady end of the bed holds a pink camellia and a 'Charles Aznavour' rose, both of which are being swallowed up by an ecstatically happy Fuchsia.
Ecstatically happy Fuchsia:
Rosa 'Charles Aznavour' struggling to survive the fuchsia. There's a camellia somewhere in there, too:
Eventually the roses will all be moved elsewhere, replaced, I envision, by an austere row of uniform Agave medio picta 'Alba's, interspersed, perhaps, with black Aeonium arborescens. Right now my Agave medio picta 'Alba' is up on the slope growing pups, the future occupants of 'Wildeve's bed.
Agave medio picta 'Alba' with Yucca 'Margaritaville':
Of course by the time I have sufficient pups, an austere row of uniform Agave medio picta 'Alba' might be utterly passé (if it isn't already). Or 'Wildeve' might become too big to move. I wouldn't put it past her. She's an Austin, and she's pink.