Saturday, May 16, 2015

Serendipitous Apricot

I was delighted, while walking the mad dog Bella on my evening rounds, to see this bloom of 'Serendipity' standing up tall and begging to be noticed.  I grow few roses that develop a classic high-centered Hybrid-Tea form, but this demure gal is clearly one of them.  Perfect enough for a Victorian, perfect enough for me!

'Serendipity' is a 4 foot tall Shrub rose that is considered to be a Hybrid Tea by some sources.  I understand the confusion now that I've seen her high-centered, double bloom.  Blooms are large (4-4.5 inches) and mostly one to a stem but she also occasionally clusters.  She was introduced by Dr. Griffith Buck in 1978.  Her official color is given on the Iowa State Buck Rose website as "Mars Orange (RHSCC 31 C) over a buttercup yellow (RHSCC 1 6C) base and becoming pale Orient pink (RHSCC 36B) with age."  Translation:  she's mostly apricot and she pales to pink.  I would add that she has more pink tones than orange when she develops in cooler temperatures.

She's been in my garden for two years and she has held her own against the climate, although I wouldn't describe her as vigorous, and she certainly wasn't cane hardy this past winter, growing back from about 6 inches high this spring.  In the garden, I would have said last year that the blooms open rapidly in one or two days to a loosely arranged cupped form, but here in the house she has maintained that high-center bud form for 4 days.  To my nose, she has a moderate to strong, very sweet fragrance.  Some describe her as apple-scented, but I don't.  No blackspot on this one, over the past two seasons.  One nursery states that this rose was previously sold as Mango Blush, a found rose, with a mild fragrance and some repeat.  I don't know if Mango Blush is actually 'Serendipity,' because I think the fragrance is stronger than described and I think 'Serendipity' reblooms more consistently than "some repeat."

'Serendipity' may not be my first choice of a Griffith Buck rose to grow, but she's not a terrible rose either, and she has a great Hybrid Tea form for cutting.  I'd tell you that her apricot color is unmatched, but I know better because there are several Griffith Buck roses with better orangey tones. 'Serendipity' is said to be a cross of two seedlings; (Western Sun × Carefree Beauty) X (Apricot Nectar × Prairie Princess).

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