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Which Yellow Austin: 'Happy Child' or 'Poet's Wife'?

8 years ago

Despite my better judgment I added The Poet's Wife to my David Austin USA order today.

With new Austin rose introductions I tend to wait a few years and several public garden visits before committing to a purchase. After all these years I'm leery of his marketing hype; especially considering how badly his roses misbehave in California.

Over 20 years ago I planted Happy Child in SoCal (z-24) and truly enjoyed its beautiful flower and relatively stable color.

Unfortunately, it grew in reverse and eventually declined to nothing. It never got taller than 40 inches, which is great, but never had more than two canes at a time, forming a thin sparse bush. Perhaps I had a dud or the location was wrong. In contrast, Kathryn Morley was planted at the same time, ten feet away, but grew densely like a grandiflora on steroids. I wouldn't mind giving Happy Child another try up here in more temperate NorCal (z-15) if it grows well in the Bay Area.

Was this impulse buy a mistake?

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