Orange Ovation
Rain and Roses– October 14, 2009

Happenstance Rose


Happenstance Rose Bouquet



Some people think small leaves on a rose signify that the plant will be small, dainty, in fact. I know I did. 'Happenstance' happened to give me that impression.


Happenstance Rose shrub

I first saw this rose when a garden designer friend of mine showed it to me planted in a public garden. What an attractive creature– shiny, finely-cut leaves; wide open canary yellow blooms fading to ivory; striking stamens crowning a pale green center; five sweet petals . . .



I planted three of the little mounding shrubs thinking they would reach about 3-feet. They did not prove me wrong for years.


Happenstance Rose climbing

Then when we built our deer fence, I decided to move and plant two of the shrubs together on the outside of the fence. The two became one and decided to climb, then smother (in a good way, pretty much) everything in their path. Even on HMF, it says 'Happenstance', also called 'Baby Mermaid', is a 3'x4' Shrub, or Miniature. What do you say?


Mermaid Rose

'Happenstance' is a sport of the gigantic (more than 30-ft!!) 'Mermaid'. That's 'Mermaid' above. Notice the trunk, and the cane span. How could its offspring 'Happenstance' be called a miniature or a shrub?  Seems to me it's a climber. I'd like to hear from you rose experts. How about leaving a comment below.


I don't usually arrange 'Happenstance' . . .

Happenstance rose in bowl

. . . but by now you must know that I feel it's my duty to show how it looks in a vase.




Several Februarys ago, I was asked to do a rose arranging demo for a garden club. Needless to say, I used florist roses (right, we don't have garden roses in Feb in my part of CA). I searched the garden, though, for something I might bring to liven the mix. I looked over at 'Happenstance' and it was ravishing– covered in shiny fresh leaves! I showed it that day as filler.



This close-up is the bouquet, at the very top, which consists of one branch and a couple of smaller laterals. Here it is after 3 days. Fresh blooms opened each morning, and at the end of the day, when their petals fell, golden tassels remain for another day.

Not only is 'Happenstance' all the good things I mentioned above– it's also deer-resistant in my garden (it has lots of sharp thorns); it blooms in continuous flushes; and it has a story to tell, which I'll get to in a future post.