That saying "If momma ain't happy, ain't nobody happy" kept running through my head. Basically, it means that if the woman of the household isn't happy, then she will (either obviously or covertly) make the other family members miserable. I wondered if David Austin was miserable.
Well, because of Pat. Pat Austin is David Austin's wife. Pat Austin is also a rose. A rose bred by David Austin and named for his wife.
Naming a rose after your wife would surely make for some moments of marital bliss! Still, I wondered.
I know absolutely nothing of Pat Austin, the person, except for that one simple fact. She is David Austin's wife. But, I wonder if there are clues in the description of her rose on the David Austin website:
- Short climber (actually, in my garden, she's still a short bush)
- Strong fragrance
- Bright color
- Tea-scented with a warm sensuous background
- Deeply cupped flowers (I'll let your imagination run with this!) ;)
She grows in zones 5 through 10.
Her description sounds lovely. But for years she wasn't very lovely in my garden. Maybe it's just American soil, or the fact that mine is own-root, but in my garden, and in some others I have heard about, she has been a source of complaint.
And with such a poor rose named after her, I wondered if she was happy with this particular rose bearing her name. And if she wasn't happy.... well, you know the saying!
But I shouldn't have doubted. I should have trusted. David Austin surely knew what he was doing. He wouldn't have named a poor performing rose after his wife! And, he didn't. Because now that Pat Austin (the rose) has finally grown to maturity, she is outstanding. Yes, her blooms still nod (maybe hinting at a trait of shyness?), but they now nod on stems that are strong. Years ago their blooms dropped face-first into the mud. But now she is the delight of my garden. She is utterly charming.
She has a unique but beautiful color. An orange, but not a neon orange. Copper is the word used to describe it. And it's a good word. Like copper, sometimes her patina has a slightly pink undertone. Sometimes the undertones are more yellow, and yet she mixes well with other soft-colored roses. I think in real life, she must be a gracious hostess.
I am so glad I didn't get rid of Pat Austin prematurely. She is a rose that needs a bit of time to fulfill your expectations. She can't be rushed. She must be nurtured, pampered, and attended. But treating her gently will reward you greatly.
I now know that David Austin must be a happy man. I now understand why he would name this rose after his wife. It is a remarkable rose, if you will only give it a bit of time. She will never be the star of the garden. She doesn't stand out. Yet, she is a gentle and lovely addition. Her softness is her strength. She has that one particular quality that is uniquely rare and underrated: she elevates the garden with her presence.
Yes, I'd say momma is happy. Well done, Mr. Austin.