Westerland I thought would be one of those burnt-orange Seventies climbers that fucked your eyes in the bum, had no real scent but would at least busily consume a dud area in the garden.
With this in mind, I threw an own-root cutting of it in behind some blackcurrant bushes, remembered to water it once and pretty much forgot it existed. A couple months later I wondered what that blob of peach stuff was back there in that shady bit and discovered Westerland was not only exploding but flowering.
And a glorious creature it is, sort of like a shabbylicious Compassion with its tumbled mess of frilled marshmallow and apricot jam with a burst of deep golden stamens and fantastic dimensionality. There is a decent, typical Hybrid Tea scent too, on a par in my garden with something like Old Port, supposedly a perfume superstar.
I'd rate it a 7/10 for smell.
These pictures look oversaturated but they're taken in gentle morning light and are fairly true to life, as you can tell from the mild tones on the surrounding timber. Westerland really is this pretty, and apparently perfectly able to survive a crappy soil and insufficient light situation.
Next up in the heavily-dissed but actually rather spectacular category is the David Austin Rose, Tamora (below). If you're staring into that endless creamy cognac and amber gradient wondering if it smells as good as it looks, in a word- yes.
The literature says myrrh and/or maunders on in improbable and inaccurate directions. Myrrh is certainly the anchoring note, but Tamora's fragrance is complex when fresh, with strong competing notes of warm green citrus peel, almost Kaffir-lime-like, and a glob of Manuka honey headspace. The DA site says 'lilac and mimosa' but if that's lilac, I'm a fucking Komodo Dragon. However you frame it, the scent gets a solid 8/10 for strength and character.
The yearling bush is slightly leggy in competition with a monster astilbe that was crowding it, but the emergent shoots are clean, glossy, mid-green and possess those cool flat cinnabar spines that I've seen cropping up on a couple of my newer DA roses. One of its parents, Gloire de Dijon, is a lank, reluctant waste of space in my garden and the shovel's coming for it if it hasn't got its shit together by the end of the summer, incidentally. You can't choose your family.
This guy is the unexpectedly lovely Strawberry Hill, which is blessed with the kind of warm meringue or confection pink that you don't often find in real-life roses. This light is making it look a little blue, but it really is a mid yellow-pink, as per the colours you can see toward the centre of the rose.
It holds these flattish blooms in a range of sizes high over an ample complement of glossy lime-green foliage and bright reddish thorns, recovering well from the fucking blackbird who insisted on landing on it and snapping off half its baby branches in spring.
The joyous idiosyncrasy of that foliage might make it a poor match for other vintage-style roses in a formal scheme, but I love it. DA recommends it for an imperfect site and after watching it flower and power away in half-day tree shade, I concur.