November 8th, 2009
Rose ‘Happenstance’

rose Happenstance
2009-11-07. Rose ‘Happenstance’ at the Antique Rose Emporium north of San Antonio, Texas.

While on a the Austin garden blogger field trip to the Madrone Nursery, the San Antonio Botanical Gardens, and the Antique Rose Emporium, yesterday, at the latter I came across this lovely rose ‘Happenstance’.

‘Happenstance’ is the miniature version of ‘Mermaid’ (which I grow). ‘Mermaid’ is a rambunctious rambler, and in my garden has snaked up through several trees making many visitors do a double-take when they see her flowers blooming through very non-rose foliage.

‘Mermaid’ is renowned for her thorns and ‘Happenstance’ shares this family trait. However, ‘Happenstance’ is a comparitively small, dense (although equally thorny) bush. The leaves are much smaller than ‘Mermaid’ but just as glossy and bright green. The flowers are only slightly smaller. So if you like the large, flat creamy flowers of ‘Mermaid’ but don’t have room for a house-eating rambling rose, ‘Happenstance’ seems to be the solution.

rose Mermaid
Rose ‘Mermaid’. The difference in color is primarily a result of the lighting. Mermaid is a creamy ivory, not yellow, rose.

This is the first time I’ve written a plant profile on a plant I haven’t grown. When, I saw ‘Happenstance’ I knew that I would grow it someday…just as soon as I find a sunny spot.

by M Sinclair Stevens

8 Responses to post “Rose ‘Happenstance’”

  1. From Jenny Austin:

    I remember looking at this with you and thought it would make a good hedge. I don’t know if it flowers profusely. It had a very English wild hedge look to it don’t you think? ( I don’t mean wild unruly.)

    Yes, it does have that English hedgerow quality–maybe that’s why I’m attracted to it. Although it may not be as prolific bloomer as a ‘Knockout’ rose, the foliage is so bright, glossy and dense that I think it is an attractive plant even when not in flower. Not all roses can claim that. A good rose to plant under a teenager’s window, if one is a distrusting parent. — mss

  2. From Amy Emerick:

    Wow! That is so pretty. I think I might have to visit the Rose Emporium again. I could spend a lot of time there just browsing! Great photos.

    That was my thought. I need to go again sometime when I have a better plan for what I want and can browse more. I like the San Antonio location a lot and it’s closer, too. — mss

  3. From Meredith:

    It’s a beauty, MSS. It will be a lovely addition to your garden!

    I thoroughly enjoyed meeting you yesterday and talking about all sorts of subjects, haha. Looking forward to the next time!

    It was great to finally meet you too. Too bad our lunch conversation was cut short by the squeamish. If you want any aloe vera, Agave americana ‘Variegeta’, or Lindheimmer senna, let me know. My garden is overwhelmed by them. — mss

  4. From Cindy:

    I love your rose choice! I would add one comment as a personal observation. We have Happenstance growing by the front entry to the Hacienda. She makes up in width her parentage did in height.

    Give Happenstance some room to spread or be prepared to cut her back into shape a couple times a year.

    People walk by her all the time and do not realize she is a rose. Single petal bloom, her leaves are so small and we have shaped her into a dense bush.

    Thanks for visiting us!

  5. From Cindy:

    Thanks for the shout out on twitter about the blog for ARE-SA.

  6. From joeltheurbangardener:

    Great plant review. I just like the name; Happenstance -hee, hee.

  7. From compostinmyshoe:

    I made the mistake of planting two Mermaids on a trellis close to my first house in 1989. It only took three years for me to see the error of my ways. I went by the house 10 years after I sold it and the rose had covered half the roof. I think the homeowners were afraid to get up there and deal with it. I know I would have!

  8. From Corner Gardener Sue:

    I enjoyed your bloom photos. I thought that was cool what you said about the rose being like a timelapse of itself. I’ve had plants like that before.

    That’s quite a nice list of blooms you have there!

    Thanks for visiting my bloom day post. Yes the borage can be floppy. It seems to be in a good spot for that this year, on the edge of my veggie garden.

    It looks like our mild temps are about finished. I wonder what yours will do.

    When I compare this November’s post to last year’s (when we were in the middle of the two-year drought), I’m so happy. I have a lot less plants than I did before the drought but what has survived has exploded with flowers once it rained. — mss