I had the pleasure this afternoon of visiting a great friend in his garden not too far from my home. While we sat on his patio talking roses (something neither of us can ever get too much of!), surrounded by his wonderful collection of rare and unusual roses, my eye kept being drawn to this mauve rose I could not identify.
I asked him what on earth it was and he looked at me rather startled! He said, "You SHOULD know that rose!" It is one of my seedlings, introduced years ago by Ashdown Roses as "Purple Poly Seedling" and later named for a friend's daughter (and my middle name), Lauren.
It looks nothing like what my plant of it looks like just a few miles west of where this one grows. But, then, I have less of the coastal fog influence than he does. My area is several degrees hotter than his and my plant blisters in full, all day sun, western exposure, where his is under lathe, receiving more filtered and indirect light. Mine is planted in native "dirt" while his grows in good potting soil, in a pot and watered much more religiously.
This is what I'm used to seeing here. Significantly smaller flowers with appropriately smaller petals as well as smaller, harder foliage.
This is what it looks like today in the higher heat.
I emailed him this photo when I got home. He responded, "It is amazing how much the same rose can differ from one location to the next. I wonder that any roses are ever identified, given that fact. And it explains how Smith sold William R Smith exclusively to 9 different guys."