Another glorious rose from the David Austin stable, the Ancient Mariner rose is a glowing pink, not too strident, certainly not insipid, but definitely its own colour and veering towards the bluer colour spectrum rather than a creamy pink like Scepter'd Isle. Apart from its sensational double flowers with petals that involute in on themselves so that one wonders how it could ever possibly be so inter-ruffled and gorgeous, and apart from its enveloping, musk like dreamy scent, and the fact that it is downright covered in flowers from June to October, the other reason to buy Ancient Mariner® is for its height. It will comfortably reach five foot or so, quite a thing in such a productive rose. As with all of David Austin's recent introductions onto the market, Ancient Mariner® remains in rude health while others fall around it making it ideal for organic gardeners and those who hate spraying their roses.
A sea of Ancient Mariner® roses in a bed would be an amazing thing, but you are more likely to deploy this rose in a bed either with other tall shrub roses like the unusual Rhapsody in Blue or the white Winchester Cathedral or choose more compact roses in front of it like dark pink Gertrude Jekyll to pursue the pink theme. Plants like Salvia nemorosa Caradonna would also look marvellous with the Ancient Mariner, with its dark purple spires being a match for the pink roundness of the rose. You can also aim to grow several climbers up behind an Ancient Mariner rose: June would see the end of the wisteria racemes, and a Jasminum officinale combo would raise the bar on the scent front. Ancient Mariner is probably too tall for pots or urns but should be given a place in any cutting garden for its profusion of blooms, and especially for those for whom arranging flowers is just too daunting. A vase of these would most certainly be 'job done'.
The rose is named after the eponymous hero of Samuel Taylor Coleridge's poem, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner which was published in 1798 and is still probably one of the few poems in the English language that everyone at least knows about. There is indeed a rose mentioned in the poem. It is introduced at the wedding where the Ancient Mariner arrives to tell his ghastly tale, but only in the context of comparing the bride to a rose, and a red one at that. Oh well!