Wildeve is one of those stunning seashell pink roses whose colour and form is so baby's bottom perfect you do not need to add or take away a thing. Its delicate and charming appearance belies its vigour and hardiness. The 70 petals or so are divided into four quarters and then enfolded into a cup that may be up to 15cm across. Each petal then develops an apricot tinge as it ages. There is the odd glimpse of a yellow, central stamen and a pleasing, refreshing scent. The flowers are weather proof and continuous throughout the summer and autumn and will be profuse even when planted in partial shade. The leaves are smaller than a normal English rose so you get a higher flower to foliage ratio. The stems arch beautifully and eventually form a well rounded bushy shrub.
The word versatile can be rather over-used with respect to roses, but in this case it is entirely applicable. Wildeve's growth habit means that it grows symmetrically and flowers from the ground so that it can be placed in plum position in a border or be used almost as ground cover on a bank or verge. Its arching stems can also be trained to ascend a modest wall. And it is equally happy arching elegantly from a pot. Concentrate on that delicate pink colour and grow bearded Iris 'Apricot Silk' and 'The Chatelaine' lupin for a spectacularly romantic flower bed. Or contrast it with bright pink Gertrude Jekyll and the purple spires of Salvia Caradonna with the Jasmine Stephanense in the background.
A male role model
Thomas Hardy's novels epitomise the English countryside and this rose is named after Damon Wildeve, the dashing but ultimately doomed (and which Hardy hero isn't?) suitor to Eustacia Vye in 'Return of the Native'.