“ Flowers. The individual rose blooms on climbing roses can be of a finer quality and larger in size than those on standard rose bushes. Climbing rose bushes whose names are not prefaced with Climbing or 'Cl' are bred by crossing two rose bush varieties. They generally have a heavy spring crop of rose blossoms followed by a repeat bloom and usually a good fall crop of rose blooms with a few exceptions. A few seedling Climbing roses bloom only once and are so noted here. Climbing roses are a diverse group with many different heritages, which makes this a wonderfully useful collection of roses. More climbing roses should be grown as they provide wonderful color in the rose garden without taking up much ground. Large flowered climbing roses differ from Rambling roses in that they have fewer, yet larger blooms (4-6 inches in size) and are not quite as vigorous growers. These blooms larger than blooms on rose bushes of the same variety. Being so diverse, climbing roses vary in winter hardiness. Generally, the climbing rose varieties are hardy zones 5 or 6 through 10 except as noted, some with more or less hardiness as noted. „
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Climbing roses tumbling over an arbour are so attractive, the standard and bush roses are lovely but for me they don't have the appeal of the climber.
If you like uniformity in your garden then climbing roses just wouldn't be for you, they do run wild and have irregular but beautiful blooms that often form in clumps or bunches.
Climbers will happily tackle the tallest of walls and sheds and cover them in a mass of bloom.
Because of their vertical nature they are suitable for almost any garden, you can intertwine them with other climbing plants like honeysuckle or clematis, this gives texture and blend to your garden.
I could tend to go off of the beaten track a little here because I am pretty passionate about climbing roses. When I was a child we had an amazing garden, so very loved and cared for, a magnificent old climbing rose ran all along one wall. The rose was called `Albertine` a famous old rambler , strongly scented, producing masses of double pale pink blooms. Every summertime it was an absolute picture.
The old fashioned roses have such beauty, to my mind they easily outshine the modern varieties.
If a rose is generally known as a climbing variety it will grow to be over 2 metres high, often having a longer flowering period and either a heavy scent or in fact no scent at all.
When the time comes for pruning I am always gentle, I hate to see any living thing `cut back to the bone`. After the rose has completely finished flowering then I gently prune it, concentrating on keeping the shape and the flow of the rose.
As new growth starts to appear again don't forget to `train` it, making sure that the new canes are trained into position.
Climbing roses tend to grow very quickly and they benefit form being fed, so try to feed them twice a year, maybe March and July. An organic rose fertiliser or maybe a bone meal, but do take on board that bonemeal is slow to act but long lasting.
I have to confess that when mine flower the lure is too great and I am forever snipping off clumps of fragranced blooms to put in the house.
The Chelsea Flower Show saw some new roses introduced, one of them in particular struck me as extremely beautiful, called `Wisley`-an English Musk Hybrid. A soft pink cabbage type rose that will grow as high as five feet, maybe not a climber or a rambler but never the less a spectacular rose.
Any reputable garden centre will be able to give you information on climbing and rambling roses, take a look im sure that you will be pleasantly suprised.
Englishmen and their houses - one of the most fascinating of relationships - the Little Englander and his castle - of a Sunday afternoon, he likes nothing better (well, only a few things like live football, Eastenders, Sunday roast, discussing politics with Mrs D, etc) than touring his grounds and admiring the flowers he has stocked the garden with. It's odd really that you can get so much satisfaction out of growing things, but it's the truth - SHOCK HORROR dave27 ARRIVES IN MIDDLE AGE - only a matter of weeks now before he starts wearing zip up slippers, cardigans and a flat cap and driving very badly in the middle of the road (Mrs D - You already do that, you old fool. dave27 - Yes, but only to annoy you) Get on with you, you whippersnappers, I don't care... Anyway, as far as English gardens go there is one flower which springs up virtually everywhere and that's the rose, beloved of gardeners the world over... The dave27 clan moved into a new abode a wee (Casa Bevron) in Lancashire four years ago now and I was keen on having my garden draped liberally with climbers, all over the fence down the side. I wanted climbers that would bear lots of lovely flowers with beautiful smells (God, I sound more and more like Old Titchers...) and so there was really only one choice for me - the CLIMBING ROSE, that most delightful of creations... The dave27 guide to climbing roses ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Climbing roses come in two main varieties, the rambler and the climber. The ramblers have been common in Britain for a couple of hundred years and sport 'long pliable stems bearing huge trusses of small flowers. Growth is very vigorous and they can be a mass of colour in summer, but there is only one flush of flowers' (Dr D G Hessayon - 'The Rose Expert'). They are not as popular as they used to be, mainly because they only bear flowers on new wood and so need to be regularly prun
ed back in order to make sure you keep getting lots of flowers. The climbers have started to dominate, mainly because their flowers come on the mature growth and so you don't need to be too fussed about keeping them pruned back. Their growth is much stiffer and more difficult to manipulate, and they bear larger flowers in smaller trusses. You don't really need to worry too much about this distinction (and me and Mrs D never have) because with either sort you can prune them back if you need to and I normally give them a decent hacking back in the spring. There is a word of warning, though. If you cut them back TOO FAR you can damage them. Mrs D's granma (Nanny Nutwood) came up to visit us last year with Auntie Mary and they gave my beautiful climbers a bit of a No. 2 and this year a few of them have clearly suffered from the experience, because they have showed no sign of life at all and I've given up all home - oh well, at least most of them have survived the experience (Note to self - make sure you hide the secateurs well this year) My garden has got about seven or eight big ramblers in it and I've generally got a clematis planted next to each of them to try and keep interest all year. Clematis bloom early in spring and the rose come on a bit later, so one follows on from the other. Okay, I'll just clue you in on some of my faves... Albertine - a rambler, and one of the greatest. It has pale pink blooms erupting from coppery buds and smells really wonderful. It generally grows about 15 foot tall if left to its own devices and is quite vigorous. I've got this on a trellis screen with honeysuckle, a clematis and a wisteria and the idea behind this is for the screen to block off the wind which comes whistling down the side of our house and plays havoc with some of the taller roses we've got. The Albertine was one of the plants that got the chop last year, but it has come storming bac
k with a vengeance and actually seems to have benefitted from the torture. The flowers stand out marvellously among their accompaniment. I got this cheap a couple of years ago from a garden centre (about £2 because it was at the end of the season and had outgrown its pot). It took a long while to get going after its ill treatment, but is now a REAL treasure. Danse du Feu - a large flowered climber which has no real scent and only grows to about eight foot. You can normally get this quite cheaply in a lot of those special bulk offers (you know where you get five climbers for about six or seven quid) and that's how I came across it. I wouldn't have bought it out of choice but it is pretty vigorous and keeps flowering for quite a long time. Etoile de Hollande - a repeat flowering climber which carries large hybrid tea flowers smelling gorgeous. The flowers are something special and are dark, velvety red. It's supposed to grow to about 12 foot and I've got it mixed in with Clematis montana and the mile a minute vine on a huge round pergola at the foot of the garden. It's got a bit swamped by the vine, but still stands out like a beautiful angel. It's extremely vigorous and is looking really wonderful this year. I made a special point of getting this one and forked out about £7 three years ago, but have been delighted by the results. Golden Showers - the most popular of yellow climbers and another of those that comes with the bulk bargain bin. You can get it very cheaply in virtually any garden centre and it is a real beauty. The flowers are wonderful and smell delightful. It is extremely vigorous and goes on and on and on flowering all year long. It only grows about 7 foot tall. Iceberg - a climbing floribunda which is another from the bargain bin and is only slightly fragrant, but more than makes up for its lack of scent with its vigour and glossy leaves. The flowers are wonderful and this rose
will easily reach 10 foot very quickly. I have to keep this very well pruned to stop it from taking over my whole garden and it sits very well with a clematis. Rosa Filipes Kiftsgate - a rambler and a real giant. It is reputed to grow to about 25 foot and is excellent for covering all sorts of unsightly things (such as Mrs D). The flowers are absolutely beautiful and smell wonderful. They are creamy white and once you've had one of these you'll be an immediate convert. The plant also has bright red hips at the end of the season which prolongs the interest. Schoolgirl - a climber with orange flowers which are double and repeat flowering and smell lovely. It also comes in the bargain basement deal and is a classic with its glossy foliage. It gets up to about 10 foot and looks marvellous when in full bloom, totally distinctive. Zephirine Drouhin - a climber bourbon rose which is also known as the thornless rose. It grows just as well as a bush and the fragrance from it is really heady. The blooms are a deep pink and the whole plant is truly magnificent. It gets up to about 10 foot and its bushy growth make it an excellent choice. There are hundreds of other climbing roses, but hopefully this short selection will have given you a good idea of what can be had. The sight of a glorious climber or rambler clothing an old brick wall is a wonder to behold and makes me come over all Wordsworthian... My heart leaps up when I behold a glorious living wall of colour and scent And gets me 10p for telling the tale at the Doos
Roses have always played an important part in British gardening but in recent years I have noticed a shift from the formal, high maintenance beds of hybrid teas to a more relaxed cottage garden style using species roses. These vigorous, easy species have graced the rose walks and arches of the major British gardens and are now finding a place in small urban gardens. Given a pergola hybrids such as Rosa ‘Seagull’ and Rosa ‘Wedding Day’ can provide a majestic, but short-lived, display. My personal favourites are Rosa brunonii, Rosa filipes ‘Kiftsgate’ and Rosa multiflora. The first two are very vigorous Himalayan species capable of growing more than 10 metres across - just one ‘Kiftsgate’ rose covers the wall of my house. Both are particularly attractive in the early spring when the young shoots are tinged with copper hues – the foliage of R. filipes turns a glossy green while R. brunonii turns a most pleasing matte grey green. Both have delicately scented white flowers. The latter is typically used as a rootstock for grafting modern bush roses but is also a lovely plant in its own right. It is not as rampant as the other species and is entirely thornless. So it is perhaps more suitable for very small gardens. I have also grown this species in the open where it will eventually form a dome three metres high and half as much again wide. Clusters of 25 mm diameter white flowers smother the fresh green foliage in June. These develop into pea sized bright red hips that glow in the low autumnal sunlight. As an added bonus these hips provide a valuable mid winter feast for our urban birds, which delights me as much as the flowers themselves but has a downside as I will explain later. Cultivation of ramblers is relatively straightforward. Any reasonable soil will do and almost anything can be used as a support from pergolas and trees to that old unsightly shed in the corner of the garden
(great excuse to get rid of the Russian Vine!). If attaching wires or a frame to wall or fence on which to grow your ramblers do try to leave at least 75 mm between wall and wires. This enables good air circulation reducing occurrences of disease and creates a perfect nesting site to boot! Most ramblers require very little pruning save for the removal of wayward stems and overly old flowering branches. Pests and diseases are rarely a problem but in these days of cleaner air blackspot can occur. Mildew can also affect those ramblers grown against a wall. In this situation a thick mulch applied in spring around the base of the plants can reduce their susceptibility. I have to say I don’t mind the odd mildewed branch as it provides a food source for the 22 spot ladybirds during the summer months. Aphids have never presented a great problem either. You will probably have guessed by now that I don’t use any chemicals in my garden, which allows a huge range of wildlife to thrive. Don’t get me wrong I have aphids – just small quantities that make no impact on the plants I grow. The bonus for me is that they provide a food supply for blue and great tits, various ladybirds, lacewings and hoverflies which animate the garden at various times of the year. Propagation is also very simple either from seed or from cuttings taken between late September and November. These should be taken from new growth and be about 200 - 300 mm in length cut just below a leaf joint at the base and a normal pruning cut above the bud at the top. Use only the ripe wood, between pencil and finger thick, discarding any soft growth at the tip of the shoot. After stripping all but the top two leaves the cutting is simply firmed into the ground leaving around 50 mm proud of the soil surface. Many gardening manuals will suggest a nursery trench but I have found that striking the cuttings in their final position leads to a much quicker establishm
ent. If your soil is particularly heavy add some sharp sand to soil before filling around the cutting as this makes it easier for the new roots to grow. “What about that downside?” I hear you cry. Well, much of my time is spent growing rare plants from seed with the best part of half the rear garden given over to pot staging areas around the boundary fence. It is the usual practice of our resident blackbird to feast on the hips and once sated retire to bask in the autumn sun atop the fence. Suffice to say that the internal workings of the blackbird prepares the seed perfectly, leaving me with a delicate weeding task each May as the rash of rose seedlings swamp the pots! To add insult to injury the pair always nest in the very same rose. Anyway that’s enough rambling from me! Enjoy your gardening.