Monday, 12 March 2012

Climbing roses

To be honest, I don't know much about pruning roses, except that it has to be done.  If you don't, you end up with something that looks like a wild bramble bush, but with flowers.

Traditionally, you have  to use sharp secateurs, taking care exactly where you cut each branch, how near to a bud you cut, and which bud you choose depending on which way it is pointing.  On the other hand, at the RHS gardens at Wisley they have been experimenting with chain saws instead, waving them about in the general direction of the roses.  The results from the Wisley Chain Saw Massacre are no worse than those from traditional precision pruning.  I suppose the best conclusion is that, as long as you do actually prune the roses, you can't go far wrong.

The climbing roses in front of the lodge were, I think, in their third year last year, and they gave a wonderful display of powerfully-scented blossoms.   I need to control their growth to make sure they don't scratch people going in and out of the building, while encouraging them to flower near enough to the windows and doors so that the perfume can drift inside and catch the people as they pass.

To achieve this I have attached horizontal training wires to the outside of the building, and tied the long arching stems of the roses to them.   It seems that stems trained horizontally give rise to more flowers than vertical ones, so I have tried to do that wherever they are not needed to give height.  The overall effect is of a framework that, I hope, will support a vigorous flowering this year too.


the fly in the web said...

Yes, you are right. Train the stems horizontally to encourage flowering stems to increase.

I had an apricot version of Kiftsgate on the coach covered the wall in about four years.
I had Rambling Rector on the other outbuildings - which disappeared under it in short order!

They only flowered once a year in the spring, but their solo effort was well worth it.

Mark In Mayenne said...

I had not hear of either of those two roses before, but looking them up, they appear spectacular, especially if one is apricot-coloured.

I don't have any need for such rampany growers right now, but I'll bear them in mind: they look like they would cover an enormous dead tree, for example.

Pearl said...

Absolutely gorgeous.

What does that do to the stucco (or whatever the house is covered in)?


Mark In Mayenne said...

It doesn't do any thing to the stucco, in fact the roses protect it a bit. You have to clean off the dead leaves in the Autumn (or they attract bugs and damp) but that's about it.

The bike shed said...

They look fantastic - coincidentally I've just planted two climbers on our south facing wall. I'll be delighted if they com eon so well.

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