June 2016 – Climbing Roses – Richard Arnott

The busy gardening season is now in full swing. Gardening Club members began the summer season in style with a coach trip to the RHS garden at Wisley. We were very lucky as the sun shone all day and no-one could resist purchasing a plant or two for their own gardens!

Already, though, we have been reminded of Christmas (!) but in a pleasant way – our last speaker, Richard Arnott, advised us to choose our presents early! Of course he was talking about roses! He recommended that we look out for the ones we would like to give as gifts, and order them now for delivery at Christmas as bare-rooted plants!. Yes, you guessed it, we enjoyed a talk about climbing roses by Richard – a local garden designer in much demand. You have probably read his regular articles in ‘The Listing’.

We were reminded that climbing roses do just that – climb! So plant them with other plants to cover the bare lower branches unless you can train them horizontally along wires, Here are some inspiring combinations for you to seek out in the garden centre. Try Rosa Iceberg with Clematis Henryii, the scented Rosa Alfred Carriere with Clematis Hagley hybrid. The evergreen star jasmine – trachelospermum jasminoides works well with climbing roses as does the golden hop – Humulus lupulus ‘Aureus’. If you are looking for roses for a north or east walls try Rosa Danse de Feu, Rosa Maigold or Rosa Golden Showers.

Remember to plant roses in good soil – use organic matter, sprinkle with bone-meal or an alternative and then mulch. When you buy bare-rooted roses, plant immediately or heel them in until you have time. Prune regularly, cut back old and weak growth to allow new shoots to develop. Feed every spring followed by mulching though keep the mulch clear of the rose stems. Dead head and water often in dry spells. Better still, look up the RHS website for detailed guidance on the care of roses!

If you need even more inspiration, visit Sissinghurst, Alnwick gardens or David Austin’s show grounds at Albrighton.

Mary Duff

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