A rose expert's favourite climbing roses
Looking for a good climbing rose? It must be twenty years since I planted 'Gardenia' and 'Lamarque' to climb over my rose turnnel and they still cover it with blossoms today.
'Gardenia' is classed as a rambler but is easily kept under control and the creamy yellow flowers with their pointed buds are a delight.
'Lamarque' was raised in France from seed planted in the window box of an amateur breeder, and it became one of the great ramblers of all time. It belongs to the lovely Noisette family and appreciates a warm spot but other than that it is undemanding.
Flowers in the old-fashioned style are a silky lemon in the centre fading to almost white on the outer petals. They are borne in generous flushes throughout the season and inclined to be pendulous.
The plant is tough but the flowers have a charming old-fashioned delicacy about them. It's a vigorous rose and ideal for a warm pergola or verandah. To grow Noisette roses successfully, they must have warmth.
The climber 'Pierre de Ronsard', named after the French poet and introduced by the famous French nursery of Meilland in 1987 is one I covet.
This is a modern repeat-blooming rose in the old-fashioned style and to see the well-grown climber in full bloom is to take your breath away. The fat blooms are packed full of petals, soft rose pink on the inside and the faintest blush pink on the outside. They open informally quartered and there are a lot of them.
There isn't much perfume, but you can't have everything. The blooms are large and they pick well and last longer in a vase than most roses. I can't see this rose in a clinically modern setting but if your house has a bit of age, this is the perfect climber to plant near a door.
Rose care this month
• Continue deadheading, cutting just above the first five-leaved branchlet if you can. This encourages the plant to flower again.
• If you haven't already done so, prune once-flowering roses. These should be pruned as soon as they have finished flowering because they will flower primarily on mature canes.
• Continue to water deeply twice a week if the weather is dry, preferably from underneath.
• Roses will benefit from spraying with liquid fertiliser – fish, seaweed, blood and bone are all good. Never spray in sunlight. Early morning or evening is best.
• Don't let the earth around roses become compacted. Fork it lightly.
• Grass clippings can be used sparingly as a thin mulch if you are sure they haven't been sprayed.
- NZ Gardener