Beautiful Ways To Train And Support Rambling Roses

Rosa 'Malvern Hills' trained in an arch shape around a door
Rosa ‘Malvern Hills’ trained in an arch shape around a door

A rambling rose will grow against almost any garden structure and can be encouraged to scramble into a tree. Most ramblers need to be tied to, or woven around, their support while the canes are still young and flexible.

If you only check one thing before buying a rambling rose, make it the height, which should be a good match for the structure it’s going to be growing against. A common mistake is to choose too big a rambler: you’ll have to keep cutting away potential flowering stems to prevent your rose from completely swamping the arch, arbour, obelisk or trellis. Here are some ways to support rambling roses that will show off these beautiful plants to their best: Continue reading “Beautiful Ways To Train And Support Rambling Roses”

Trick Or Treat?

Rose with blue and red spray painted leaves

Having stored up some brownie points by offering you a virtual treat yesterday, I thought I might get away with tormenting some of you today.

I found this rose growing on the land surrounding an art park in Austin, Texas, with its leaves spray painted blue and red. I could imagine this as an alternative greeting card, but there’s something of plant cruelty about it, assuming you agree with my sweetheart that there is such a thing.

If the rose was wearing an expression, I imagine it would be like the one old Rusty had that made us laugh so helplessly when he came back from the dog groomer looking like the spaniel version of a Chinese crested dog, closely shorn in some places and fluffed up in others, crowned with a bow. Continue reading “Trick Or Treat?”

Rosa ‘Princess Alexandra Of Kent’

Rosa 'Princess Alexandra Of Kent' covered in dew
A dewy Rosa ‘Princess Alexandra Of Kent’

An English Rose that pretty much has it all. The flowers are huge, fragrant, and very distinctive because of their deeply cupped flower form, although you can’t really appreciate the depth of the bloom from this angle. The colour is classic rose pink. It’s a shrubby type of rose, but fairly compact, with stems sturdy enough to bear the weight of the flowers. Continue reading “Rosa ‘Princess Alexandra Of Kent’”

Valentine’s Day Roses And Embarassments

Shrub roses with red splashed flowers
Shrub rose

Whatever our feelings about Saint Valentine’s Day, it’s hard to ignore. We all know we should let our sweethearts know that we love them all year round, even when they are walking mud into the house, let’s say, or leaving jam on the fridge door.

For those of us who find it hard to express our affection every day, Valentine’s Day can be a good thing. For those of us who get a sweet little extra something we appreciate, it’s a good thing. For people who sell cards, chocolates, flowers and meals, it’s definitely a good thing.

I’ve never been wildly keen on the day, perhaps due to several embarrassments it has occasioned. Continue reading “Valentine’s Day Roses And Embarassments”