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”

Pink Climbing Rose: An Exercise

HeyJude is running a photo challenge during 2020 on her Travel Words blog designed to get us thinking about the techniques of taking pictures. You can find out the details and monthly topics here. January’s topic is Composition and Framing. These crops are inspired by some of Jude’s instructions – I’ve added them in italics, so you know the intention.

Pink climbing rose at Harlow Carr

Clearly identify your subject. Not as easy as it might seem. The rose is my main interest, but the setting is worthy of attention too (around an oval opening on the curved outside fence of Diarmuid Gavin’s garden at RHS Harlow Carr), so I was slightly torn, wanting to give a glimpse of the inside.

It was an overcast summer evening. The curve of the wall and habit of the rose meant shooting into the light, creating a bright glare. The original picture has a few more inches of haze at the top, and bright light always draws the eye away from the subject. I’ve removed some of it with the effect that the crop is neither landscape, portrait or square. I like to keep the traditional proportions if I can, but throwing aside the rules and cropping any way the subject demands is often the difference between a poor picture and a decent one.

Move in closer to your subject, but not too close. While the flowers in the first picture were blobs, more of their character comes out here. Continue reading “Pink Climbing Rose: An Exercise”