2011 MY FORGOTTEN ROSE YEAR
This year, 2011, will be remembered by me as the year that passed me by because of illness.
The previous year in October 2010 I had an operation to
my right ankle which didn’t go according to plan and it became infected resulting in two long stays at the Royal Orthopaedic Hospital, Birmingham during 2011. On the second occasion it was discovered
that the infection had caused an abscess on my spine and needed an emergency operation. My spine is now clear, but progress is still slow with my ankle.
May I thank all who sent their good wishes during
the year. It was good to talk and hear how things were progressing at the various visits and advice stands members carried out during the Summer. I did miss being at the shows and particularly at
Shrewsbury Flower Show for we were unable to stage there for only the second time in thirty nine years. Hopefully I will be there for the fortieth year in 2012.
Well, the Rose Year was not completely
lost for we were able to stage at the RNRS Spring Show at Malvern with a good deal of help from Vera.
The severe conditions from mid-November and through December caught us all out during the winter.
The pot roses are normally left out doors to help stratify them in the cool late Autumn conditions. They are then taken into the cold greenhouse at the beginning of December and then kept frost free during
January and February with
heating. After that the lengthening days are enough to encourage them into rapid growth.
Unfortunately Mother Nature had other ideas as we all know to our cost and Vera and
I lost approximately 60% of our pots because they were outdoors, when the freezing weather came. My ankle condition prevented me venturing outdoors and we were unable to get the pots under cover. The
very low freezing temperatures came so swiftly that the pots, including the roots, were frozen solid. These very low temperatures were prolonged for days on end causing the loss of so many plants.
very high proportion of my miniature pot roses, at least 80% have been grown as rooted cuttings during the past fifteen years and many were well established plants. It was these that suffered the
Roses on their own roots, I have found, are not as hardy as those budded on rootstocks, particularly in open ground. Our long cool wet Winters do not suit own root roses and in my experience are
very short lived when grown in the garden. I have, however, found the own root method to be very successful for growing in pots, obviously providing we are able to protect the pots from the vagaries of such a
Winter as we experienced during 2010-2011.
Of the fifty or so pots that survived about half were budded on rootstocks which have proved to be hardier in those severe conditions. They were finally placed
in the greenhouse very early in January 2011. The abnormal season however had not finished with us. The cold weather had put the roses to sleep during the Winter, but they were quickly woken up by the
warm dry Spring which followed. Early March, all through to April and into May, proved to be sunnier than usual bringing about rapid growth under glass. So the early season doubts that the blooms would
be late were unfounded. It was, in fact, a question of trying to hold them back.
We have two early flowering Banksia roses that are placed in our greenhouse for the Spring Show. Rose Banksia Lutea
and Rosa Banksia Prezzia along with Helen Knight, a Rosa Ecae seedling, but they had all long finished flowering in April. They are normally early flowering in the garden, usually in May, but grown under glass
in large pots they have in recent years given plenty of bloom for the show. Not this time though. However, we have grown the Japanese ground cover variety, Dreaming Maiden (Yumeotome) on a frame in a
10” pot each year. The variety was originally raised from cuttings
obtained from Jean Coleman a few years ago. The rose has never been at her best in time for Malvern Spring Show but in
2011 because of the warm Spring weather she gave a fine display with plenty of blooms covering the hoop frame and won the pot rose class and continued to carry flowers throughout the Summer into September,
which was quite a good bonus!
Many of the large flowered roses had also flowered early in the greenhouse and there were also a lot of blind shoots too. So Vera was only able to cut just a few blooms of
these large flowered varieties for us.
We did have a reasonable cut of miniature roses for the show. Although nothing like the quality of recent years when we had been successful, Sunset Strip, Behold,
Radiant, Irresistible and Luis Desamero performed well with good clusters of bloom. Our usual bankers, Hot Tamale, Ruby Baby, Mini Pearl, Glowing Amber and Amber Sunset produced some good blooms but not the
quantity we have come to expect for Malvern Spring Show.
By the time the show date arrived, I was driving again and so able to get the pots and cut blooms to the show on Thursday evening. Staging took
about four hours and we were quite pleased with the exhibits. With the staging completed about 10 pm I drove home expecting to return after judging on Friday morning. My ankle became more swollen and
sore during the night and we did not get back to the show at all. I was admitted to hospital on the following Monday and my rose showing year for 2011 was at an end.
It was a few weeks later when we
found out our results. We had won the Cluster Flowered Star class with Hakuun and Dreaming Maiden won the Miniature Pot Rose Class. There were other successes amongst the various classes and I had
enjoyed staging them, but there were no blooms of June Laver this time.
June Laver, the gold yellow HT type mini which has been a great favourite and has won many prizes for us during recent years. The
variety is not very hardy when grown in the garden, but we had during recent years propagated a good number of plants of this variety all grown from cuttings. They were unfortunately all killed by the big
freeze. I would like to grow it again. However, it is not listed in the UK now so if anyone knows of a source of propagating material please let me know.
A ten week stay in hospital followed
Malvern and it was on the 28th July when I was finally discharged. Most of Vera’s time had been taken up with visiting. She was unable to give our roses and perennials and indeed any of our garden
plants much attention. Only the previous year’s Autumn cut back had been carried out to the bush roses prior to winter setting in and no true pruning was done. With no watering, feeding or spraying
being carried out the exhibition varieties suffered from lack of attention and blackspot had obviously been active. Many varieties had suffered dieback in the freezing temperatures, particularly the HT’s
and Minis. So the garden did not look very attractive when I was finally able to get out and about to look around the garden extension area some three of four weeks after arriving home.
It was, however
the modern Clustered varieties that came out best. I was unable to find any disease on Champagne Moment. It is the healthiest variety in the garden. Gold Beauty was almost as clean though it did show
some signs later in the season.
Two other Gold Standard varieties, Tickled Pink and Absolutely Fabulous did have blackspot on lower leaves during August, but along with Friend for Life and Peace Keeper they
still produced lots of bloom and recovered well during the Autumn. With more care and attention I think they could be kept clean in future, but I will have to wait and see how my recovery
Some of the climbing roses were also damaged in the same way. By the time I arrived home from hospital most of the climbers had finished their Summer flush, but the damage was obvious.
Amongst those that suffered worst were Compassion and Maigold on the East facing wall. Adjacent ramblers on the same wall, Francois Juranville, Francis Lester and Bobby James were unaffected though. In
fact, I understand from Vera, they actually flowered profusely. However, I was not around to see them flowering though Vera did bring photos to the hospital for me to see. We certainly had a good
crop of seed hips on Francis Lester during the Autumn. The warm dry Spring I’m sure would have helped the setting seed. The early Summer flowering must have encouraged the unusually good second
crop of bloom on Francois Juranville, Alberic Barbier and Reve d’or which are growing on the wall and the nearby Obelisk close to the house. I can see this area from the window and during September and
October they produced many good blooms showing bright colour worthy of any Summer.
Well, our roses have suffered from lack of attention during the year and I have been weakened with the illness. We may
not be able to cope with the large amount of roses we have grown in the past, so more perennials and roses that do not require the attention of hybrid teas are being planted.
We had already erected an eight
feet diameter Pergola in 2010 with six seven feet high posts and this was planted with climbers in January with the help of John Windsor. Three varieties were planted on opposite posts, two each of primrose
Malvern Hills, pale pink Debutant and pink and lemon Phyllis Bide. They should grow to about twelve feet and will give good covering without swamping the Pergola. The intention now is to under plant with
Lavender and Alchemilla Mollis all around the circle.
As I write this it is in late November and we are just placing the pots of roses in the greenhouse in readiness for the Spring Show. Watching them
grow will shorten Winter with the promise of beautiful blooms in May
MORE CLIMBERS AT 48
My garden at 48 is divided into three sections. I wrote about the climbers adjacent to the rear of the cottage area in a 2008 Newsletter.
I do have a large
extension through the flat arch leading to more exhibition beds and the greenhouses work area. This part of the garden is divided up with posts and trellis panels and also contains mixed perennial beds and a
large bed of Phlox and Penstemons. There are some thirty five climbers growing on these arches and the far boundary wall. Many of the climbers are intertwined with Clematis.
Over the flat arch
with its double garden gates are growing Maid of Kent and Dorothy Perkins intertwined with winter flowering clematis Cirrahosa “Freckles”. Maid of Kent however is not readily available now. I
planted a bush at each pillar of the arch on the recom-mendation of Keith Jones. It has light pink flowers growing in clusters of six to ten blooms with slight perfume. The flowering once it starts is
continuous, beginning to flower early in July. I have used it in miniature rose classes for clusters, the foliage being quite small and the individual bloom approximately 11/4inches (30mm).
nearest to the Hawthorn hedge did not at first grow too well, so to the rear of the trellis supporting the flat arch I planted Dorothy Perkins. The plant of Dorothy is an own root cutting. The cutting
rooted from some stems left behind at Shugborough show by Alison Symons has now established well and has bloomed profusely for the last two years. The flowers as I am sure you know, are deep pink and fully
double. The foliage can be susceptible to mildew particularly if grown on a wall, but in the open situation on the arch the mildew has been only slight. My plant is growing vigorously despite the poor
conditions near the Hawthorn and has as I write, produced three more basal shoots. Cuttings from this variety root readily in late summer.
Through the gates are three exhibition rose beds. The beds have
lawn paths between them. This area is surrounded with two metre high posts with arch trellis panels on which to grow climbing roses and clematis. At each post grows a climbing rose.
adjacent to the gates, is Summer Wine a great favourite of mine. The coral pink flowers open wide with prominent red stamens and are very fragrant. It is very healthy, raised by Kordes in 1984 and it has
stood the test of time. Growing through it is a large flowered clematis General Sikorsky with its bright blue flowers, it makes quite a spectacle in mid summer as they both flower together.
it grows Highfield with its pale yellow flowers. It is a sport of Compassion. I find it not so vigorous as its parent and like Compassion can succumb to black spot later in the season. Unlike
Compassion I find very little fragrance. William Kennett is the large flowered clematis growing through Highfield and has lilac colour blooms which are set off with the pale lemon of the rose. Madame
Gregoire Staechelin was the next rose on this trellis. However, because of her once flowering habit and for several years having rose rust I have now removed this one. With pink flowers and good
fragrance I was reluctant to replace her, but two years ago after changing the soil I replanted with Crème de la Crème. The lovely large flowered deep cream blooms come in abundance and repeat quickly.
The rose produces plenty of healthy shiny green foliage and is certainly Gandy’s best climber. Raised in 1998 I think it will be a winner with me.
The final post before the return leg is home to
Morning Jewel, raised in 1968 she is a healthy quick repeat climber growing to about three metres (10 ft) in my garden. The flowers are deep pink almost luminous at times and they have a good fragrance.
It is recommended for shady areas where the blooms are even brighter, however for me it grows in full sun.
The return leg of the trellis is home to four medium pink climbers. Devon Maid raised by Chris Warner
in 1982 grows to about three metres (10ft). Its flowers are quite large and it always sets orange seed pods in the autumn. Like all Chris Warner’s roses it is very healthy, makes lots of new growth
with glossy green foliage and needs plenty of tying in to support it.
The second pink rose is Galway Bay, once again an older climber from McGredy this time raised in 1966 it performs very well. The
flowers are not full and have little fragrance it is quite healthy, but of the four it is least vigorous, growing only to about 2.4 metres (8ft) on my trellis.
The most vigorous of these four on my trellis
is Leaping Salmon raised in 1983. It has made at least 4 metres (12ft) of growth by tying the strong laterals down, creating lots of short growth shoots with lots of flowers. They are quite large, open
very quickly and have a moderate fragrance. It also sets orange seed pods in the autumn.
The final variety on this leg is Lavinia, a Tantau rose raised in 1980. It produces many HT type blooms in
large clusters but I find only has slight fragrance. It is very vigorous but only grows approximately 2.4metres high (7 to 8 ft) and has a very shrubby habit. Unfortunately it is prone to blackspot every
late summer but I find it worthwhile for the sheer volume of flowers it produces.
These four pink climbers overshadow the miniature rose bed adjacent to them. On the first flush of bloom between them
they produce a 6 metre (20ft) wall of pink.
There is only one clematis that grows between them. Pope John Paul II has creamy white flowers with a pink bar. It produces a mass of these flowers and
adds to the confection of pink produced by the roses in high summer.
I will write about the final section of my garden with about a further twenty climbers next
JOHN WINDSOR'S TEN ROSES OF MERIT
John has been growing roses for several years on his allotments and in his greenhouse. These are his ten Roses of Merit.
Climber is an all time favourite.
Fragrant, pink semi-double blooms fill the area with scent on a warm evening. Unfortunately it is prone to disease and needs regular spraying, but well repays the effort.
The fact that this rose was introduced more than a hundred years ago and still is very popular proves it.
WARM WELCOME, A climbing
miniature bred by our friend Chris Warner.
This rose works very well as a Pillar Rose beside my door. It is clothed from top to bottom in orange vermillion flowers which give a warm glow and a welcome to our visitors.
One of my roses which gets the most comments is grown
as a pillar on my allotment. It is a lesser known climber named ROSARIUM UETERSEN,
a second generation Kordesii Hybrid. I grow this around a 6ft high 18 inch wire mesh tube. The canes are wound
around almost horizontal which causes the buds to produce side shoots with large clusters of fragrant pink 100 petal blooms.
Small but with perfectly formed blooms, one of Dee Bennetts
IRRESISTIBLE is one of the best show roses of its type. It has white H.T. form blooms on a healthy bush
Up in size to David Austin's Classic Yellow, new English rose, GRAHAM THOMAS. This rose is so popular that thousands of bushes must have been sold.
ELINA,A light yellow H.T. from Dicksons.
This rose started life as Peadouce, a brand of baby wear nicknamed in the trade as "Pea juice".
It has very full flowers and can be used as a banker in the Three Stage Bloom Class or to
really fill a Bowl.
Back to Old Fashioned Roses. Although not that old, 1921 in fact, the H.P. FERDINAND PICHARD, a striped bloom scarlet streaked pink.
I grow this on the pegged down system where the canes are bent over and the tips are then tied to pegs in the ground. This produces blooms all along the cane and is a very pretty sight
Len Scrivens, another good friend of ours, bred the rose PRETTY LADY
which is a very healthy bush with large semi-double light pink blooms. The second flush of bloom last year in mid September was even better than the
first. The bushes were totally covered in flowers and looked magnificent.
FRANCIS E LESTER
A climber, is trained along my garden fence. From
planting it takes three or four years to really get going, but then throws out long strong canes which have been trained horizontally on wires. This again makes the buds
produce side shoots with large trusses of small blush white blooms, followed by small hips which stay on the canes all winter.
A H.T. form miniature from Canada wins a lot of prizes at shows.
It has scarlet and yellow flowers, somewhat large at times, and is bred from
June Laver. A point though, I would have thought the name Glowing Ember would have been more descriptive of this rose
GROWING "ADMIRAL RODNEY"
By Brian Schofield
Without doubt one of the most outstanding exhibition roses over the past two decades has been the very beautiful hybrid tea
‘Admiral Rodney’. Where its name originated from I do not know, its parentage is unknown also, but it was introduced in 1973,
here in the UK, bred by someone named Trew. The rose is described as having bushy growth, but not too robust, of medium height
with glossy dark green foliage. The fragrant blooms of classical shape are a rosy pink in colour with a deeper reverse, a subtle bi
-colour in fact. Scent is described as moderate, but personally I find it extremely fragrant, almost on par with ‘Fragrant Cloud’.
It was sent to St Albans for trials, but unfortunately did not manage to complete the three year period necessary there and
apparently was rejected. Subsequently, its potential was realised by some astute exhibitors and within a short time had made an
immediate impact on the show scene. It then quickly established itself as one of the major varieties suitable for showing in both
classes for large specimen blooms in either box or vase, as well as with the other lovely varieties used primarily in bowls and vases.
The classical high centred bloom does have immaculate form. Form being defined in the RNRS Show Standards for an individual
Large Flowered bloom such as ‘Admiral Rodney’, as :- the bloom should be half to three-quarters open with the petals
symmetrically arranged within a circular outline. The outer petals surrounding an upright and well-formed conical centre. Such is
its form that very little dressing, if any, is necessary to obtain this, apart from the odd cottonwool pellet strategically placed, now
and again, to acquire the circular outline. Size, which should be of average for a well grown plant, is fairly easily obtained also and
Substance referring to the petals, which should be firm, smooth and of good texture, neither coarse nor flimsy, comes quite
naturally too. So, including for freshness, brilliance and purity of colour, in the decorative classes the points awarded per
receptacle, against these standards, is 10 points in total and 5 points per bloom in the specimen bloom classes.
Therefore, ‘Admiral Rodney’ could best be described as a ‘banker’, when well grown, as it is very conducive to producing top
quality blooms, which are easily capable of obtaining these standards.
Over the past few years I have been privileged to win four premier show awards at National Level, two Star of the Show Medals,
both with blooms of ‘Admiral Rodney’ and two Bloom of Merit Rosettes for ‘runners-up’, one with ‘Admiral Rodney’ and the other
with ‘Keepsake’. For me ‘Admiral Rodney’ has performed extremely well over this period of time and has now proved itself a very
reliable ‘grower’, brought about, I believe, through the initial early training of the bushes.
I originally obtained the variety quite some while ago now. At first, good flowers were produced but not in any real quantity. Hard
pruning , for exhibition purposes, seemed to be resented by the plants and overall they appeared very reluctant to produce the good
strong basal growth favoured by the exhibitor, instead forming thinner spindly growth and smaller flowers. Additionally a lot of die
-back was experienced, especially on the stems pruned in the Spring of the year, until finally the bushes, in some cases, died or
were considerably less productive and eventually dug out. They were replaced though, simply because I felt it was a variety I had to grow.
The next batch of ‘Admiral Rodney’ I budded myself, in situ, as a block of twenty-four, which were duly headed back the following
year resulting in quite good maiden growth on most of them, but not all. Some still wanted to make the thinner growth I had
experienced with the previous bushes, which they did, but this time they were not allowed to flower on it. The buds were removed
at a very early stage of development, so subsequently some stems were not allowed to flower at all, they were simply stopped.
Apart from this the bush was allowed to go its own way, but any flowers produced were restricted to only reasonably good stems.
The following Spring, the first year proper as far as pruning went, any thin or twiggy stems were removed completely together with most of the lateral growth, the remaining
stems, now mostly upright, were only lightly pruned back to a height of between 40/50cm and then as in the previous year any subsequent thin or substandard growths were not
allowed to flower, no matter how hard they tried. The stems and foliage again being allowed to remain on the bush to help channel the energy into the remaining flowering areas and to help produce new basal growth.
The next year, ie for second year pruning, the pattern was beginning to evolve, all sub-standard growth (thin and twiggy etc) was cut out, the new basal growth from the
previous year was again only lightly pruned to around 40/50cm high, but the new growth on the previous year’s lightly pruned stems was now hard pruned back to about two buds.
Working to this pattern over the years, through a balanced mix of light and hard pruning linked with disbudding, the bushes can
build up to near shrub proportions and become quite capable of readily producing the large specimen blooms seen in the RNRS National Shows.
Old and diseased wood will still have to be removed and the bushes even now, some ten years on,
try to produce flowers on thin spindly growth, but in the main the bushes become much more robust ‘growers’. In fact this year I have had second flush blooms flowering at 1.5m height.
‘Admiral Rodney’ need not necessarily be solely an exhibitor’s rose, for with this sort of training,
it could even now, make a very good garden rose and having such a beautiful highly fragrant bloom makes it the perfect cut flower for a single vase in the house.
However, from an exhibitor’s point of view, once well and truly established it is a very satisfying and rewarding rose.