Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The New Climbing Roses

The garden where I spend most of my days is incredibly beautiful, and was well designed when it was newly installed ten years ago. As a result, my job is made somewhat easier, because I'm really nurturing beautiful things and "tweaking" as plants age and grow. I'm fortunate that the owners of the garden also appreciate that I do as much as I can organically, so it is a garden that actually benefits the surrounding area.

If there is a flaw in the original design, it is the placement of five espaliered camellias on a brick wall in full sun that must reach 110 degrees most afternoons in the summer. At this moment in February, these poor plants are gasping for breath, doing their best to push out some pretty amazing blooms, from their parched and fried trunks.... they are underplanted with vinca, which also struggles and has never looked all that good. (If vinca is struggling, it will give you an idea of how bad this particular spot is for plants).

Anyway, the plan for this summer is to replace the camellias with climbing roses, underplanted with creeping rosemary. For the roses, I'm installing Blush Noisette, which was originally developed in Charleston, SC, in the 1700's. It's a beautiful fragrant rose specifically bred for the heat and humidity of the southeast. Between the Noisettes, I'm planting Snowgoose, which is an amazing white rambler from David Austen.

Finally, we're adding in Clematis Princess Diana, and Clematis Roguchi, which should scramble through the two different roses! Not that I'm a competitive gardener or anything, but I can't wait to see this in summer! Even Patti (the rose hater) has got to like this combo!


  1. Wait, what? Those really gorgeous dark blue bell-shaped flowers are Clematis? They're gorgeous, but that's definitely not a type I know. (This is why I love blogging!) Also, sometimes I'm a bit slow. Really slow. Two things dawned on me when looking at your 'Blush Noisette' rose... 1) it really looked like a peony flower to me and... (click, click, gears moving... CLICK!) 2) the German word for peony is "Pfingstrose" (Whit Sunday rose). I don't know why I never noticed the similarity between roses and peonies (not to mention camellias) before.

  2. Monica, you are too cute! The dark clematis is Roguchi, and it's really awesome. There are a few that have that shape, and then they have awesome threadlike pods at the end of the season(like a passionflower). The Noisette is one of the oldest American roses, and really pretty fabulous. If mine look half as good as the photo, I'll be thrilled.

    Peonies are one of those things you have much better luck with in the north than we do here, though I have some that are doing well. Every time I think about moving them, I'm afraid I'll jinx things!

  3. I think that combo will be stunning Tim. And you best leave your peony be, they don't take much to being transplanted, but perhaps you've ten green fingers. ;~)

  4. I definitely don't have ten green fingers, and have chosen to just plan the entire garden around the peony. I'm not crazy enough to mess with a good thing! If I can get her to bloom in Georgia, she's staying where she is!