A rose by any other name...

by James Alexander-Sinclair

Although the time for roses is long past they can be remarkably resilient. Here we are at the beginning of December and I have two flowering in my garden...

RoseAlthough the time for roses is long past they can be remarkably resilient. Here we are at the beginning of December and I have two flowering in my garden at the moment - Rosa 'The Prince' and R. Moonlight. It is true that neither bloom is much to write home about but they get a gold star for effort. Much more exciting are the hips of R. laevigata 'Cooperi' that shine like enchanted kumquats through the gloom.

Still on the subject of roses, I have ordered assorted batches of bare-rooted roses for various clients. If you have not yet ordered then get your skates on as they are best bought at this time of year for winter planting. As were all plants until relatively recently - nurserymen dug up and split plants and then sent them out wrapped in paper. This all changed with the advent of the cheap plastic pot and the garden centre which meant that we could buy and plant all year round. Some wholesale nurseries still send out plants in the old fashioned way - I always enjoy getting a cardboard box of naked irises.

I digress; my favourite roses at the moment are the Hybrid Musk roses. They were mostly bred by the Rev. Joseph Pemberton in the early 20th Century and make great shrubs and small climbers. They are soft coloured, like cowrie pink 'Penelope', clean white 'Prosperity' and shimmery, pink 'Felicia'.

I am also ordering wine-coloured shrub 'Charles de Mills', luscious scarlet 'Scarlachglut' and the lemony buttoned climber R. banksiae 'Lutea'. One of the longest lasting roses is (the sadly scentless) R. bonica, which will almost certainly still be flowering at Christmas.

It is very important to be quick off the mark when bare rooted stock arrives. Don't let them dry out - I tend to put them in the water butt for a couple of hours as soon as they arrive. Prune back any damaged roots, dig a decent hole and add some good compost.

I will not be ordering either this (which I have christened Rosa 'Euggghh') or this (which I now call R. 'Letitia Dean on Strictly Come Dancing' - because it is too pink and flouncy for anything else).

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Gardeners' World Web User 07/12/2007 at 16:44

my miny rose is flowering lovely and my friend has a lovely dark red and a climing white un named in full flower they look lovely

Gardeners' World Web User 21/09/2008 at 21:16

We have a banksiae rose which we planted 3 years ago to climb over an arch way. It has grown very well but we can not get it to flower. Has anyone any advice to offer? We would be grateful for any tips.

Gardeners' World Web User 10/02/2010 at 15:21

Seh ich auch so

Gardeners' World Web User 28/11/2011 at 18:30

Can anyone tell me what the name of the rose is pictured on page 27 of the November issue? It is labelled Hyde Hall but looks nothing like the ones for sale at David Austins.

Paul N 17/04/2012 at 18:51

Can you please tell me the variety of the rose you call 'Rosa Euggghh'? I quite like it.

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