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I have a clinbing rose Ena Harkness ( stunning red with fab scent) and it is growing up the pergola leg and beginning to go over the top. It had 3 main stems but because all the flowers were more and more higher up -I cut one main stem back to the ground hoping it would sent up a new shoot and I would be able to tie this in and begin to have flowers lower down. I did this last year, but no new stem appeared. So my question is- do I cut back 1 of the 2 stems remaining in a hope that next year I would hopefully jolt the rose into sprouting a new fresh stem-? but then I will cut off lots of top growth and Im sad at having to do that. I dont know what to do to get the best results from my climbing rose. Please help.
Ena Harkness is a really good choice for a pergola because it's one weakness turns into an advantage in this situation. Ena Harkness blooms have slightly weak stems and so the flowers droop downwards - when they are growing across the top of a pergola this is an advantage because as you look upwards you look straight into the blooms.
I would leave your rose to grow this way, straight up and across the pergola, blooming beautifully at the top, and plant a smaller clematis at each leg to grow around and through the bottom of the roses, blooming at a lower level than the rose.
Also add an autumn and winter flowering clematis for more interest.Mine faces NW but they cope very well right into late winter.(i live in the SE.
I would plant C.clematis( Winter beauty)at the base of each leg, or C.Armandii. Apple Blossom. Would also look good.
Good luck And Happy Gardening.
Both roses and clematis are hungry plants so feed generously next spring with a balanced fertiliser such as blood, fish and bone or pelleted chicken manure and top up with a special rose or clematis fertiliser which will encourage blooms. If you do decide on a clematis, have a look at this site first - http://www.clematis.hull.ac.uk/ - to check on colour, flowering time and ultimate growth as there are some which will only grow as tall as your supports and others which will want to takeover the whole structure.