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I've sprayed glypohsate over everything in a herb patch in a semi-circular bed front of my house (on top of the patio) to get rid of couch grass. I put a bin liner over the climbing rose, and while all the other things are dying well the rose is OK.

However, it has finally dawned on me that the climing rose isn't actually a climbing rose. I've let it go long and leggy next to a fan shaped trellis on the wall behind, but it doesn't actually climb. I'm going to pull it out and put it in quarantine in a pot, and plant another rose in it's place.

The wall is rendered white and faces due South, it's sheltered and hot (well as hot as it gets these days). The bed is shallow but wide and will be full of herbs once I take all the dead weeds out.

I'd prefer a yellow or red rose, but the most important thing is fragrance - I want a really smelly rose. The house is a bungalow so I don't want it to climb too madly - and I don't want it to damage the wall - I don't know how climbing roses climb.

In my last house I bought an Albertine for fragrance. It was nice, but had no smell whatsoever .

What do you think?



Albertine are supposed to be the most fragrant rose! Are you sure it was that?

As to planting a new rose in place of the one you have, you have to be aware of 'rose repeat disease'. One of the ways around it that I saw on a TV prog is to plant new rose in a cardboard box, in compost, then plant the whole of the box in the ground. By the time the rose's roots grow through the box the danger of the disease is past. I don't quite know how this works but apparently it does. Or you have to sterilise about a cubic metre of soil before planting.

A good rose for climbing only as high as the support is Compassion; big pinky/yellow blooms, I think it has a fab scent.

I have a few metal eyelets that I have attached to the wall of the porch using rawlplugs and then wired the rose onto them.


Yep - it was definitely labelled Albertine, and it looked like Albertine, but was completely fragrance free.

Thanks artjak, I hadn't heard of 'rose repeat disease'. I don't know how to sterilise soil in-situ (or anywhere else for that matter), so planting in a cardboard box sounds like a good move.

I'll go to the garden centre and see if they have Compassion.

When I was a kid, the three story house on the end of the terrace had the most magnificent rose climbing right to the roof. It was white and had masses of blooms which were intensely fragrant. The blooms held their shape too, the lady that lived there used to give my mum some for the house.


BB, the good thing about Compassion is that it usually flowers from late May until early December. Will post pics of mine later, it hasn't started flowering yet because of the cold weather.

I don't know much about specific varieties, but climbing roses tend to be less rampant than ramblers and are good for a lower wall or fence. I think Albertine is a rambler.



For a yellow rose, try Graham Thomas or Teasing Georgia from David Austin.  Both are short climbers and will need the support of either a trellis or wires.  They will repeat flower, have good perfume and be disease resistant.   DA also have red roses so go and look at their website.

You can get round rose repeat disease by simply digging out a big hole at least 60cms wide and deep and filling it with fresh soil beefed up with good garden compost, well rotted manure and some slow release fertiliser such as blood, fish and bone or pelleted chicken manure.   Make sure you plant the new rose with its graft join a couple of inches below the surface and keep it watered until it is fully established.

The soil you excavate will be fine for othher plants but depleted of nutrients as roses are very greedy.


I think you're right Jengil, we grew the Albertine along a fence and it was certainly prolific - just fragrance free.

I looked up the three you all recommended and was torn between Graham Thomas and Compassion. Then I found the David Austin UK site and fond it difficult to tear myself away!

I think I'll have a nice time drooling over the roses there, then make my mind up whether I go for Graham Thomas or Compassion. I prefer yellow, but I like the sound of your Compassion artjak.

Thanks too for the planting advice obelixx. I'm new to a lot of aspects of gardening.

As suggested removing current soil is advisable and for roses I would also use mycorrhizal fungi such as rootgrow, it will get your new rose off to a flyer. Climbing Crimson Glory is a good red with strong scent.


The Compassion I had in London, 2 in fact, were apricotty/ yellow. The one I have here in Norfolk is slightly pinker; though it may be because the light is different/ the air is cleaner? It could be that every grower has a different strain of the plant. Will do pics tomorrow, sun should be shining; though no blooms yet.

Albertine doesn't have any fragrance.  My husband wasn't pleased when I planted ours over our arbour as he can't see the point in flowers that don't have a nice smell!  The best red roses for fragrance are 'Guinee', a very deep almost black rose that apparently has the best smell of any rose and 'Etoile d'Hollande' a good crimson that will cover a good sized space and takes a hard cutting back if necessary.


This is mouthwatering - I think I'm going to have to find space for more roses

I agree with your husband hollytree, I do grow flowers that don't smell, but only when there isn't a fragrant option.

If I'm walking along the road and see roses I can't avoid sticking my nose in one to see if it smells nice. That's nearly got my nose stung a couple of times but I can't kick the habit.


I tend to get my roses from  They seem to know a lot, have a good selection and tell you what is appropriate in which position.


How strange, I had Albertine in England and I have it here in France and it's one of the most fragrant roses I know. If you look it up on the RHS site it says very fragrant and also on this link for David Austin roses it says strong fragrance.

Have a look a the David Austin roses, there are some lovely fragrant climbers there. Falstaff is a lovely deep crimson fragrant one.


Though you have looked already! Read through too quickly! But the link I gave shows Albertine.


BusyL, I agree; all my life I have been told and read that it is one of the most fragrant of roses; BUT, just remembering an article I read years ago in New Scientist; men's noses work a bit differently to women's, could it be that they can't smell Albertine?



I'm a woman, and I can't smell Albertine either. I'm just going to put it down to a duff plant

We are in the middle or organising a huge garden, so I'm sure there will be more spots for roses. I must admit roses (other than rplacing the climbing one that didn't climb) weren't really on the agenda before reading all the wonderful entries on this thread.

I'm writing down all the suggestions, and I've bookmarked the rosebuddies site.

We need to cover a large area of steep sloping bank by the sea, and the top contenders were vinca (major or minor) and heather. I just saw that there were ground covering roses. That could be magnificent - but it wouldn't do much to combat the weeds would it? And we'd get scratched to bits doing the weeding.


I just got a flyer fromthe local garden centre (Cadbury in Somerset). They are selling tickets for a talk on roses by someone from David Austen Roses. I wouldn't have looked twice if I hadn't been recently educated on this forum.

Sounds like a remarkable deal, for £5 you get a carvery dinner too!


Blueb, see if you can find out if roses will flourish that close to the sea. There are a lot of fabulous marginal plants that like the salt air. Good luck with it all.


Thanks everyone, it's been a great success.  I moved all the plants into quarantine and sprayed the whole patch with glyphosate. I put some leftover supermarket herbs in a couple of months ago (thyme, basil, parsley) and they have done well. Yesterday I dug out all the dead foliage in the rest of it and the mangy rose, and dug in fertiliser and some more compost. A nice lovage plant survived, and some marjoram, and to my surprise the chard. The chard bolted when moved and I thought it had died, but there are some fine new leaves coming up. It will probably bolt again now I've moved it back! I added lemon thyme, sage and tarragon, and it's looking lovely.

Now, the rose. I was going to get one of the gorgeous ones recommended above, but I've had so much trouble with deer eating the roses on the other side of the house I'm not sure it would be a good move. I might try it, but I might go for a passionflower or clematis instead.


Thank you for letting us know. Glad it's a success.

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