We opened our garden to the public a fortnight ago, within a small window of half decent weather, although we did get a cloudburst which lastest ten minutes. WE attracted about 100 visitors and raised over £300 which was divided between the local hospice and the Friends of the local ancient church.
We have a 'Bobby James' which has clambered 30ft up into the branches of a mature willow and I expect 'Rambling Rector' do be as vigorous. A neighbours Leylandii we've together pruned back to 8ft tall but it was overhanging on my side. I've now hacked this back and the unsightly mess will never grow back so my intention is that 'Rambling Rector' will scramble amongst the hacked off Leylandii and give us an attractive screen.
Graham Thomas took his collection of old roses to Mottisfont and I hope to visit there in the next few weeks, although as my rose collection has now reached 80 or thereabouts, a rose has to be truly exceptional for me to want it. I have two in mind - 'Climbing Rusticana', a Meilland rose (also known as 'Poppy Flash' - our grandaughter is a 'Poppy', born on the 11th day of the 11th month of the 11th year ) but I can't face the £25 postage, and 'Papa Meilland', allegedly the World's most fragrant rose, and 'Surpassing Beauty', a rose found in 1980 in Woolverstone Churchyard in Suffolk by Humphrey Brooke, and now sold only by Peter Beales.
I've recently began to take cuttings with mixed success. October cuttings seem to work for me, which I grow in a 50/50 mixture of GP compost and vermiculite. I wait a full year in the pot before separting them into seperate pots plus a further year and the roots will have developed sufficiently to plant out. I find they make a much appreciated gift for friends.