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Salino I've not tried mixing them with alchemilla, I don't have that plant... I grow Bonica with a Geranium 'Cambridge'... which looks quite pretty....  it's funny you mention the Graham Thomas honeysuckle as I've recently planted one of those up a trellis...

I take your point about the scent... perhaps the colour match might not be quite right for me...?? I will have space next to the rose for something later on, I was thinking a scented clematis scrambler.. like 'Flammula'... ?? or maybe not...what do you think? 

I grew Frances E Lester in my garden on the south coast... tell me what you think of it later on... I was a little disappointed by the scent, not as strong as expected, and sharp thorns... watch out for those... lovely flowers though, quite large...

here are 2 photos I've taken today. One of Bonica and the other of an Austin pink climber 'Mortimer Sackler'... this is quite the ideal rose for an obelisk, it's growing up a 6 foot one here...and has a gorgeous scent during warm weather... compact narrow growth, no diseases... too perfect by half really....



Mortimer Sackler


I forgot to mention my climbers. I have Frances E lester over and to the front of the roof a wooden swing seat, saw similar at Dorothy Clive's,in Shropshire. Looks fabulous and in a confined corner space, which mine is, the scent really works. I have veilchenblau on a pergola off the back of the house and that has room to run and is doing so and finally coming out in flower with this sun. Mortimer Sackler I have on a rose arch and that flowered right into November last year, despite the weather! Lovely choices.

Park direcktor riggers is one, if I ever move house and get more space, that's fabulous too.



Frances E Lester is in the far corner of the Shady Bank, underneath an ash tree - it is at liberty to scramble up there if it wishes, and make a mound in the corner for the hedghogs to hibernate underneath (there's a little wooden hoghouse there), so thorny is good.  I hope for scent on balmy evenings, sitting under the tree down there.

I'm thinking about Purple Skyliner for this end of the Shady Bank , just wondering if it's a bit too purple tho - anyone know it?


...I had my eye on that one some time ago, as a local rose grower has it... but I'm going for something else as I want a white one or red I think...  it looked interesting though... perhaps a bit thorny and I tend to worry about that these days...


I've heard of Dorothy Clive's garden without knowing much about it... it sounds very nice actually, I must look into it...  you have some more lovely roses I see... Park director Riggers is a red one I think...? ... I considered that once when I gardened in Kent, I chose Paul's Scarlet Climber instead.... that's quite nice too but no scent...

for a good splash of red there's another now called 'Chevy Chase' and it looks really good from a distance...again no scent and once flowering..

Thanks folks for all that.  If I decide to dispose of Ispahan I'd hope to find a new home for her somewhere amongst my gardening contacts.  I like the idea of a shorter one so will look at Leda I think. 

Love all your descriptions of those roses and I feel sure you must all have huge gardens to accommodate them as well as maybe a warmer climate.  I garden in East Lothian on lovely rich soil. We have a fairly good climate but we probably have a shorter season as we are probably about 5 weeks later than most of you down south. Ispahan is only starting flower as is another anonymous shrub rose and none of my little ones such as Little Pet are showing colour yet.  Just for interest - how far on are your roses?

By the way Sunnydayz this is not the first time I've planted something that grew too big.  Like you I was involved with Plant Heritage and fell heir to a few things left over from plant sales, one of which was a Parthenocissus ("go on - take this - you must have space for it") and it covered my 16 ft boundary fence in a couple of years.  Oh for the wisdom of hindsight!!!


Salino - Clematis Flamula was another of my 'big' mistakes.  Very vigorous, sprawly, and flowers late so the scent is not obvious.  Also -  it seeds everywhere.  I still have a horribly strong pest of a plant growing through a purple berberis and I can't get at the roots to dig it out.  The parent was dug up at least 12 years ago and I'm still not free of Flamula so be warned.  But if you have lots of space for foliage and are not fussy about too much flower.......  Wonder what others think.

The modern roses have been flowering about a couple of weeks, Lady Emma just this weekend. The old roses veilchenblau and rosamundi, FE lester etc., just before the weekend. I'm in the east midlands, not far from where Gregorys Roses used to be.

Another vigorous clematis, but again on my pergola, triternata x rubromarginata, lots of small arrow petalled (almost starlike) flowers, dark pink and smell of marzipan! Just outside the patio door .


...^sounds nice.. that clematis, I've not had that one... my roses and clematis are at least 2 weeks behind the usual run of things here...


my goodness you've had a horrid time with that plant... I must be honest and say that I grew it some 20 years ago in a garden in Cornwall, up an arch, and it seemed lovely then as I recall it... but did not live with it too long before moving on... I think I shall give it a miss this time.... thank you...

I have had a Rosa Ispahan for 11 years now and it never fails to delight.  Soon after I bought it I read in a book on shrub roses, that this fastigiate growth on Ispahan should be cut off. The long, straight shoots that rise up above the flowers are non-flowering and simply hide the blooms.  I have always cut them off and always, without fail every year, I have a plant so packed with buds and blooms that it is quite breath-taking.  

In late Autumn I lightly trim the whole bush with shears to keep it a good shape and manageable size.I have just moved and have reserved a place in the garden as I would never wish to be without this beautiful rose.

Just found this thread as I was wondering if my is ispahan should be quite so tall, I have very lightly pruned it early autumn, just down to new shoots, I'm hoping I've done the right thing, in one way I have because I've pegged down 2shhots , may do 2more when I widen the border a few more centimetres!

Rose Ispahan does well here, grown through a 6 ft metal obelisk in tandem with clematis Lady Northcliffe, we prune the rose hard every year


I can add to this that in France, where many of these roses originated, they will put a support over the plant and then take all the long shoots and wind them in a spiral, nearly horizontal, around and to the top. The individual shoots are allowed to cross over each other in a diamond pattern. You then get a tower of blossoms. They do this even for shrubs like Ispahan which have a gangly habit. I've seen this at Roseraie de l'Haye-des-Roses near Paris, but at Sissinghurst I noticed that they prune all their ORs quite a bit, leaving about 3' only of new cane and training that through a rose support.

wow am going to try winding  long shoots on a few roses over supports, that sounds incredible, richard that is beautiful, what and when do you feed and prune?

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