Growing Roses in Trees
In Oxford last weekend a rambling rose R. Paul’s Himalayan Musk was in full bloom and climbing through my sister-in-law’s mature cherry tree. She planted it about 6 years ago to improve what she considered the ungainly habit of the white cherry. After two years the rose had spread sufficiently to be tied to the branches throughout the tree and it had also established sturdy supporting stems from the base. There was little pruning in the first few years and now it gets a trim after flowering in order to keep the form. The cherry blossom arrives in spring and the rose blossom takes over in summer which seems to me to be a near perfect combination. The blush-pink rosettes have a wonderful rose scent and with a growth of up to 30 feet it’s ideal for climbing into an established tree.
I recently planted a clematis C. Jackmanii to clamber through my lilac tree but within weeks it had been devoured by slugs so I’m re-thinking that project. It had grown to about 2 metres and was wrapped round several branches when it suddenly collapsed with no sign of life anywhere. However I dug it out and re-potted it in the same deep pot it had arrived in and two weeks later there are two green shoots at the base. I’ll keep it in the pot until early autumn and then I’ll decide whether to try again when there are less slugs and snails. But having seen the rose in the cherry tree I am very tempted to try a climbing rose, a rambler would be too vigorous for the lilac which is only four years old. Rosa ‘Guinee’ looks lovely in the David Austin catalogue and climbs to 15 ft producing dark crimson blooms with a powerful fragrance.
I inspected the shallots on the allotment today and decided to lift one row to dry in the garden shed. They were very wet and a bit slimy but once separated they smelt fine and are in a tray in the sun getting some fresh and very warm air. The garlic is still not ready nor are the French shallots that were planted later so I shall leave both for a few more weeks.
I picked masses of broad beans and there are more to come and I dug the first crop of new potatoes enough of both to feed eight people at the weekend. The runner beans are finally climbing up the supports and have lots of red flowers and the rows of beetroot and all the chards are looking good.
This week I cut flowers from the small patch of land at the back of the house which has very little attention from me and is looking great !! The soft yellow lime washed wall is a good back drop to the bright pink rose (which I’ve failed to identify). It’s clambering through Alchemilla mollis, eau de cologne mint, sedum Autumn Glory and the spires of a white hebe rather as it is in this jug. There are about fifty more buds on it waiting to open and it is climbing along the wires on the wall with a clematis. Because of the rain both are growing really well on this neglected patch of land which I plan to give my full attention to in the autumn.