Image courtesy of David Austin Roses.
David Austin Senior comments in his book ” The Rose” that “The Generous Gardener” is his favourite climbing rose and I have to say that I am inclined to agree. When I first bought one last year I was mesmerised by the beautiful blooms, the exquisite perfume and the quality and colour of the leaves. The scent for this rose is a mixture of tea and Myrrh and it is a good repeat flowering shrub. It grows to a height of around 350cm, so I think you need 2, 1 planted either side of a rose arch for the most stunning of displays. It is available as a shrub rose as well but I’m reliably informed that it does better as a climber.
I’ve planted mine at the top of the big bed, next to the steps in the top garden so that it is the first thing that you see and smell as you enter the garden from the road. I’m half inclined to plant a second on the opposite side of the path so that the assault on the senses is complete. My plan is to fill this big bed with a classic colour combination of light pink roses paired with dark blue perennials like lavender, delphiniums and salvia, I’ve already sourced the seed for some fantastically dark blue salvias. A rose arch of “The Generous Gardener” with its lovely light pink flowers would fit this scheme perfectly, acting as a gateway into a rose paradise, my only concern is planting it far enough away from the road so that it is not eaten by the deer.
The problem with deer is really quite severe here in the Black Forest and we have resorted to erecting an electric fence 6 feet tall all the way around the garden. I’m keeping a watchful eye on all of the roses for any sign of predation, I’ve also bought some very smelly black powder that you mix with water and then paint onto the leaves but I’m reluctant to put something that smells unpleasant onto beautifully scented roses. We have had a snowy winter here (it’s not over yet) and it’s been shocking to see how many deer foot prints there are in the garden if the gate is left open over night. Hopefully we will win the battle.
However, we are confident that the measures that we have put in place will be successful and all of the hard work will pay off in the summer. We are currently building new paths in the garden to create some stunning rose walks (Rugosa Sarah Van Fleet, Wild Edric, Mrs Anthony Waterer) and then we will be building some rustic rose arches using natural materials found on our land. You’ll notice in the photograph above that the rose is growing up a wooden arch and I think that this is the perfect material, especially here in the Black Forest where there is so much wood readily available. That being said I think it looks just as stunning climbing up a wall of the house, if you are thinking of planting a climbing rose like this up a wall remember that roses need at least 4 hours of sunshine a day. Most roses thrive best in a south facing position, will tolerate an eastern or western position but perform very poorly against a north facing wall. There are some specific roses that are more suited to shadier locations like Alba Semi-Plena and if you would like some suggestions of suitable rose varieties then please drop me an email.
We do have a limited supply of “The Generous Gardener” available to purchase here at the garden or via our website.
We also have available the fantastic book by David Austin “Meine Rosen”, available for collection or for delivery. We will also be selling some limited stocks of phlox, delphiniums, acanthus, sweet peas, cosmos and lavender and these will be available from May onwards.
Please remember that although some disease resistant roses are available now, roses on the whole do suffer from fungus and black spot and the only way to keep your roses in optimum health is to spray them every 4 to 6 weeks with a proprietary spray and to give them a handful of David Austin Rose feed after each flowering has ended. This ensures a continued high quality roses throughout the summer.
So I wish you all much happiness and enjoyment gardening!