It may only be late August, but the weather has gone right ahead to late November anyway. Driving rain, cold, dull days and overwhelming wet means that we’re really delayed on digging the borders. In between downpours, we’re managing to do little maintenance jobs such as dead-heading here and there, potting on little plants, tidying the border edges and just recently, retraining a climbing rose growing against the fence.
At one end of the side border is planted Rosa Madame Alfred Carrère, a white, fragrant, old-fashioned, Noisette rose planted only last year. I haven’t really been keeping this border watered and despite the competition from all the plants in this border and those on the other side of the fence, the rose has established nicely and even flowered earlier in the year when the weather was warm. As the summer bore on, the rose looked increasingly messy and leggy until we decided to take a morning to untie the rose entirely from the fence and re-tie it to create a new framework.
The result is a graceful curving main stem off which fan several stems that are trained onto the horizontal wires. As the rose is so young, this shape may only last a year of two until the rose matures and begins to throw up mature-sized canes. Rosa Madame Alfred Carrère is a large rose, growing to eight metres tall and the fence is really far too short but I’m hoping I can divert its vertical energies to growing horizontally as the fence is several meters long and I would like this rose to cover most of it.
This rose has strong sentimental value in that it reminds us of a favourite National Trust property we used to visit often close by where we used to live. The sweet, almost fruity fragrance of this rose transports me back to when we used to amble about this property and gardens, have picnics on the lawns, eat ice-cream and sit, enjoying the sunshine. There are several plants that are strongly associated with places, memories and experiences and this rose is associated with some of the most dearest. I’m looking forward to seeing this rose grow and establish and flower along the fence, just as a similar one does in a place and time that is now far away.