Running Roses

A climber that is a show stopper, Climbing Pinkie

A climber that is a showstopper–Climbing Pinkie

This is an old fashioned running rose called Reve d Or I think

This is an old-fashioned running rose called Reve d’Or

Wow, the running roses are showing off this year. It has been a long time since I have even tried to grow the hybrid tea climbing roses, but I can tell you many of the antique roses are sensational and so carefree. My friend Charlie Thigpen swears by Climbing Pinkie and says it blooms–off and on–though the fall. As you can see from the photo, it produces a profusion of flowers. My Reve d’Or always puts on a spring show on my arbor. I have never done anything but train it, prune it, and shape it. I am always rewarded with spring flowers and, some years, a few fall blooms, too. My arbor is in filtered shade of deciduous trees, and it still flowers. In the Birmingham area, we are so fortunate to have an antique rose expert–Jason Powell with Petals From the Past. I think he has taught us a lot about growing all types of antique roses. Mine was planted from a pot. I dug a mega hole about three times the size of the container, because my soil in that area of the yard is not very good but slopes, so I have good drainage. I backfilled the hole with good soil, and the first year I kept it watered, and I fertilized it several times during the summer. The first winter, I pruned it to the strongest canes and started it on the trellis. Each year for the first few years, I kept fostering the strongest canes. Now I simply remove the dead wood and shape it for the arbor in winter and cut the flowers to go indoors when it is in bloom. These climbers are easy!

John Floyd

John Floyd has been gardening--and learning about Birmingham area gardening--for more than 30 years. In addition to his day-to-day experience, John has degrees in horticulture from Auburn and Clemson Universities and was Editor-in-Chief of Southern Living.

2 thoughts on “Running Roses

    • Thanks for for asking. This blog relates to Birmingham and Akin is much more tropical that we are in this area. My advice is to check with Ted Stevens at Nurseries Carolina in your area.

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