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Growing a Rose and Clematis Together

I want something for all year round interest on the side of my very small garden that I look out on so I would like some hips (for winter colour)  therefore  I thought about growing Shropshire Lass and two clems. The two clems are in  already (Betty Corning and Princess Diana) Shropshire Lass is out of stock until May.  Shropshire Lass does say that it makes a good support from clems to compensate for the fact that it only blooms once, but how do they co-exist? Wouldn't the clems just climb all over it leaving a lot of dead growth in the winter with the hips buried under it? I went for Shropshire Lass because it was the one that said it had really good hips,  but can I keep a 15 foot Rose   on  6 foot x 18 foot  fence panels if it is planted in the middle so will have 9 foot in each direction to spread  ? When I looked up roses for 6 foot fences amazingly David Austen gave me some that grow 35 foot so I guess it is possible with pruning to keep them small is it or was it an error on DA's site ? 
Thanks as always. 


  • Papi JoPapi Jo Brittany, France Posts: 3,706
    If you go to the forum home page Search and type "rose clematis" you will already get a number of previous posts asking the same question.

    You are invited to a virtual visit of my garden (in English or in French).
  • Papi Jo said:
    If you go to the forum home page Search and type "rose clematis" you will already get a number of previous posts asking the same question.

    Thanks will do :O)

  • MarlorenaMarlorena East AngliaPosts: 7,132

    Hello...   as an alternative to 'Shropshire Lass'.. I think you should consider 'Francis E. Lester'.. it's beautifully scented, some say of bananas and oranges, and produces masses of orange/red hips in autumn... I've trained it successfully along a 6 foot tall fence, widthways, once it's reached the top of the fence, which doesn't take long..
    You would need wires attached... 

    Some clematis like Betty Corning can swamp a rose in the early years... I would be inclined to allow the rose to establish for a season before introducing anything else, or if you can to keep them apart somewhat early on.. you don't want the rose to be impeded in its march to the top...

    As for the display of hips... I always cut back my group 3 clematis in early December, I just pull the whole lot out, with a bit of care,  leaving a few feet above ground until final prune in February..  that way if you have a rose with hips, they won't be covered by excess clematis growth...

  • Hi Marlorena thanks for you post/advice. Francis E Lester looks lovely, really lovely . I chose Shropshire Lass for several reasons to include 'excellent disease resistance' according to DA. It actually says that SL is 5 foot smaller than Francis E, but as you have successfully trained Francis E I am tempted to give this a go. Interesting to hear you lop your clems at the beginning of December, I will give that a go too. So do you train clems with your Francis E? It does say on the DA website that SL makes a good support for clematis which was another reason I chose it.  It is a bit too late for me to get the rose established before I plant the clems as the clems are already planted and the Rose wasn't in stock until May. I will have to try to keep them friendly so they all get a chance to shine. :O)
  • MarlorenaMarlorena East AngliaPosts: 7,132
    edited February 2019
    Hi... yes I noticed Shropshire Lass was out of stock...  I used to have Frances E Lester in my last garden, I grew it with Jasminum stephanense, and Clematis 'Victoria'.. quite a mixing that was...the Jasmine flowered with the rose but the clematis a bit later as I recall...
    .... but we should always remember that whatever measurements they give for roses, you can always keep them in check, within your own personal means and abilities.. you just prune off the extension growth that you don't want...  whilst keeping the shoots with all the hips on...  of course some roses are so rampant that it would be hard to keep them smaller, the tree ramblers etc... but F E Lester is not a problem, it's not half as rampant... I've never grown Shropshire Lass, but it lacks scent, and that's why I wanted you to know of an alternative.. but S Lass looks nice in photos although I've never seen it personally.. so if that's the one that your heart is set on, then go with that... that's my advice.. otherwise you might always wish that you had.....

    I sometimes cut my Clematis down as early as October, as they become a tangled mess by then and they get on my nerves, and I forego late flowers on them... 'Etoile Violette' 'Minuet' and 'Mme Julia Correvon' all had that treatment and I never noticed any deterioration in flowering the following year... I do leave about 5 foot of growth and they grow back a bit and still flower a little late on...  so I cut them back when I've had enough of them and to give my roses a better late autumn display..

    No problem about your clematis already planted... you can work something out I'm sure...
  • Thanks again Marlorena for your help. Rose ,Jasmine and clem  sounds glorious 
  • MarlorenaMarlorena East AngliaPosts: 7,132
    ..that's ok.. best of luck... and I should correct myself that your favoured rose 'Shropshire Lass' is scented so I gather... that myrrh scent so familiar in Austin roses...
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