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Rose Mme. Hardy - are there shrub and climbing versions?

NollieNollie Girona, Catalunya, Northen Spain.Posts: 5,623
I have never bought a once-flowering old rose before so this is new territory for me...

I am considering a run of three of this rose (or possibly Mme. Plantier) to brighten up a dull part-shade corridor to the side of my driveway. I like the fact they are pure white, not blush or cream, and the usual stated size of 5ftx4ft is perfect. However, a Dutch supplier has it at 250cm high, which is over 8ft and probably too big. Are there two versions? I want a shrub rose not a climber.

Any advice on Mme. H or Mme. P generally would also be welcome if anyone grows them. Mme P, at 5x5ft, is strangely described as ‘good for ground cover’... does that mean its very sprawly? Is Mme. H the better choice?



  • MarlorenaMarlorena East AngliaPosts: 6,344
    ..hi Nollie...   no there is only one 'Mme Hardy' and it's not a climber... in England we would expect it to form a shrub 5 or 6 feet tall, but we have to remember that when you grow roses in different countries and climates, you can get a different result... I wouldn't know how a specific variety of rose would grow for you in N. Spain..  your hotter summers can make a difference...  however, Mme Hardy is the classic old white rose...  Monty Don just planted two in his so called Paradise garden..

    The drawback with Mme Hardy, for me these days, is that it's very thorny..

    'Mme Plantier' would be more my type of rose because it's virtually thornless, but the reason it's stated as ground cover is because the long stems are very lax, so it needs support of trellis or climbing into a small tree, otherwise they will flop to the ground...  Vita Sackville West at Sissinghurst grew it into a small apple tree... so it's best not to grow it free standing.. however, it is one glorious scented rose, healthy too... but is capable of 10 foot or more, when trained that way..

    Here is 'Mme Plantier' on the left of this photo, as you can see well supported by trellis and forming part of a mixed rose hedge..  for your purposes I think you best stick with 'Mme Hardy'...

  • MarlorenaMarlorena East AngliaPosts: 6,344
    You might also like to consider Rosa 'Alba Maxima'... which some say has a better growth habit than 'Mme Hardy'.. it's also well scented too and good healthy foliage..
    Here is a link to Wikipedia showing a painting of it by a Danish artist..øyer)#/media/File:P.S._Kr%C3%B8yer_-_Roses._Marie_Kr%C3%B8yer_seated_in_the_deckchair_in_the_garden_by_Mrs_Bendsen%27s_house_-_Google_Art_Project.jpg
  • NollieNollie Girona, Catalunya, Northen Spain.Posts: 5,623
    Thank you so much @Marlorena, thats really very helpful. So Mme. Hardy and a tough pair of gauntlets it is! If it gets any bigger than 5- 6ft here, presumably I can prune it to keep it under control?

    Mme. Plantier, thornless and delicious scent sounds tempting too, I wonder if I can find a suitable tree. It does look lovely in that photo...

    The main reason for going for this type of rose, rather than my usual repeat flowering, is that rose scent is quite muted here, plus my sense of smell is not great so I am hoping to enjoy a proper rose scent for a month or two at least.

    Ps - I did look at Alba Maxima and a few others, but preferred the purer white of the pair of madames. 
  • MarlorenaMarlorena East AngliaPosts: 6,344
    ..I think you made the right decision for your purposes... prune after flowering if need be...  look forward to seeing your roses in due course ...
  • NollieNollie Girona, Catalunya, Northen Spain.Posts: 5,623
    I appreciate all your advice, @Marlorena. Just ordered 3 from Peter Beales, they had a selection of bare root roses with 35% off and MH was one of them! Pushing it a bit for planting bare root here but hopefully they will be ok.
  • MarlorenaMarlorena East AngliaPosts: 6,344
    oh jolly good Nollie... I saw that offer...  hope they do well for you, you will now have one of the most internationally revered classic Old Roses... I hope you get a bloom or two in the first year... 
  • NollieNollie Girona, Catalunya, Northen Spain.Posts: 5,623
    Ooh I didn’t know that it was so revered, thats me, class act  :D 
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