How do you train a rose like Gertrude Jekyll?

NollieNollie Girona, Catalunya, Northen SpainPosts: 2,410
Mine is in a large pot and doesn’t want to stay there. I prune back hard but it just responds by throwing up more ridiculously long canes that only flower on the end, so I’m going to get it in the ground and train it on something. DA recommends it for a trellis, wall, pillar/obelisk and the website pics all show it growing determinedly vertically.

It will be in open ground and I’m wondering if it may be possible to train it more laterally? I’m thinking of some sort of decorative railings/fence/trellis/wires set horizontally at the back of the open border, supported each end with sturdy stakes. Then perennials in front to hide it’s bare bottom.

My reasoning is that the first flush is amazing but after that, flowering is poor so on an obelisk or other vertical structure it will look conspicuously un-floriferous and boring.

Does anyone else grow it along a structure successfully or does it always want to grow up?
«13

Posts

  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 17,561
    My experience with this rose is that any manoeuvre needs thick gloves and long sleeves.  She's very spiny and thorny.

    Mine, in Belgium, also wanted to be upright and tall rather than shrubby so, when I get one for this garden, she'll get supports from day 1 and new growth will be tied in as  diagonally (or lower) as possible to encourage more flowers as the perfume is intoxicating and the colour is a good, clear pink.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • K67K67 Leicestershire Posts: 517
    Glad you asked this @Nollie as I planted one this year in the border but as it's in a back corner I can't get to these long stems to train.
    I plan to shift it to the front middle and was looking at the idea of pegging. Paul Zimmerman has a good video on YouTube about this.
  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 17,561
    edited 8 October
    Good luck with the pegging idea.  I tried it with mine in Belgium but the stems are much stiffer than those of the Sceptr'd Isle roses which were easy to peg and responded well.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • NollieNollie Girona, Catalunya, Northen SpainPosts: 2,410
    Thanks, @Obelixx, yes the fragrance is lovely (even I can detect it, with my poor sense of smell) and it’s because of that and the amazing first flush that I want to rectify the situation. Otherwise it would be ‘shovel pruned’ as our American friends say, because of those vicious thorns! If you think it’s feasible, wearing gauntlets, to tie it in more horizontally, I will give it a go. I am not sure, either, if it could be pegged, @K67 as the stems on mine aren’t that flexible...
  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 17,561
    Try doing it a bit at a time @Nollie rather than trying the full 45° at once.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • NollieNollie Girona, Catalunya, Northen SpainPosts: 2,410
    Will do, thanks. I’m not ready to do it quite yet as the new bed is still in the planning stage. I’m waiting for some decent rain, we haven’t had any for a while so can’t get a spade in the ground yet...
  • TinyGardenGIrlTinyGardenGIrl Posts: 150
    edited 8 October
    Have you tried the very similar Comte De Chambord rose instead ? Or will it not cope with your climate? I have this one as well as GJ and I find it just as wonderful but not as thorny. I feel like I love it more but that's probably because it was much cheaper.
  • NollieNollie Girona, Catalunya, Northen SpainPosts: 2,410
    Thanks for the suggestion, that was actually was going to be it’s replacement, @TinyGardenGIrl, I hear it’s a great rose and better behaved than GJ, but someone mentioned a while back it balls in the rain (when we get rain, it can be sudden, torrential downpours) and I believe it blooms much better in cooler climes than mine. But then most roses do! I decided I may as well stick with GJ and stick her in the ground instead, thorns and all. 
  • Lizzie27Lizzie27 Bath, SomersetPosts: 3,457
    I'm surprised people have problems with GJ. Mine is about 9 years old and I don't find it particularly thorny. I put a lovely rusted metal rose basket over it as I found the flowers were very heavy to start with which is working well as a support. Following @Marlorena 's advice I prune it more like a HT which seems okay. Gets to about 4 ft over the summer, but it is probably constrained by a dwarf box hedge in front and an euronymus hedge behind it. 
  • OmoriOmori Posts: 161
    I'm growing my GJ in a wide fan shape along the wall of our house. Yes it's thorny but with roses it's all a tradeoff in my opinion.

    I have CdC which balls in the rain, but it's a young plant and I'm hoping it improves with age. The jury is out on this one.
Sign In or Register to comment.