Climbing To New Heights
Many exciting developments in the Garden In A City since returning from San Francisco, hard to know which to write about first. Perhaps the most dramatic involves plants that climb and ramble: My Clematis ‘Jackmanii’, Illinois Rose (Rosa setigera), and Rosa ‘Darlow’s Enigma’. (Alberto – no snide comments, please.)
First, Clematis ‘Jackmanii’. I realize there are many other Clematis species and varieties out there that are more uncommon and perhaps more interesting. But still, this is a beautiful plant when it is happy. And ours, planted six or seven years ago, is pretty happy.
In fact, I just had to tie the trellis to the iron railing because the Clematis is threatening to pull the whole thing down. Without the Cup Plant (Silphium perfoliatum) that used to grow in front of it, the Clematis has now covered the whole west-facing wall against which it is planted, and is expressing some interest in taking over the iron railing as well.
This Clematis does get plenty of afternoon sun, which is intensified by the white brick wall. The roots are shaded by a Vinca ground cover. I do give it extra helpings of compost and extra drinks of water, which is easy as it is located right next to the outdoor faucet. Otherwise, it gets no special treatment.
I planted Illinois Rose (Rosa setigera – also called Praire Rose) three years ago in a southwest facing corner. It is mingling nicely with a Trumpet Honeysuckle (Lonicera sempervirens). Illinois Rose is a native wild rose that will climb, and ours has climbed the water spout almost to the roof of our back porch.
This is the first year our Illinois Rose is flowering freely. The show has just begun, as there are many unopened buds. But I can already see how the flowers open a dark pink, then fade almost to white. This gives the plant a multi-colored effect.
Illinois Rose is a very vigorous plant, and I have read plenty of warnings that it will demand a lot of space. However, I always take such warnings as a challenge to be overcome. So go ahead, Illinois Rose, make my day.
‘Darlow’s Enigma’ is considered a rambling rose. I have no idea what the difference is between a rambler and a climber, but then I also don’t really care. What I do care about is that ‘Darlow’s Enigma’ is filling in nicely on its side of the arbor near the entrance to the back garden.
‘Darlow’s Enigma’ has sprays of small semi-double white flowers. It is a robust plant. It hasn’t shown any sign of disease and I haven’t sprayed it. Unlike most roses, it is tolerant of some shade.
The flowers are fragrant, and you can smell their sweet scent as you walk under the arbor.
Do you have ramblers or climbers in your garden?