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Roses for Winter

Some climbers flower best during late winter and early spring. They dislike the heat almost as much as I do, so they go dormant in summer. 


That’s when I prune them - heavily as they are vigorous.


Souvenir de la Malmaison. Photo - Linda Ross

‘Lamarque’ has lemon-scented ivory blooms, in abundance. She needs a strong frame for support. I have her growing up an iron ‘rose ball’, a 3m pillar topped with a large ball. She froths out the top like a huge umbrella. Last summer I removed 50 per cent to keep her contained.


'Meg’ is more elegant with huge, single, peach-pink roses that open from long slender buds, to show off crimson stamens. I have her growing out of a 2m shrub of Baeckea, which is giving good support, and she needs it! I curse her at pruning time as she is huge and thorny then fall in love all over again once August comes and her arching canes are smothered in flower. She loves the heat from the house wall; I think this prolongs her flowering.


‘Souvenir de La Malmaison’ is a Bourbon ‘heritage’ rose. Soft pink cupped and quartered blooms are displayed in all seasons except summer, when it is far too hot for her. And her perfume is exquisite! Climbing and bush forms of this rose are available. In a warm climate this rose needs half-day sunshine only.


‘Sparieshoop’ can be grown as a vigorous spreading shrub or a climber. Bred by the German rose breeder Kordes in 1953, the large single pink blooms have prominent gold stamens. I have it growing on the front wall, a spot really too hot so the colour fades quickly.



'Safrano' has an understated beauty in a rich clotted cream colour. Bred in France in 1839, this old Tea rose is the parent of many modern roses. But we love its simple charm, its tea fragrance and we wouldn’t be without it.



'Safrano'. Photo - Sandra Ross


Text: Sandra Ross

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Author: Sandra Ross