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Tuesday, February 16, 2010

When a Rose is Not a Rose, But a Solution Instead

I just ordered two climbing roses to provide some privacy along our western fence.  You can see it in my post from the fourteenth of February in the second picture labeled 'The Apples Are In'.  The neighbors can view everything going on in our backyard, and for that matter, everything in the living room and dining room as well, since I have no window treatments for the sliding glass doors.

Climbing roses, when their canes are bent laterally, will shoot up vertical branches on which they bloom. My plan is to grow two climbers up a couple of fence posts and then split the canes to run across the top of the fence to the right and the left of the plant.  From there, they should do a fair job of sending branches skyward and blocking the view, at least in the summer, from the neighbors, whom I never actually see, but I'll feel better about having it covered up.  The fence is in pretty bad shape, so I didn't want to plant fruit trees or canes against it which could be damaged or killed when the fence is rebuilt, somewhere in the future.  The posts were replaced prior to this house going on the market before we bought it, so I feel okay about growing rose canes against them, but when in the event that the fence needs to be fixed, we should be able to just cut the roses back to the vertical canes and bend them away from the fence while it's being worked on. That's my plan anyway.

The sun shines pretty brightly all day long during the summer in these parts, so I wanted bright red roses that will stand up well in the bright light. It's my opinion that paler shades look better in cloudier surroundings, but that bright sunlight needs color to match its intensity.  Plus, on gray spring days, the bright red will be cheerful.  I purchased 'Courageous' because of its repeat bloom and fragrance- I'll plant that one closer to the house, and 'Dublin Bay', also because of its repeat bloom and its habit of blooming all the way up the plant. Plus- it just looks really good in all the images I found.  I'm not as sure about Courageous, though; I'm really hoping that it's not as pink as in the image from the nursery's website.  I also hope that neither of these roses fade in the sunlight- I'm not signing up for a trashy pink color on the fence.  Don't get me wrong; I like pink.  But let's face it- some shades of pink are pretty trashy.  I have a rhododendron out front that came with the house that's a pretty lurid shade of pink.   I guess these roses will be something of an experiment.

My favorite red climbing rose is 'Dortmund', and you can see why from this picture from my own collection that I took at the Portland Rose Garden in Washington Park.  It's truly lovely, but I'm saving that one to plant over Rufus in the front yard someday, and train it over the front walk toward the garage.  That way, he and the rose can continue to watch the house.  We still have a lot of time with our favorite boy-dog-in-the-whole-world Rufus, and I'm not ready to tackle the landscaping in the front yard anyway.  But it's good to have a plan and an idea of what you want ahead of time.  I thought of this plan the minute I saw Dortmund in the rose garden, so I'm sure I'll get it done.

This week we have to get our contractor over to estimate a price for a pergola for the back of the house.  The good news is, I finally got all the stringers cut off the deck (with my sick husband's help, and without which it wouldn't have gotten done), so now I can finish it up and get cracking on the planter boxes.  They have me a little worried, frankly. I have all these seeds started in the garage and next to nowhere to put them all!  But we're supposed to get good weather after this afternoon and for the rest of the week- we'll even hit sixty, so it will be warm and sunny.  I don't care what the calendar says; spring is really coming on strong already in this part of Oregon.  It'll be time to plant asparagus soon.  And eat it!


Anonymous said...

Just found your post about the two red roses, Courageous and Dublin Bay. It just so happens that I am currently debating both of those roses and which one to buy for a somewhat shady side area of the house and I cannot choose between them.

Your post was in 2010... so after these two years... what information can you provide about these two roses?

I am want a good climber with vivid color to add a highlight to that side area. Does Courageous fill out (not a narrow width) and fill in (not scraggly) and stay in continual bloom from spring to fall?

The same question about Dublin Bay.

And what would you say about both roses? Their strengths and weaknesses?

[My apologies if this question posts several times... I could not tell whether it posted as there was no affirmation as to whether it was successful.]

Paula said...

Hi Anonymous-

Don't bother with Courageous. While it is very fragrant, it's horribly susceptible to black spot, and very straggly. I've found it to be a disappointment.

Dublin Bay is pretty sturdy, has glossy green leaves that don't seem to be susceptible to anything, and really pretty blooms.

Neither has been particularly good at climbing, possibly because the soil they're in is clay.

Currently we have hops on that fence- they don't provide much privacy either.