Compassion – Outstanding scented climber

One of the best climbers available today, ‘Compassion’ is covered ivith large, salmon-pink flowers all through the summer. This wonderfully fragrant rose is perfect for training over an arch or against a wall.




Finish planting bare-root roses. Plant container-grown roses. Feed with a rose fertilizer. Mulch (cover ground) with organic matter. Spray against fungal diseases (black spot, powdery mildew, rust) if necessary.



Main flowering period. Deadhead (remove faded blooms). Water well in dry weather, paying special attention to newly planted roses and those grown against walls. Give second application of fertilizer.



Prune after flowering has finished and tie in new growth on trained specimens. Prepare new planting sites. Plant bare-root roses on a dry, frost-free day.



Continue to plant. ‘Compassion’ is fully hardy and needs no winter protection.

Site the base of the plant 40cm away from the wall with the roots sloping away from it. Place the bud union (where the variety has been grafted to the rootstock) 2.5cm below soil level.

Plant using a mixture of equal parts of garden soil and well-rotted compost, incorporating a handful of bone meal. If planting a container-grown rose, do not disturb the soil aroundthe roots. Place the rose in position first, then cut away the container.

Keep ‘Compassion’ well watered during its first season, especially if grown against a wall.

SITING CLIMBERS ‘Compassion’ is attractive in a mixed planting, but do not site other plants closer than 50cm to a climbing rose, as they may compete with the plant’s extensive root system for nutrients in the soil. Another climber, such as clematis, looks effective in association with ‘Compassion’, as it can scramble through the sturdier plant’s stems.

A lso known as ‘Belle de Londres’, ‘Compassion’ was introduced in 1973. It is a cross between a white cluster-flowered climber and a deep pink Hybrid Tea.

The abundant flowers are the classic high-centred Hybrid Tea shape, and are salmon-pink with orange shading. The leaves are dark green and provide a good foil for the blooms, which make excellent cut flowers for indoors. ‘Compassion’ bears its flowers in two main flushes, one in early summer followed by a second burst in autumn, although it produces plenty of flowers in between.

Ideal situation

This rose has won awards for its beautiful scent, and it is worth growing it against a house wall or close to a sitting area where its perfume can be fully appreciated. ‘Compassion’ is a vigorous, healthy rose, which can reach a height of 3m or more and a spread of 1.8m. If grown up a wall, it may make as much as 4.5m of growth. It is also suitable for training up a pillar or grown without support as an arching shrub.


Buy ‘Compassion’ bare-rooted from a special¬ist grower or containerized from a garden centre. Plant bare-root roses in the dormant season (late Octo¬ber to March). Plantcontainerized roses at any time, as long as the ground is not frozen. Spring or autumn are the best times.

Make sure roots are not dry at the time of planting. Dig a hole large enough to accommodate them. About one spade’s depth should be enough.

If growing ‘Compassion’ up a wall, the soil level should be below the level of the house’s damp course.


Do not plant ‘Compassion’ in soil which has previously had roses grown in it. If using a new site is not possible, replace the soil to a depth of 60cm.



A sunny position against a wall or fence, up a pillar or special rose arch.


Ideally, almost neutral (pH6.5), fertile and well drained. Poor, infertile soils are tolerated, but not waterlogged conditions.


Deadhead (remove faded flower-heads) through summer. Water well in dry spells. Prune in early autumn.


Although a generally healthy rose, ‘Compassion’ is susceptible to black spot, so it is worth giving it a preventive spray of systemic fungicide at the start of the growing season. Follow this with repeat applications as directed by the manufacturer. This should also prevent attack from other fungal infections such as mildew and rust. Spray any visible greenfly with a strong jet of water from the hose, or use an insecticide such as pirimicarb.

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