Golden Showers – A sunny shower of roses

If ever a rose deserved its name it’s ‘Golden Showers’, for there are few yellow climbers that create such a curtain of colour. This, added to its prolonged flowering season and resistance to rain, makes it a popular choice.

ANNUAL CALENDAR

SPRING

March-April:

Mulch (apply a ground covering) around the bases of roses, especially those growing against walls, to help conserve moisture around the roots. Fork in rose fertilizer.

SUMMER

May-June:

Cut back dead clusters of flowers to a new bud. July: Give second application of rose fertilizer, either granular at the base of the plant or foliar, sprayed on the leaves.

AUTUMN

August-September:

Plan new plantings and prepare new planting site.

WINTER

October-February:

Prune established climbers and plant new ones. -PRUNING,

Careful pruning helps to maintain a healthy plant. Always use sharp secateurs, cutting just above an outward-facing bud, slanting down and away from the bud. Prune climbing roses in the autumn after flowering has finished. First remove all dead and diseased stems and thin, weak growth, cutting back to healthy wood, which should be white. If the wood is still brown, cut back further. Then cut back side shoots by about a third. Tie in the new shoots to the supports, aiming to train them horizontally; this will encourage the stem to ‘break’, developing the flowering side shoots.

TRAINING CLIMBERS

When training a climber against a wire support, always secure it with plastic-coated rose-ties (available from garden centres). Leave them loose at first and tighten after 3 weeks. Check them every season and replace any that have broken.

L ong-flowering and slightly scented, ‘Golden Showers’ carries its double blossoms in loose clusters from June until the first frosts. The foliage is bright green.

Thanks to its resistance to disease and generous flowering nature, ‘Golden Showers’ is a rose grower’s best friend. Although at first it only makes bushy growth, when settled in it will eventually grow to 3m, making it ideal for training against a wall. It is not rampant and so a good choice for a terrace or small garden.

Planting and care

Before planting climbing roses, be sure that the supports are secure and substantial enough to carry the flowering branches. Trellis or a wire support for wall-training should have a clearance of at least 5cm between it and the wall.

The best time to plant is in the autumn. Make the planting holes at least 45-60cm wide. If the rose is to be trained against a wall, make the planting hole at least 30cm away from the bottom of the wall to avoid the parched conditions found near building foundations.

Break up the bottom of the planting hole adding some well-rotted manure. Cut off damaged roots and then fan out in the bottom of the hole, making sure to incline the stems towards the support, so that the new growth is easy to tie in.

Sprinkle soil around the roots to hold the rose in position while you back-fill the planting hole. Add a handful of bone meal and when the hole is two-thirds full gently shake the plant up and down to work soil around the roots.

Gently tread around the plant to firm the soil adding a mulch (ground covering) of manure.

Goldenshowers

SITUATION

Plant in sun or partial shade. Train against wall supports or around pillars, creating a focal point in the flower border.

SOIL

Thrives in fertile medium soil that is slightly acid. Deeply dig clay soils and add well-rotted manure or compost.

GARE

As the trusses finish flowering, cut back the flowering stems to a new bud to encourage the repeat-flowering habit. Prune the entire rose in autumn when flowering has finished.

PLANT HEALTH

Happily, ‘Golden Showers’ is one of the few healthy yellow roses but, as with most roses, aphids can still be a problem.

The first clusters of these insects can appear on tender new shoots in spring and can seriously hinder, or stop, strong growth. Spray with a long-lasting insecticide, closely following the manufacturer’s instructions. Later on watch out for caterpillars damaging foliage. Otherwise, ‘Golden Showers’ is relatively free of pests and diseases.

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