Until I saw a David Austin rose, I admit I wasn't a big fan. Roses seemed overrated and high maintenance and I wasn't sure what all the fuss was about.
Somehow I stumbled on the David Austin Roses website and instantly fell in love with the huge peony-like blooms of his homebred english roses, and signed up for the challenge.
And while I was at it, why not stat with 3 english climbers?? What could go wrong.
I'd been thinking about how to jazz up the plain walls of the gazebo that houses our hot tub, and I thought a climbing rose would be the perfect covering. I have dreams of walking out to my veggie garden and catching the sweet fragrance of a wall of creamy white roses. We'll see if that dream ever comes to fruition, but it's certainly good motivation.
I narrowed my list of rose varieties down and eventually settled on the Claire Austin, a pretty and seemingly hardy creamy white climber.
It rained the night before I wanted to plant them, so the ground was nice and workable.
David Austin provides some really good tips on planting and care, so I did my best to follow those to a T.
After a couple weeks, the branches started growing foliage! Here's where the tricky part about roses kicked in.. All the leaves were getting annihilated by pests- almost overnight entire branches would get eaten, leaving the rest of the tree to look pretty sad.
After experimenting with a variety of different pest control methods.. we finally found one that worked by going to our local garden center and chatting with the specialists there.
After a couple more weeks of patience, we were finally rewarded with beautiful blooms. :)