Our first planned project of the new year was the construction of a twenty foot arbor at the end of the property. The deaths of two chamaecyparis ‘Crippsii’ left an open area there that needed some privacy. The climbing rose we refer to as ‘Killer’, Alberic Barbier, has been mentioned a few times in previous posts. It had been planned that the new large arbor would be built to contain its twenty foot canes. After reading a post at Dirt Therapy dated December 31, 2007 titled ‘Taming the Monster’, the arbor for Killer needs to be rethought. Shown above with clematis ‘Etoile Violet’ , Alberic Barbier blooms once with white flowers in mid-May.
Originally these two roses, one on each post, were ordered from the Antique Rose Emporium to drape down from this small arbor like the pictures seen of English gardens in books and magazines. It was the vision for the front with the picture window there that was just the right size to frame with dangling roses. They quickly covered the arbor and the gutters and the roof on that side of the house. It seemed like a good thing at the time.
Each year the roses were pruned very hard, a thorny task on a too short ladder. When a metal roof was installed on the house the contractor said the roses would not be able to grow on the metal, nothing for the thorns to grasp, along with the heat from the metal discouraging roof climbing. Killer proved him wrong by covering one half of the roof in one season. Killer was pruned severely when the house was resided and new gutters and roofing were put on. The arbor was in fact cut at the base, laid down on the ground with rose intact and reattached to new posts after the construction was complete. Oh please , mister carpenters, do not harm the fragile rose. Ha. This rose would have to go.
The two roses were dug up and added to a brush pile kept for bird habitat. A well behaved Caroline Jessamine joined the remaining clematis on the portion of the arbor left in the front. Growing in a piece of the new gutter was a very small piece of Killer that had rooted nicely in fallen leaf accumulation there. At first it was planted on the side of the shed. That mistake was remedied its first year and Killer was planted at the base of the far clothesline pole which had some tree limbs disguising it, held in place with bungee cords. Here you see morning glories have covered the pole nicely. Killer is still small. All is well. Take note of the privet hedge just behind.
The crossvine , bignonia ‘Tangerine Beauty’, was added the next year to the clothesline pole. It is very vigorous and is a good color contrast with the white blooms of the rose. These two rampant growers are a good match it was thought.
Time marches on. When the family came for Thanksgiving last year this area had to roped, er ribboned off to prevent snagging by the wandering canes of innocent garden visitors happily following the paths. That situation called to our attention the desperate need for a new idea for the containment of Killer. Things seem to be out of control and definitely not the vison. Killer is presenting a problem that cannot be solved by mere pruning.
Imagine how long these branches are. They were wrapped around and around the pole in an effort to have a pillar of flowers and let Killer grow to his desired size. This is not the right rose cultivar for such a look. Branches sprout from the sides and top daily during the growing season, which seems to be year round for this guy.
When the rose so quickly outgrew its pole it was decided to train it over to the high privet hedge and let it grow up and over the shrubbery into a nearby maple tree. This little chain, which is barely visible, is not up to the task of holding so many heavy canes.