Which Austin roses are real successes in a hot mediterranean climate?

5 years ago

I know, I know, we are all probably getting sick of this argument,but I guess I'd really like to hear from people who are growing Austins in a hot climate and are really pleased.Jeri's often mentioned the irritating tendency of these roses to get huge but with few flowers,all awkwardly appearing only at the tops of long stems.(that's my James Galway) Ingrid has written of her gangly Ingenious Mr. Fairchild.(sounds like my TIMF!) Yet Adam Harbeck in Australia seems pleased with his Austins. . I myself still keep on thinking that it's me that's just not able to understand these roses. Example: in the Spring of 2014, James Galway was so beautiful that I was thinking of getting another. Mine is HUGE; over two meters tall, but that year it's only defect was that the blooms tend to appear so high up, so I thought:"well, if I could only train it more horizontally, on a rigid structure"... (I have no walls or house in my garden, so climbers have to be trained on structures invented by me). This spring however, James was awful; very few blooms,all more than 7 feet up in the air, and ugly to boot. (as a green shrub it always looks great: thick with deep green leaves, zero disease). I mentioned before how I fell for a stunning potted Gertrude Jeckyll, trained up on a teepee of 3 bamboo canes, and covered with flowers,telling myself it was worth the 28 euros it cost, so I could copy the training technique used by the nursery on other Austins. So just recently I pruned James, taking out lots of thick older basals, trying to save the most flexible canes, and spiral them as much as possible. I'm also dumping lots of manure/ cracked corn/etc. on it ,NOW, in autumn, hoping that part of the problem may be that organics need plenty of time to break down. See, a huge , 2-meter-plus rose in my garden is fine, but I want it to bloom at least once in a real flush! aftrewards,it can be a Jolly GG for the rest of the summer, if it wants! Ingrid says that her TIMF remains gangly, even after hard pruning, but I've never tried this and our climates and gardens are SO different. I also know that my TIMF was planted in totally inadequate soil: on a sharp slope, so half of it's root mass was very shallowly planted.I've since added lots of clay, but probably not enough organic matter. I have mine supported by a tripod, with two true climbers to eventually buck up the whole vignette (I hope)'s all so frustrating!

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