Lady Hillingdon Climbing Rose

 A beauty, and oh so tough!
Lady Hillingdon Rose

Multiple climbing Lady Hillingdon roses should be growing happily in my garden. I say 'should be' - two, ordered from an expensive specialist rose nursery, have floundered around. However a budget supermarket Lady Hillingdon, found starving in a plastic bag and rescued, has thrived. So the moral of the story is?

And there's more! The nursery Ladies (I did order climbers) were planted in fresh air and sunshine, in excellent fertile soil. Their own personal irrigation drippers were lovingly installed, and a sturdy archway was provided for them to climb at their leisure. And did they appreciate all of this? No. They weren't capable of climbing anything.

The budget Lady was planted by a post at the end of the Stumpy (AKA Willow Tree) Garden. It was an inauspicious location, with shade, huge gum trees nearby, and garden soil which had seen little if no improvement. And no irrigation, apart from the initial roughly slopped bucket of water at planting time.

What Happened Next?

What happened next? Well, well, well. The Lady Hillingdons in the sunny, airy orchard refused to grow. One even had the nerve to die on me. Meanwhile, the supermarket special survived. All the other shrubs in her garden grew fat and tall, and the rose spluttered bravely up her post, almost forgotten in the competing greenery. I first spotted her flowering in her fourth season, and was really impressed, as I have been each summer since. This Lady is strong, healthy, floriferous, and extremely generous. I don't do a thing, she just drapes and blooms - the best type of rose possible.

 A very subtle colour for a rose.
Lady Hillingdon Climbing Roses

It's infuriating to be sold climbers which don't climb - not to mention get the sulks and gradually decline. Of course I blame the rose nursery. What else could it be? Tiny thought: wind-rock, rabbit root-nibbling, spray-drift... I guess no rose-grower is perfect. But yippee for budget roses rescued from starvation in supermarkets, I say!

Rose Facts

Lady Hillingdon's date of birth (?) is 1917, bred by Hicks. She has double apricot-yellow blooms, and the new foliage is nicely red in colour. There are climbing and non-climbing varieties. Bud I'd suggest (politely) you don't order her from 'that' rose nursery!