More from Mottisfont – a glorious catalogue of very classy Old Roses

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Rosa Complicata

Rosa Complicata

It is the white centre and yellow stamens which give the rose Complicata its brilliance, enhancing the already vivid clear pink. It is sometimes called Rosa gallica ‘Complicata’, but while the Gallica rose is almost certainly in its parentage, it is a rose of unknown origin. Old, flowering wood should be cleared after flowering and all the long new shoots of summer need making secure by ties before the spring. But it will make a great mound on its own with little pruning, and flowers very freely every year.

At Mottisfont, Complicata has used its great vigour to climb into an apple tree, first encouraged by being tied to a pole. Roses growing into trees should be planted well away from the trunk of the tree. The shoots may reach 8′ (2.4m) or more in a season, the following summer to break into short shoots from every leaf-eye, each bearing a cluster of very large single blooms. Early in the season, there are few more spectacular roses to be found. At Mottisfont it has for companions white foxgloves and the warm violet-blue of Campanula persicifolia. This is the peach-leafed Bellflower; it is an old garden favourite known since 1596, a native of Europe, North Africa and Asia. It is a spreader at the root and also seeds itself, white forms also occurring.


Hugh Dickson
Hugh Dickson

Hugh Dickson

Making shoots sometimes 8′ (2.4m) long, Hugh Dickson has been a favourite since its brilliant crimson burst into the Rose World in 1905. It has ever been known as Climbing Hugh Dickson. If you train it on a wall or other support, be sure to arrange for as many of the long shoots to be as near horizontal as possible; then you will have a display that has few equals, blooms appearing from every leaf-joint. It also has many assets; unequalled pure colour, rich fragrance from shapely flowers, and good growth. And for the brilliant summer crop you will be sure of a great crop again in September and many odd blooms in between, if you keep it regularly dead-headed. Though classed, rightly, as a Hybrid Perpetual, it brought a beautiful shape that was becoming the prerogative of the Hybrid Teas. Only once, now and again, do we have the best of both worlds.


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