Two beasts, in fact: a pair of climbing 'Etoile de Hollande' roses growing either side of the garden door and arching over the top. It's a beautiful but brutish rose with deliciously scented, voluptuous red blooms which flower quite early and then sporadically through the summer. Its most frustrating habit is sending up huge new shoots early in the year, only to snap off at the whiff of a bit of string to tie them in... Tackling it is one of those jobs that has to be done when in the right mood, preferably with the sun on my back, as today, and with the scent wafting up from the sarcococca below. I spent all afternoon battling and cajoling it into shape. The effect over the door and windows is just as I planned all those years ago, and it also keeps the rather hobbit like door in proportion with the rest of the house.
The roses which we grow in the field solely for picking are pruned in stages. The idea is to spread out the flowering period. The first flush will be in June but the hybrid teas repeat all summer and the picking encourages new growth. The picture below is from last June.