Storm damage

Morning after the night before: collapse of the climbing rose

My heart goes out to everyone in Cumbria affected by the flooding, it must be unbelievably hideous.

I feel incredibly lucky that so far the only storm damage we’ve suffered is a climbing rose that made a break for freedom. A couple of weeks ago we were woken during the night by heavy rain and strong winds. The next morning, when I pulled up the blinds, I discovered one of climbing roses had collapsed.

Despite a whole collection of different ropes and wires holding the climber to the wall, the weight of the rainwater on the leaves had managed to snap through all the restraints.

Fortunately the rose had draped itself over a handy yew hedge, so the stem hadn’t broken.

Handy hedge to break the rose’s fall.

It’s a pretty old plant with a thick trunk, which creates a cloud of white flower by our back door every summer. We’d have been sad to see it go. However, it’s an enormous plant that reaches well over 10 feet tall, and I was nervous about how to prune it and whether I would be strong enough to haul it back against the wall.

I’m very glad that we were able to call on Andy the gardener, who nipped round a few days later when the wind let up long enough to brave a ladder.

He pruned impressive amounts off the rose (cue another trip to the tip) and reattached it to the wall.

One rose reattached, a lot of pruning later

Fingers crossed the rose survives the rest of the winter. Fingers crossed our roof does too!

Spot the rose in happier times, just to the right of the back door.

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