The Rector Steps Aside

As I mentioned the other day, once Rambling Rector finishes flowering the petals drop in thousands and for the last few years to prevent  build up of deadwood I have cut out all the flowering stems later in the summer, thus sprucing him up in both the short and long-term. With two group visits to come this month I decided to bring his appointment forward, thus ridding the Golfer of his ongoing path sweeping task.

Once most of the lower flowering stems are cut out, the new stems can be pulled over and tied in place, a gradual process facilitated by a metal fencing stake which is perfect for hooking onto the high stems from the top of the ladder. There are still more to pull down and more flowering stems to access too, and you might just about make out the thickness of some of the main stems on the photo below, the Rector’s stoutness commensurate with his advanced years:

An unexpected benefit of taking him in hand at this earlier stage is that the arbour has been cleared to allow the other climbers to take centre stage – Clematis viticella ‘Venosa Violacea’, added in 2015 and suddenly making herself at home:

Clematis viticella ‘Alba’ (left hand post), was also introduced in 2015 and is covered in discrete green buds which will not become obvious until they open to show their white and green variation. Climbing rose ‘New Dawn’ is on the pillar on the right and is also revelling in her sunnier spot.

Clematis viticella ‘Gravetye Beauty’ is smothering another post and will be covered in buds and those gorgeous deep red tulip shaped flowers in a month or so. She has occupied this spot for a number of years but only began flowering profusely last year – and what a joy she is when she does flower.

Becoming aware of the value of viticella clematis for prolonged summer colour only fairly recently, I added more earlier this year which I have shown glimpses of in previous posts. Those added to the obelisks in the shrub border are not yet thriving but I hope have not suffered from the season’s dryness. In the meantime, however, I am thrilled with the progress of the now exposed varieties on the rose arbour and will continue giving the Rector a good going-over straight after flowering in future, regardless of whether we are expecting visitors!

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13 Responses to The Rector Steps Aside

  1. Cathy has put in its place the rosary Rambling Rector so that the precious Clematis viticella in its different varieties can have room to breathe and show off its beauty. Very well done! Greetings from Margarita.

  2. Anna says:

    Job well done Cathy! I imagine that the Golfer is pleased to be relieved of his sweeping duties 🙂 Viticella clematis are really most lovely.

  3. Peter/Outlaw says:

    So many wonderful plants growing on your arbor. Good for you for doing this job so early!

    • Cathy says:

      Pruning ramblers like this doesn’t get recommended by all sources, Peter, but it certainly works for this one and it blooms beautifully each year

  4. Phew! Looks like a mammoth task! You’re not taking it easy now, after your hectic month, obviously!

  5. Steve says:

    I feel for you. Earlier this year when a storm removed a big branch in an apple tree which supported a Rambling Rector we had to spend a day reducing the rose. Only the other day we reduced it further for fear it’s weight would bring down another branch. The one truth about the rose is that it does ramble!

    • Cathy says:

      Because I do it annually now it isn’t such a big task – the hardest bit is hooking the more vertical new stems so I can pull them down and tie them in. I am sure yours will respond next year with an even better display!

  6. Annette says:

    Your garden is just looking splendid, Cathy, and I’m so pleased to hear about the groups you’re welcoming into your plot. No doubt they’ll be delighted! In my last garden I used to plant ramblers in spots less suited not realizing how vigorous they’d be. Here I’ve put them on the boundary where they can grow into mature trees and do their thing. Tackling them like you do needs courage, so well done. Nothing is worse than overgrown ramblers with tons of dead wood. Did I mention that Monsieur isn’t fond of roses? 😉 Viticellas are among my favourites too, right after the herbaceous clems. Happy summer days xx

    • Cathy says:

      Perhaps roses will grow on him one day, Annette, with all the lovely ones you have in your garden…? Good to have the sort of boundaries for lots of ramblers. The group visits will be an interesting experience – although one is a Women’s Institute and members will not necessarily be interested in gardening! 😀

      • Annette says:

        Not yet but chances are you’ll convince them! As for Monsieur and roses…I doubt it somewhat but appreciate his tolerance towards my passion for them 😉 Have a good sunday xx

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