Monday, March 19, 2018


When my Lady Banks rose, Rosa banksiae 'Lutea' started to bloom a week ago I breathed a sigh of relief. I had already decided that this year was not going to be a big bloom. Why? Because lack of winter rain and several bouts of temperatures in the teens had denuded her of every leaf. Did I get a surprise.

She is as beautiful as ever although the blooms are smaller than in other years.

And her show doesn't stop inside the garden. On the other side of the wall she blooms just as magnificently, even sending her some of her branches up into the oak tree. "I'll give that Texas Mountain Laurel and the Agarita a run for their money" she says.

But I don't get to enjoy her just when I am outside. From my seat in the living room I can look across and see her through the window.

Her flowers may be diminutive but so many blooms in a cluster makes for a big impact.

If you have followed my blog for a while there will be no need for me to remind you how this rose was given her name. She was named for the wife of Sir Joesph Banks who sent William Kerr on a plant finding mission to China. He returned with a rose which was named for his sponser's wife, Lady Banks. I learn about Lady Banks from a garden visitor.

But there is another Lady Banks Rose in my garden, this one Rosa banksia 'Banksiae' which has white flowers. Her flowers are a little smaller but no less prolific and carry a faint fragrance of violets.   This rose has a very special provenance, grown from a cutting from the original Lady Banks rose brought from the Fa Tee garden in China by William Kerr. I picked it up on a trip to Tombstone several years ago. You can read the story of our visit here. Rose Museum Tombstone.

I'm not planning on building a trellis for my rose. She will have to make do with the under branches which have died off and which seem to provide sufficient support.

My white rose is planted behind the pool in the sunken garden.

She is loaded with buds this year. There is more than one reason to love this rose even though she is a single bloomer. She is thornless, never shows any signs of blackspot nor does she have any insect problems. She is, however, a big rambling rose and requires serious pruning to keep her in bounds. I have seen photos of her being trained over a small archway or along a fence. Either way prune after the flowering. Then enjoy 4 weeks of blooms in the spring.


  1. Beautiful roses. Lovely to see them whilst we wait for spring.

  2. I've always loved the 'Lady Banks' rose and yours is perfection!

  3. So gorgeous! I hope my Lady blooms as beautifully as yours when springtime arrives here in september.

  4. That last image is sublime.

  5. Just a stunning display. And I always like to discover where plants' names originate.

  6. It is stunning! I had Lady Banks in my former garden in Alabama. The new owners just sent me a photo and it is beautiful this year.