Thinking of ordering CdR just wanted to know if it needed support or could be grown as a freestanding shrub next to mme hardy?
My experience in a much milder climate than yours is yes, it can easily be grown as a free standing shrub. Not providing it support will force it to thicken its canes instead of lengthening them. Any which are overly long, simply whack off. Kim
Yes, Cardinal de R grows shrubby like most gallicas. In my experience, his form depends on pruning--tighter and more upright with heavier pruning and looser and more arching when lightly pruned or infrequently pruned. I keep my gallicas somewhere in between and offer some mild support (stakes and wires) around them. He does arch a bit under the weight of full blooms.
His mauve-grape mystery will look wonderful next to Madame H's pristine white perfection! Nice combo.
My experience with CdeR in zone 4b was that he grew short and shrubby - never an arching plant there, and certainly never in need of any support. "Free-standing," indeed. I would think your plant in zone 5 would grow in much more similar fashion to mine than to those in zones 8 or 10...
I remember admiring Cardinal de Richelieu at Sissinghurst Gardens. It was so full of blooms I could hardly see the leaves.
They have their own way of pruning at Sissinghurst, to maximise the blooms.
You might want to have a look at how they do it.
Here is a link that might be useful: Pruning roses...the Sissinghurst way
Mine is quite a short spreading shrub, as were all the ones I have ever seen in other gardens. I think it is a rose that would benefit from being planted where one could look at it close up, set off by a background of silvery foliage, perhaps. The flowers are really very small, though they have great distinction.
Daphne Filiberti, who I think gardens in Southern California, says hers needs support, however. What a great website she has. I am attaching a link to her very artistic picture.
Here is a link that might be useful: Daphne Filiberti's portrait of Cardinal de Richelieu bloom
Ms. Filiberti writes very poetically in addition to showing a lovely portrait of the Cardinal.
Here is a picture of it in the Sacramento City Cemetery last April. It is a freestanding shrub with a spread of about 6 feet or more. In your climate, it sounds like it will be much smaller. I also don't know how much or how this one is pruned. It is a really beautiful rose; good luck with yours!
Richelieu was the only "Gallica" I could grow in a mild climate that flowered reliably without having to ice it in winter. I LOVED the colors it could produce. Kim
Harborrose -- I NEED to share that pic on my facebook page. Thankfully, I see you posted it to HelpMeFind for everyone to enjoy. Nothing like a gorgeous pic in full-bloom to show non-rose people why we like the oldies.
Christopher, I hope you convince a lot of people that the old ones are worth growing and I am glad to contribute a picture. That specimen at the Sacramento cemetery really is breath-taking. Gean
I remember reading that this is one of the gallicas that will get blackspot. Can anyone speak to its disease resistance?
Zone 10, Southern California it black spotted moderately when conditions were at their worst and mildewed early and late in the year. Otherwise, it was fine. But, at least the blamed thing FLOWERED without special treatment and the color was amazing. Kim
Mine got some, and quickly lost affected leaves (less than half, but mine is only a year and a half with me), and quickly refoliated. It didn't get it until well after its blooming was done, and I think non-blooming roses simply don't draw as much attention to themselves when they may be hit with blackspot, so I really didn't mind. Compared to some others I planted this year, it wasn't hit very hard at all.
Whatever variety of blackspot we've got in PDX doesn't seem to seriously attack Cardinal. Like my other (somewhat neglected) gallicas, he does mildew after flowering. Whack! That was the sound of sharpened secateurs.