Reine Victoria on Espalier/Trellis in Bay Area?

kristimamaMarch 18, 2012

Hi all,

Thanks in advance for your advice and for your patience with yet another of my harebrained ideas. :-)

I'm not entirely sure how (OK I caved)... but I seem to have bought Reine Victoria (and Honorine de Brabant) in spite of dire warnings about Bourbons in Northern Ca. I think I saw someone from the Bay Area post that HdB was their best bourbon so maybe I extrapolated that I could grow Reine Victoria... but honestly I don't *really* remember putting Reine Victoria in my online shopping cart. Really. ;-)

I'm in East Bay near Walnut Creek, and my yard is up on a hill facing due west. Even though our neighborhood might get the occasional marine fog during the summer, mostly my yard is hot hot hot and mostly dry, full western exposure, starting late spring and all through summer and our fall "indian summer." I would put her in the warmest, sunniest spot in the yard.

FWIW, Zepherine Drouhin does enormously well in my neighborhood... but I have always refused her outright because she is too big and only blooms once here. But I figure if *that* bourbon works, maybe RV will, too?

(Can you tell I'm in denial here, rationalizing, too? LOL)

So here's what I want to do:

Could I fan Reine Victoria out on a trellis, espalier-style, to keep her upright and fairly narrow? (What I mean is, not an enormous wide spreading bush.)

I *think* I read somewhere that Reine Victoria has more of an upright, compact growing style, so I was thinking that its smaller stature would mean less dense foliage and better air circulation?

The other hottest/warmest spot in my yard is on a concrete patio where I grow SDLM very successfully in a large 20" terra cotta pot. It blooms practically all year long and it only ever shows a little PM during the coldest, wettest part of winter.

So my second choice is to grow Reine Victoria for a few years on the patio in a large container (22" at least or maybe wine barrel) and train it up some sort of small obelisk. Again, this is based on the online descriptions of it being more compact/upright/bendy than other bourbons. But I have no idea if that's true.

Would the trellis/espalier idea work?

If not, would it tolerate a really large container?

I know some people will say "just try it", but but I want to make an informed decision based on the probability of success. I just don't want to waste my time and prime rose real estate if it's completely, completely insane. (A little insane, I can probably live with. LOL)

So many roses, so little space.

Thanks again for your help and your opinions!


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Campanula UK Z8

imo, this is the only way to grow RV and its lovely sport, Mme Pierre Oger. It is an obligingly upright and slender rose although it does have a bit of twigginess: it retains its flexible growth throughout its life. These canes are easily bent and trained, ideally on a freestanding rail and wire or post and rail fence (it does appreciate good ventilation) and also appreciated a little dappled shade - the petals are very fine, almost translucent and does not do very well in rain. However, if you are completely against spraying, I would not put this rose in a really prime spot because it will, at some point, defoliate with BS (it occurs early in the season for me, although it quickly recovers new growth so I would not be totally put off by a temporary condition).

    Bookmark   March 18, 2012 at 2:13PM
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jerijen(Zone 10)

In my coastal Southern California garden, tho afflicted with powdery mildew when not sprayed, she grew up, past the trellising, up the side of the 12-ft. retaining wall, over the top of the wall, through the wrought-iron fence at the top, and bloomed next to my window.

Yes, it really was Reine Victoria.
No, it is no longer with us.


    Bookmark   March 18, 2012 at 6:22PM
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seil zone 6b MI

Well if it hadn't been for the mildew I think that sound lovely, Jeri, lol!

I don't have RV but I do have HdB and I love her soft pink and white striped blooms and gentle sweet fragrance.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2012 at 9:07PM
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jerijen(Zone 10)

Alas! HdB didn't want to grow here at all.

This is NOT The Land Where Bourbons Flourish. And I am devastated to say that at no time did RdV (OR Madame Pierre Oger) look "charming" here.

You don't have to beat me over the head to make me understand that some roses were never meant to grow here. I've given up the fight, and am willing to stick to what is happy here.


    Bookmark   March 18, 2012 at 9:17PM
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Wow! Sounds amazing, if not for the disease.

Unfortunately I am one of those people that will probably have to be beaten about the head to understand some things... LOL

Well, I guess I have some thinkin' to do. I definitely *won't* be putting it in a prime location, no matter what.

Makes me wonder if I should just try to donate these bourbons to the Celebration this spring... or maybe to the sacramento cemetery.

My husband is starting to laugh at me... I warned him that I had bought probably 5-8 too many bands last year in my quest to learn what would work in our yard, but now that it's coming down to it, I think he is laughing that so many are going away.


    Bookmark   March 18, 2012 at 10:10PM
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jerijen(Zone 10)

Kristi -- You're likely in a different microclimate than I am, but Bourbons have never worked for me. (Other than "Ragged Robin," which IMHO, is not really a Bourbon.)


    Bookmark   March 18, 2012 at 10:40PM
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