Actually, it’s Henry, Henry Kelsey Climbing Roses.
Every year, without fail, these roses have put on a great show, as you can see by this photo taken a couple of days ago:
These roses are part of the “Explorer Series” of climbing roses developed in Canada, I think.
Apparently, Henry Kelsey was a famous individual who explored Canada, I don’t know the whole story.
The flowers are semi-double, deep red with yellow centers. They have a little fragrance, but not much.
They are described as “continuous bloomers” in some catalogs. Ours, however, after this first flush of blossoms, re-blooms very little…just a blossom here and there.
They also are resistant to powdery mildew and seem to be able to handle light infections of black spot (a fungus that infects rose leaves). I hardly ever spray these roses for fungus… once, maybe twice a season.
The catalogs describe them as growing to 6′ wide and 10′ feet high. The width sounds about right, but I measured ours and they were over 14′ tall and drooping at the top.
I used to wrap these roses for winter protection, but since they have gotten so large, I just let the fend for themselves for the winter. Henry Kelseys are plenty hardy, they can be planted as far north as zone 4.
This variety of rose doesn’t like a lot of pruning, so I tend to just let it go. I plan on doing a little pruning later on this fall or spring to stimulate some new growth which will help fill in the lower portion of the arbor.
We always de-head the roses after flowering, let me tell you that is a BIG job! We have to snip off each flower before it starts to form “hips” (small berry-like fruit). That is no easy task with the canes 14′ high and 50′ + feet of arbor! (the thorns are pretty picky too) Some folks will leave the hips on for the birds to eat. A lot of energy is expended by the plant in making all those hips, energy that may be used to produce more canes and flowers for next time.
I started these from tiny cuttings, not too much bigger than a pencil with a little bit of root on the end. Of course, I could have simply went to the nursery and bought them already growing in gallon pots. That would have saved me a season’s worth of growing, but we had such a large space to fill and we saved a few bucks doing it that way. It was a whole lot of fun for me too! 🙂
This excessive heat we have been having will hurry the blossoming along, it won’t be long until the roses are gone until next year.