Great Plants this Month Summer

Rosa ‘Dortmund’ AGM

pic of louise sims
Louise Sims

I make no apology for choosing a rose this week, we are in June after all, and this amazing climber is such a winner, I just couldn’t ignore it. 

Many years ago, we first saw ‘Dortmund’ growing on a wall of ‘The Garden House’ in Devon and as I remember it was the only rose on sale in the nursery at the time. This, in itself, was a recommendation and it immediately went into the trolley!

The foliage of this vigorous rose is glossy and dark green, it always looks healthy: no nasty black spot, no mildew and no aphids! The abundant clusters of single, pillar-box red flowers have white centres with yellow anthers and when they are lit from behind by the sun, they appear almost luminous.

After its first long burst of colour, it needs to be deadheaded; but unlike some so-called repeat flowerers, ‘Dortmund’ really does pack a punch second time round, and it flowers well into October most years. Ultimate height is about three metres, it’s a very compliant rose and easy to prune, and also unusually tolerant of some shade. It doesn’t have much fragrance, but then you can’t have everything!

Rosa ‘Dortmund’ was bred by Kordes, a German family of rose breeders, and was introduced into the UK in 1955: worth noting that they also bred the famous ‘Iceberg’ rose.

NB Louise has published a beautifully produced book of her plant profiles – A Plant for Each Week of the Year. It costs £9.99 and is for sale in our online shop here.

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By the3growbags

We're three sisters who love gardening, plants and even the science of horticulture but we're not all experts. We'd love everyone even remotely interested in their gardens to be part of our blogsite.

2 replies on “Rosa ‘Dortmund’ AGM”

My peonies have had big buds which have turned black and not opened is this die to cold wet spring or is it disease

Hi Alison, you’re not the only one – some of mine did exactly the same this year. The answer is a bit of both! I’m pretty sure that Botrytis is the cause, which is a fungus that thrives in a wet spring, and we’ve definitely had one of those. The accepted way to deal with it is to take off all affected buds and leaves and dispose of them by burning or burying them deeply. Try to remember to sanitise your secateurs with a 10 per cent solution of household bleach between plants to avoid spreading the disease further, and mulch your peonies in the autumn to lessen the chance of it overwintering and causing problems next year. Good luck, and let’s hope for kinder weather next spring. All the best, Elaine

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