Column: The Garden Girl – Lady Bank Roses in Claycord

March 30, 2014 14:19 pm · 12 comments


While driving along South Larwin in Concord this week I was welcomed with feast for my eyes. Piles of arching, dramatic branches of tiny roses were rambling and tangling their way along the base of a native hillside (it may have been the backside of Memorial Hill).

The scene was so fabulous that I parked in one of the adjacent courts to get a closer look. As soon as I stepped out of the work-truck a wall of sweet rose fragrance greeted me. It was a moment that any flower lover would appreciate.

The piles that I was admiring were from Lady Banks Roses. The Lady Banks roses were displaying masses of tiny yellow and white roses sprawling, piling and stretching over many yards. The arching branches layered over each other giving the rose mounds serious height. This awesome scene was achieved using a vine that many only consider planting along fences and over arbors. Today it was used as a groundcover and the results were amazing.

Lady Banks Roses surge bloom for a handful of weeks in the early spring. The show they provide is thrilling. Lady Banks roses aren’t picky about the condition of their soil, and they need very little water once established to thrive. Lady Banks roses are evergreen and thorn-less, making them fearless garden installations. They also seldom suffer from aphids.

Alba is the white Lady Banks rose and Lutea is the yellow. Most customers gravitate towards the yellow flowering Lady Banks. The white Alba however is fabulous, and well admired during the twilight.

Lady Banks roses can mature to 30’ of length. Folks should consider this when installing.

A companion installation to pair with a Lady Banks rose is a Cecile Brunner Climbing rose. This selection flowers from mid-spring through early summer. Cecile Brunner has small, pink flower. The Cecile Brunner has thorns and will loose its leaves during the winter months.

Happy Gardening.

Nicole Hackett is the Garden Girl at R&M Pool, Patio and Gardens, located at 6780 Marsh Creek Road in Clayton, 925-672-0207.

Nicole writes for the Clayton Pioneer Newspaper, and She is also the Clayton Valley Garden Club 2012 President.

1 Silva March 30, 2014 at 3:10 PM

Thanks Garden Girl! I’m going to see if I can spot that from “The Big Boy Hill” as my grandson calls it! Looks like a feast for the eyes!

2 Triple Canopy March 30, 2014 at 3:42 PM

Just looking at all those flowers makes me want to sneeze…!

3 Rose Garden March 30, 2014 at 3:45 PM

Gorgeous! I love roses!

4 Dorothy March 30, 2014 at 5:32 PM

Picture is so lovely I can almost smell the roses from here.

5 Shasta Daisy March 30, 2014 at 7:11 PM

I’m looking at them right now, the yellow roses, in my own back yard.
They cover a fence on my side yard.
Seldom water it and never any aphids.
Beautiful addition to my garden.

I’d love to add Cecile Brunner.

6 Antler March 30, 2014 at 7:24 PM

And is my memory correct that the Lady Banks does not have thorns?

( What a question! See lazy me, resolved to serve her fellow gardeners, crawling through a haze of martyrdom over to the Google bookcase and dragging down a heavy reference book.)

But first a cup of Peet’s coffee……

7 Antler March 30, 2014 at 7:29 PM

Several sources say that the YELLOW Lady Banks is the one with no thorns. But one source modified that by saying that the yellow form “generally” has no thorns.

8 Sunnymoon March 30, 2014 at 10:17 PM

So that’s what they are! I have one in my backyard and I always look forward to the bloom. They smell so good. The bloom does not last very long. Maybe 3 weeks. But it’s true, the plant is super resilient. I never water it, and it does well despite my neglect.

9 jtkatec March 31, 2014 at 8:50 AM

Nicole, are these roses also classifed as “rambler roses”?

10 Garden Girl March 31, 2014 at 11:38 AM

Yes Jtkatec, they are.

11 Silva March 31, 2014 at 12:15 PM

Are they called Lady Banks because there are banks and banks of them? Seeing this spectacle. Makes me want to smell them.

12 Silva March 31, 2014 at 1:48 PM

Darned autocorrect. I didn’t turn it on, so I don’t know how to turn it off!

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