The Cottage Smallholder

stumbling self sufficiency in a small space

Every year I fall in love with Rosa banksiae ‘Lutea’ again

Photo: Rosa Banksiae and front door

Photo: Rosa Banksiae and front door

We only grow old roses in our garden. As we have loads of space we can afford to do this rather than plant repeat flowering roses. Some of the old ones do repeat their flowers throughout the summer but even with these the first flush is always the best.

The newer varieties of roses are bred to flower on and off all summer. If you have a small garden these can be a joy but they rarely bowl you over or are stunning at any point in the year. They are bred for repeat floweng and that’s what you get.

The old roses that flower just once a year are amazing if you have the space. The flowering period is cherished as it is a diva led premier opera rather than a talented school choir. If you want to immerse yourself in roses, plant the old ones and you will celebrate their intense flowering period with joy.

Rosa banksiae ‘Lutea’ needs to be cut very hard back straight after flowering and then leave well alone as it flowers on last years new wood. If you tidy it up in the autumn you will spoil the show in late spring. If you have a warm south or southwest facing wall plant this rose, you will not be disappointed.

This superb rose flowers through May in the UK. It scrambles around our front sitting room window and has travelled over the front door to combine with the winter flowering honeysuckle just outside the kitchen window. As it flowers for just one month, I bask in the buds and blossom.

When I leave the cottage in the morning, the old rose is so beautiful that it often beckons me back. On my return home in the evening the rose is totally seductive. It’s hard to tear myself away from the frothy flowers and bees. Quite often I just stand and gaze.

Photo: Rosa Banksiae Lutea

Photo: Rosa Banksiae Lutea

  Leave a reply


  1. Fiona Nevile

    Hi Michelle

    Thanks for pointing me in the direction of the Tombstone tree – I’d forgotten all about it. It’s a wonder!

  2. michelle sheets

    Hi Fiona,
    I was searching online tonight to see if I could find your rose in the U.S. and found this site,

    One of the Rosa Banksiae is the worlds biggest rose tree, and it lives in Tombstone, Arizona.

  3. Fiona Nevile

    Hello Michelle

    Roses in a front garden/yard – what could be more perfect? Grow this rose if you can find it in the US. The leaves stay green all winter and we love the show in late spring.

    Hi Mary,

    How wonderful to let this rose really go on a warm wall. This rose circles a window on the front of the cottage so has to be reined back after flowering or we’d have permanent blinds!

    Hello Pete

    I’m so flattered that you visited to salve a nasty experience.

    Thanks so much for leaving a comment

  4. Having just had one of the worst phone interviews ever with one of the most obnoxious people I’ve ever spoken to, I came here to read my daily dose of The Cottage Smallerholder. Reading this has managed to calm me down and cheer me up a bit.

    Many thanks for writing this blog – one day me and my girlfriend hope to do the same.

  5. I so agree! We have an old one on a wall. It’s breathtaking. I must say I never prune it back though so it just rambles where it may.

  6. michelle sheets

    (Insert sudden intake of breath and envious sigh here.)
    How lovely Fiona!
    I’m on the second year of a grand experement involving relocating my Mom’s old rose garden to the front yard, and I had a wonderful first year bloom, even thought I admit I had no clue what I was doing. I’m hoping this year will be even better, but I am going to have to go on the hunt for your beauty and add it to my show.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

HTML tags are not allowed.

2,241,093 Spambots Blocked by Simple Comments

Copyright © 2006-2023 Cottage Smallholder      Our Privacy Policy      Advertise on Cottage Smallholder