I have been keeping things from you.
Last year I planted a small Wisteria frutescens to climb up the sturdy main canes of the Iceberg. This was ahead of the Martha Stewart shoot, and I was worried that the canes would look all...bare. As it turned out there was no need for camouflage, but I now I have this wisteria. Though far less rampant than Wisteria chinensis, wisteria is till wisteria and not the best choice for a container. The vines grow fast, grow deep, and generally tear down whatever they're growing on unless pruned very smartly. This one has already twined all the way to the top of the rose. So I can either turn it into a dinky standard, or rethink. A clematis would have been a better choice. I may still find the right type - Pruning Group 3 is what I am looking for, the kind of clematis that you mow down to the ground at the end of winter as it blooms on new growth only.
Which brings me to...:
Bee's Jubilee! Growing up the lower canes of the New Dawn. The New Dawn really is in trouble. The Iceberg on the other side is not. That rose is very healthy. But now I have this bright clematis and an indestructible autumn clematis climbing up the unhappy New Dawn. Should I just grit my teeth and take the whole lot out? Bee's Jubilee is in its own pot. But in the big rose pot are two giant lilies, now three feet tall, and the autumn clematis. I am torn. And there are rose buds. Not half as many as in previous years, but they're there. Wait for bloom, and then replace with...another rose? Or see how it goes. It will be a huge performance.
Also, this clematis belongs to pruning Group 2, which means that it blooms on last season's growth. But it is supposed to rebloom on new growth. Does that mean I should not prune it after this first flush? I prune the Etoile Violette (Group 3) lightly after the first flush and it sprouts more and blooms more.
That's the Iceberg in flower, above. At night with the door open, I smell roses.
And pansies. One forgets that they actually have a very good fragrance.
So far, this spring has been an interesting ride.