I am, by nature, a very tidy person. “Everything has a place. Everything in its place.” That’s my motto.

But tidy in the garden can be a little difficult to accomplish sometimes. Unlike some plants in my garden, my shoes don’t grow and grow until they are tumbling out of the closet. My books stay tidily on the bookshelves rather than growing little booklet vines up the family room wall. And the items in my kitchen cupboards have yet to send out tendrils that scratch at passers-by.

But out in the great outdoors nature has a way of getting away from me from time to time. Take my New Dawn roses.

Lovely, aren’t they?

The New Dawn roses have much to recommend them. They bloom magnificently in May, sending a heady fragrance wafting over the yard. They continue to bloom—although not as vigorously as in May—throughout the summer and through the first frost. They have the healthy vigor and constitution of a sun-kissed peasant.

Oh, that my clematis would be so blessed! What I wouldn’t give for my tomatoes to have a bit of the New Dawn heartiness genes!

But all is not perfect with the New Dawn roses. I have written about them before. Yes, on more than one occasion I have had to take drastic measures to rein them back in.

But look what has happened now!

I barely turned around and they’re crawling across the driveway.

They have created twin mountains on either side of the driveway!

In my defense, my husband added new 4″ x 4″ posts so that I could train them. But, with one thing and another that didn’t happen when it should. So now I am faced with a very untidy—if lovely smelling—mess.

I have had two landscapers and one garden designer tour the property and insist that “The New Dawns simply must go!”

Really? Just cut them down in their prime? That’s like shooting a bride!

Okay, I’ll admit that I placed them before I was truly acquainted with what the New Dawns are fully capable of. And their placement on a bit of a slope makes integrating them into a proper mixed border a challenge that the professionals have declined. (Remember: “Cut them down!”)

So, you see what I am doing this weekend. The roses have begun to drop their petals and the lovely mountains are beginning to reveal their tangled innards. I must do something about this untidy mess.

What do you think? Are they irredeemable? Or irreplaceable?


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


  • Amy says:

    Tidy, schmidy…they’re beautiful! I can only speak for myself, but I love a beautiful, excessive mess! Irreplaceable..

  • Brooke says:

    Keep them, they are obvoiusly happy. If the mounds continue to bother you, plant more things around them to soften the effect. Mulching around the entire area would benefit from mowing and weedeating to keep the grass down. I think they make a lovely entrance, you just need more interest.

  • Mary Ann says:

    As I said when I was there: Leave them alone. They are gorgeous. And don’t look inside the leafy mounds. They good thing about New Dawn? They will continue to bloom sporadically throughout the summer. Go with it. Prune them out of the driveway if you must. But why mess with a beautiful thing.

  • Gail says:

    I don’t know anything about rose pruning or taming, but these New Dawns are beauties. You could grow clematis on them and the contrasting color might be lovely.

  • Jean says:

    Maybe you should just whack them back a bit. Other than the driveway they look like they’ve got the room they love. It would be hard to replace that fragrance.

  • Embrace the sprawl. As is evident from my garden, I love having things tumbling into paths, softening the bed edges. As long as you can still drive down the driveway, they’re fine. You wouldn’t want people to think that you were too perfect.

  • A beautiful cottagy look. If you want a manicured garden, go for topiary

  • karlin says:

    They are begging for something to climb on. Wait until fall/winter, cut them back and move them to a structure they can climb on.

  • Diana/Sharingnaturesgarden says:

    I have a really hard time imposing tough love in the garden. Maybe something tall and linear between or behind them and something small & compact in front of them to give them scale & relevance. They really are stunning- I sure wouldn’t be able to part with them. Good luck!

  • Sue says:

    I ADORE New Dawn! In total agreement with Karlin, they desperately need something to climb on, they are after all a climbing rose. Create a large arbor that is very solid and in the fall, give them a good tidying up. Don’t be afraid to trim drastically but do pay attention to where and how. Train them to go up the arbor and retrim in the spring before new buds form. I have several climbing roses and they are by far the most difficult to keep under control but I wouldn’t trade them for anything.

  • Erynne says:

    I would leave them be and maybe give them an L -shaped picket fence of their own to lean on and contain them a bit. Such pretty roses!

  • Jessica says:

    I would definitely keep them! How could you pull out such beautiful roses, but along with everyone else I agree they need something to climb. I can’t tell how far apart they are, but an arbor that connects the two and a bench underneath would just be amazing!

  • Layanee says:

    Perhaps the re-training should begin with you. Just kidding. You are perfect the way you are but where you see ‘untidy’ I see irrepressible beauty. Isn’t that a field behind them? Keep them in bounds in a more structured garden but, in front of a field they should ramble. Or, that is my view and vote.

  • Gaz says:

    Personally I think they are lovely and would keep them, regardless of whatthe designers think!

  • Linda says:

    Mother nature is speaking here. And nothing is more beautiful than her. Keep the roses.

  • If you prune, what ever you do, don’t prune until spring in order to prevent total winter die back. If these plants are growing as vigorously as they seem to be, I would have to say they would be tolerant to heavy pruning during early season to manage them in a smaller form.
    Obviously they are of a high maintenance nature, which indicates to me that they tolerate heavy pruning, so periodic pruning is in order to keep them at bay. Smaller is quite nice if you are diligent enough to stay on top of them.Feed them only in springtime.And fill your home with lovely bouquets all season as long as the blooms last.

  • Sam Pepi says:

    Those are beautiful! And of course beautiful photography! 🙂 I would love to have roses like that!

  • Beth P says:

    I am a novice at roses but blooms through to the first frost sells me on these beauties. I agree they need to be neatened up a smidge so giving them something to climb on for next season might help. Also, putting something lower growing around the base circumference and perhaps something taller behind them as someone else has suggested will give them that balanced look we orderly types try to maintain? Good luck and keep us posted. Now I am going to look if these beauties are hardy for my area and check for availability… see what you’ve done?! LOL!

  • DG says:

    I would keep them, so many people would love to have them, simply stunning!