This is a rose that survived over a decade of neglect and is still going strong in my garden. It’s a climber, and can easily reach 6 to 7 feet. However, the stiff canes are difficult to train, and I prefer to grow mine as a freestanding shrub. It has excellent resistance to black spot.
One interesting thing about this rose is how variable the flowers are. In cooler, overcast conditions, the flowers have an old fashioned, slightly quartered form with apricot tones in the centers (see photo above). In hotter weather, the flowers have a rosette shape with a uniform, pink coloration (below).
This rose also sets many hips. Now the interesting thing about rose hips is that the catalogs often say that rose hips provide good food for wildlife in the winter, but I’d never witnessed any animals actually eating the hips. Then one day a few winters back, I noticed a piece of half-eaten fruit left on the bench in the garden. I wondered where it had come from, as I didn’t recognize that it was actually the flesh of a rose hip. A few days later, however, I watched in amazement from the window as a hungry squirrel climbed upon ‘James Galway’ and nabbed a rose hip. Then it climbed down to the bench and proceeded to munch on the fruit, leaving another mess. I found the culprit!
After that incident, I decided I would no longer deadhead the spent blooms on ‘James Galway.’ I prefer to allow the roses in the yard to set hips so that the wildlife can have an extra source of food in winter. Besides, the growing season on Long Island is just not long enough to get a reliable second flush of rose blooms in the autumn as they do in the south.
Last year, ‘James Galway’ bloomed from May 30 to June 22.