I am looking for a good thornless rose
Pam Davies, by email
ANNE SAYS My favourites seem to be tall or climbing, so I hope you have space. The first that springs to mind is bourbon rose ‘Zéphirine Drouhin’, a repeat-flowering climber bearing sweetly fragrant, semi-double pink blooms. Unfortunately, she succumbs to mildew. This is always worse when plants are water-stressed and, apparently, siting this rose against a northfacing wall will help. ‘Madame Plantier’ is rather like a smaller-flowered, thornless version of ‘Madame Hardy’. Plants reach 1.2m, flower only once in summer and bear clusters of strongly scented, creamy-white flowers. The tall shrub or climbing English rose ‘The Generous Gardener’ is on my shopping list mainly for the sumptuous, fragrant, soft pink blooms but its smooth stems are a bonus. Always handle roses with care, as even those meant to be thornless might have the odd prickle.
Rosa ‘Zéphirine Drouhin’ produces sweetly scented pink blooms