Cecile Brunner

This is the story of the rose that tried to eat my house.

According to Google Earth, this climbing rose has been trying to eat my house since at least March of 2008.

The rose in question... easily 15 feet tall and wide.  

My guess is that it has been trying for much longer, but this is the first photographic evidence.

When we gutted the house in December of 2010, my dear, sweet, hardworking husband pulled this rose out of the attic!  Yes, this rose had grown into the house and throughout the attic.  No joke, kids.  Obviously, we took this sucker almost down to the ground.  In August 2011 we were finally living in the house and I went out back again to cut it down because it was starting to creep up over the gutters!

Today I looked beyond the fence and there she was.  Brushed up against the soffit, just itching to make her way into the attic.  So out I went again.  About 20 minutes later, I had whacked it back down to a two foot tall stump when a flashy piece of metal caught my eye.  It was a little tag with the name "Cecile Brunner" stamped on it.  It was then I also noticed two little roses on the ground.  Now I'd seen these beauties in the photo above, but it wasn't until I smelled it that my whole attitude on this aggressive climber changed.  Holy cow!  It's just about the most beautiful smelling rose I've ever come across!  Honestly, the unbelievable perfume coming from this dainty flower (barely the size of a half dollar) is incredible.

My lovely Cecile Brunner in a vase... atop The Binder, of course.
I'll summarize the next twenty minutes by saying my husband was not exactly thrilled with my change of heart. :)

I'm not what you would call a rose girl.  My grandmother loved them, my mom is fairly indifferent, but me?  Not a chance.  As a landscaping element, I've always viewed them as high-maintenance and stuffy.  At this stage in my life, I have no time for high maintenance or stuffy, but when you smell something as beautiful as this rose, it makes you stop and think for a moment.  Could I do this?  Could I actually keep a rose?

To back things up a bit, our house sits toward the back of a pie-shaped property.  Therefore, we have no official "backyard."  Everything is in the front and around the sides.  It's our hope that this year we can fence the property line, but we'd like to keep this little bit of fence connecting the corner of the house to the property line (see first photo.)  It'd be for practical reasons, really.  The big red dog needs a place to go potty (we let him out the back door) and I'd like to keep it contained to the small side yard instead of picking up little "presents" all around our property.  However, it was in the plan to drop this portion of the fence down to three feet tall and have an arbor with a small gate.  The placement of the Cecile Brunner is actually perfect for training it along the fence and up over an arbor!

Sadly, the binder was no help.  I don't have a single picture of a climbing rose!  But I did find some goodies on the internet and Pinterest that have me thinking.  Also, check here (Mr. Martha), here (Rose Notes), and here (also Rose Notes)

Climbing up the perfect pergola (via)

Adorable print on Etsy featuring the rose in question.

So now the debate begins.  What do you think?  Is Cecile Brunner worth the effort for the unbelievable blooms and fragrance?  If you were me, what would you do?  Help!

xo, k

1 comment:

  1. Love this post! We have a CB climber also--and a Lady Banks climber. I also have a fuchsia plant that is currently growing under and through the bottom of my house--so I empathize with that kind of pain, too! :)

    My Cecile Brunner originated from a plant that my grandpa gave to my grandma about 65 years ago. Her wedding bouquet was CBs back in the 1940s, and he bought her a plant in memory of that. So, I am definitely keeping it. However, it is high maintenance. I recommend a REALLY strong fence or arbor (the mother of my plant took down an arbor, it was so heavy). I also recommend cutting it WAY back mid-winter. Otherwise, it can get crazy and enormous. But they are so worth it. You're right; the scent is incredible! So beautiful!