‘Golden Wings’ is a modern shrub rose by name only – unless you consider me a young man! It was introduced in 1956 so although not as ancient as some shrub roses which delight us with romantic French names it is not really that modern. It is American and was bred by Roy Shepherd who produced it using the very tough Rosa pimpinellifolia (R. spinosissima) as one of the parents. The result is a large (1-5-2m) rose with showy, single blooms that open bright yellow and fade to primrose. The flowers are elegant but showy and are sweetly scented. It produces small clusters of about 5 blooms at the ends of the shoots and it keeps on blooming all summer but also produces showy, large, orange hips. Deadheading will prolong the season of flowers but I am not sure if I will get round to deadheading all the flowers from this first flush. The leaves are rather dull green and not glossy or exciting but anything more special would take away from the beauty of the flowers. So far it has not shown much sign of disease.
I gave it a pretty hard prune this spring to try to make strong basal stems but I will prune it less severely this winter so it can bush up more and look more of a hedge next year. Even so it is starting to knot together well in its second year and the mass of blooms is spectacular. Because the flowers are held in small clusters and they are single it has not been as affected by the recent wind and rain that has bowed the heads of other roses.
It is a beautiful rose that should be planted more and would look good in a general shrub border.
Geoff’s rating 7/10
Garden rating 8/10