Despite the terrible wind and rain I happened to see what I thought was a stray sock on the trellis the other day - I decided to investigate... and to my joy I found my first rose!
Poor thing, how it has survived the vicious winds and driving rain I don't know, but guess what -- everywhere I looked was covered in rose buds just waiting for some warmer weather to unfurl. This is this climbers 2nd season and has hardly flowered despite weekly feeding and loving. Looks like my nurturing has paid off.
Only one thing though,
I have to enjoy it from the house through rain spattered windows..such is life!