Aimée on my mind
Surely the best way to get a reluctant plant to finally start growing is to plant it in a too-small spot. This stems (eeewww, pun!) from the related Gardener's Principle that when you set a shovel by a plant in preparation for digging the plant up and throwing it out, the plant suddenly feels the shadow of the shovel and immediately starts blooming like mad and looking gorgeous.
Thus, my strategy for Rosa 'Aimée Vibert', a beautiful and beautifully fragrant white Noisette, introduced into commerce in France, circa 1828. It was a gift. I had it in a pot for a while to grow roots, then in the ground, where it did nothing, then in another spot, where just as it started to thrive, it was promptly mown down by rabbits, who insultingly bit off all the stems but left them scattered, uneaten, around the mutilated plant. Whereupon 'Aimée Vibert' (and I) began to sulk. Rabbits know exactly how to rouse my inner Elmer Fudd.
A week or so ago, I moved 'Aimée Vibert', still brutally gnawed, still sulking, to a tiny 12" square (30 cm) spot adjacent to a path. A path is a constant opportunity to reach out and claw me: what better temptation for a rose? It's a spot with ridiculously rich, consistantly moist "chocolate-cake" soil, where I'm hoping Aimée will finally quit sulking and and become the huge Noisette shrub or climber it was intended to be. Then I'll have to move it again (quickly!), but that's fine. Just grow already, would ya?!?