Saturday, 24 July 2010

Rambling Roses

Our roses are now at the height of their glory and what a glorious time this is. The ramblers are the focus of this blog today and we're so lucky that we have lots of space so that we have been able to plant some gigantic rambling roses and then left them to do their thing. John has had to replace the side fence once a couple of years ago as the weight of the roses pulled down the original fence but this one is very sturdy and will hopefully support them for years to come.

The first ramblers we planted were bare-rooted and bought from Peter Beale. At the same time I also bought his Classic Roses book and carefully noted down when and where the roses we acquired were planted. Over time we also bought ones without names (from gardens we visited as well as unnamed roses in sales that had lost their label) as well as carefully selected ones, duely researched in the Classic Roses book before buying.
The very first we bought were Paul's Himalayan Musk (as seen as the top of this blog) and Rambling Rector (above). One was meant to go to the right along the fence and the other to the left but in fact they both went both ways so form an interesting intermingled view. They were planted in 1998 and have flowered reliably every year since.

At the same time we also planted Kiftsgate. Monty Don, the TV gardener, mentions that this rose can " reach a truly enormous size" and Peter Beale in his book recommends it as a great rambler to scramble in trees. Thus encouraged we planted this one, also in 1998, next to an ash tree by the gate hoping that Kiftsgate would eventually go into the adjoining ash tree. And I have to give it its due, it did ramble away merrily, conquering one ash tree and then the other. But the one thing it never did was produce any roses. Many a time I have had to throw myself in front of it to protect it from John's strimmer, as he could not understand why I wanted to put up with a non-flowering rose. But this year it finally proved me right and produced lovely little white roses for the first time ever!! Again according to Monty Don this "has been a wonderful year for roses" due to the cold winter weather destroying pests and diseases so that might have been the reason for Kiftgate's sudden blooming but whatever it was it will hopefully mean it now has the bit between its teeth and will keep on producing roses in the future. I'm not sure I want to wait 12 years again for the next time!

Last year we also acquired Veilchenblau (or blue veil in English). What a romantic name (that was the first attraction for me) and in a very unusual colour for a rose, a sort of blue - violet. Again this is a very vigorous rambler and has already started its merry way up the pergola as you can see. Sadly the Gardenia rose that was already well established on the other side of the pergola, was damaged badly during the snow this winter and although it has done its best and come up with a few roses we will have to wait till next year before that is back in full glory.

A bit of a rambling tale, this blogpost but I wanted to share my immense pleasure about the beauty of these roses.

3 comments:

The Quilted Librarian said...

You're roses are incredibly beautiful, Frieda. Thank you so much for sharing pictures. It's good to know that all that snow brought such loveliness to the summer.
Dana

Lenna Young Andrews said...

I liked your rambling tale, Frieda. It is amazing how many roses you have on your property and your immense knowledge of them! They are beautiful and I like the stories behind them...

ColourFly said...

Oh your rambling roses are wonderful.
We have 4 very old big trees in our garden. Next to three we also planted rambler roses (next to the fourth we will do it next year). they are much smaller then yours. But I hope until a few years they will do the same "job".
Love your roses!

Grretings from Germany,
Sabine

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