Rambling roses provide the fireworks of the rose world. Their flowering season maybe for only 3 weeks per year but within those weeks, they don’t stop flowering. Within the large branches of flowers, there’s always buds opening, pushing out the finished flowers and underneath in all, are the buds waiting for the others to finish, so they can have their turn to show off to the world
They are also the true climbers of the Rose world and they really live up to their name and really ramble everywhere.
To find 10 of my best isn’t easy but I hope you enjoy them
Let’s start with a brute of a rose, Paul’s Himalayan Musk. This rose with grow to over 40ft if left but will make a 15ft plant if pruned annually. But the scent!
Goldfinch may lack in a strong scent but it’s a more manageable rambling rose. It is a Rosa multiflora hybrid, so the stems are almost thornless. One of the best for a smaller garden
Rosa Adélaide d’Orléans is the queen of all ramblers. The dark green foliage is semi evergreen and borne on semi lax growth that makes it ideal to wrap around features, arches or on walls. Not highly scented and left on its own, will grow to over 60ft but pruned annually can be trained into a 6ft space. Very easy to grow
Rosa ‘American Pillar’ is a classic rose that reaches about 20ft if left alone, pruned it can be kept down to around 10ft. It sadly has no real scent but neverless is well worth growing for the flowers alone
Rosa ‘Alberic Barbier’ is one special rambler. It is at home as a ground cover rose, rambling up a tree or indeed in a shady wall. It also repeat flowers a bit right until the autumn months. The dark green foliage is also semi evergreen, keeping it foliage for all but the hardest of winters. The soft yellow flowers are sweetly scented and to some smell of green apples
Rosa ‘Lykkefund’ is one of the most stunningly scented of all ramblers. The name means lucky find and it certainly was. Left alone it makes a plant to about 20ft tall but pruned and trained it’s can be kept down to 6ft plus if required. It’s arching growth makes it idea for growing though a tree while the almost thornless stems makes it gardener friendly. If you have room for 1 rambling rose, this would be my choice
Rosa ‘Sanders White Rambler’ is one of the latest flowering of all the ramblers. It’s fragrant white flowers with glossy green foliage, makes it ideal for a back drop to a border. It will grow to about 18ft but trained it can be much smaller like in the photo. It can be grown as a groundcover rose or even up a tree.
Rosa ‘Russeliana’ is more commonly known as Russell’s cottage rose. The flowers are wonderfully scented and cover the whole plant at mid summer. These are set off by the dark green foliage. It will make a plant up to 18ft tall if left I pruned and it’s habit makes it ideal for going up trees or over buildings.
Rosa ‘Ghislaine de Feligonde’ is a child from ‘Goldfinch’ but it does repeat flower during the summer months. The deep green foliage is pretty healthy, coupled with it’s almost thornless stems and short growth, makes it ideal for growing up obelisks, pillars and around seating areas.
Rosa ‘Bleu Magenta’ has the richest colour of all ramblers and what it lacks in scent it makes up in colour. This 20ft rambler is again one of the last of the ramblers to flower. It’s thick stems are difficult to wrap around any features but they are ideal to spread out over a wall.
Well that’s the end of the 10 rambling roses. Of course growing them well is the key to getting the best from them and I have written a few older blogs on pruning roses which would be well worth taking a look at
Pruning once flowering rambling roses
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There is a small isolated grove of redwoods in Santa Cruz that support a large thicket of rambling rose with pale pink bloom. What is so amazing is that the lowest limbs that support the thicket are about thirty feet up! The rose grew up along with the tree, and managed to stay up there while lower limbs were shed. It is impressive, but so high up that there is no point to it. The pink of the bloom is visible, but individual flowers do not look like much from that distance.