The Rural New-Yorker, 66(2988): 380 (May 4, 1907)
Mme. Norbert Levavasseur
Dr. W. Van Fleet

BABY RAMBLER IN A PAIL.— Few new roses have received such persistent booming as the dwarf or "Baby" Rambler, Mme. Norbert Levavasseur, since its introduction in this country three or four years ago. The sales last Spring as reported by most nurseries and rose-growing establishments were larger than of almost any other variety. It cannot be said, however, to have given very general satisfaction—not that it lacks merit, but rather that customers were induced to form exaggerated opinions of its qualities. Few will now agree that it is "the only rose worth growing" or that it is the "only rose that can honestly be called an everblooming rose, or a pot rose." While a free grower and almost continual bloomer when given rich soil and constant care it will check up like all others when starved or pot-bound. The color is to many persons, quite unpleasing, and though a fair crimson when the blooms develop in cool weather, is seldom agreeable during the heat of Summer. It is hardy, and with allowance for these not uncommon shortcomings, is useful for bedding and for early greenhouse decoration. While a continuous bloomer when growing, like hundreds of other varieties containing Tea rose or Polyantha blood, if a special show of flowers is wanted it is quite necessary that the plants should be well rested—in other words ripen their wood and become dormant. Fig. 174, page 375, is a portrait of a three-year plant grown from a cutting, and brought into bloom in February in the Rural Grounds glasshouse. It will be noted that it is growing in a metal pail instead of the usual clay pot, as by this means the plant can be exposed to frost severe enough to freeze the soil without danger of breaking the container. This plant was grown in successive sizes of pots, starting with the usual deep 2 1/2-inch rose-cutting pot, until the seven-inch size was reached, and then transferred to an old 10-quart zinc pail, the bottom of which had been liberally punched with drainage holes. An inch or two of old bones and cinders were placed in the bottom to prevent clogging and the potting soil, composed of equal parts of rotted sod, burned earth and fine manure, with a dash of bone meal, firmly packed about the ball, after the latter had been slightly crushed to free the matted root-ends. After becoming established the pail was placed outside on a bed of coarse cinders and given good growing moisture all Summer. During Autumn as growth lessened the supply of water was decreased until the ordinary rainfall met the requirements of the ripening canes and diminishing, foliage. The dormant plant remained outside until sharp freezing in December, when it was stored in a small, unheated grape house, needing only water once or twice during mild weather, until brought into the greenhouse in January. The branches were cut back to six-inch stubs, the weak ones being removed entirely. The flowering growths shown in the illustration were all made within six weeks after growth was started, and the blooms were larger and of better color than any we have seen on grafted plants or bedded plants dug up in the Fall and forced by florists. They were considerably more numerous than shown in the picture, as many had been cut out to furnish pollen for breeding experiments with other varieties before the photograph was taken.

NO EVER-BLOOMING PROGENY. The illustrated plant has not grown up to its full pot capacity, and will likely make a better appearance a season or two later. We find method of growing fairly hardy roses, such as finer Hybrid Teas, in wooden boxes or metal pails so that they may moderately freeze when dormant, better than earthern pot culture where large specimens are desired. We have a glorious Gruss an Teplitz eight years established in a strong, well-drained box of nearly a cubic foot capacity, that has a trunk nearly two inches through at the base and throws canes seven feet high heavily loaded with blooms, though annually cut back to within a foot of the soil. This plant is also wintered in the grapery, but any light, cool shelter would do as well. A number of cross-bred seedlings, grown from Baby Rambler, are disappointing in that none turns out to be constant-blooming, though largely pollenized with ever-blooming kinds. All came near to the Crimson Rambler type, regardless of the habit of the pollen parent, and will probably develop into tall-climbing annual bloomers. When pollen of Baby Rambler, which has the continuous flowering Gloire des Polyanthes as one parent, is used on the stigmas of annual-blooming Ramblers of Wichuraiana hybrids, very dwarf ever-blooming plants result in large proportion, and something may perhaps be done to develop a useful group, of which Baby Rambler will likely remain the type.