Proc. and Bull. American Rose Society pp. 59-65 (1907)
Climbing and Trailing Roses

The popularity of climbing and trailing roses is increasing yearly as their valuable qualities for garden decoration become known. It was in the year 1893 that Wichuraiana was first introduced into the United States. Shortly after the Crimson Rambler was also brought to this country. The Wichuraiana and Crimson Rambler are the two parent plants from the many varieties of rambling and trailing roses and these may properly be called Wichuraiana and multiflora hybrids, a new race of hardy garden roses.

Their vigor and constitution make them desirable, as they prove hardy in the coldest localities. The freedom of growth, fine foliage, and easy culture place them within reach of the amateur as well as the professional gardener. They adapt themselves to the varied conditions of soil and climate; of course, the better the soil and more attention received, the finer will be the growth and profusion of flowers. They grow in light, sandy soil, with less attention than most any other roses.

Variety of Treatment.

The various ways in which these plants may be grown as decorative plants in the garden are several: They may be trained in pyramid form on posts set in the ground about eight and oneā€‘half feet high, or in bush form. They can be grown as windbreaks on a trellis. They also make fine specimens when grown as standards about four feet high. They are being used largely at the present time for pergolas and archways and, when necessary, may be grown as ground roses trailing on the surface. They are admirably suited for covering rocks and stumps of trees.

When used for pergolas, the posts should be set about ten feet apart and eight and one-half feet high. For quick effect three plants to the post will reach the top and partly cover over the first year. Two plants usually are sufficient unless immediate effect is desired.

Effect of New Race.

In 1903 there were few climbing roses which proved satisfactory, Queen of the Prairie and Baltimore Belle being the two varieties mostly called for. While these made rapid growth and gave fine effect they were subject to the attacks of insects and, unless sharply looked after, shed their foliage and became an eyesore. The hybrid Wichuraiana and multiflora are more desirable, being less liable to the attacks of insects, and they produce hundreds of blooms more to the plant than the old varieties of climbing roses.

The effect in the hardy rose garden produced by this new race of roses is marvelous and bewildering, almost beautiful beyond description where fine specimens may be seen in the various colors, single and double flowers. This effect could not be attained until the advent of these roses. They are ornamental when out of flower, as the foliage is distinct and shiny in many of the varieties, some having the appearance of being varnished, as it were. Another most valuable consideration is the second crop of blooms produced by a few of the varieties, in September, continuing until the frost sets in.

To Obtain Best Results.

To obtain the best results when planting Ramblers it is well to dig the hole two and one-half feet deep and about three feet wide, enriching the soil with decomposed barnyard manure. Plants five feet long, set out, produce flowers the first season. The young shoots should be tied occasionally as growth requires; this keeps the wind from swaying them about.

Spray of New Rambler Rose "Delight"
Copyright, 1907, by M. H. Walsh. Published by permission
Rose Crimson Rambler,
grown for Easter


Where insects attack these roses a slight dusting of hellebore is usually sufficient to stop their ravages. It is easily applied and no injurious results follow from its use, as is often the case when tobacco water or whale-oil solution is used, as many amateurs have found out to their sorrow.


The earliest variety to bloom is Wedding Bells, semi-double, pink and white flowers; this is a seedling from Crimson Rambler. Next to flower is Debutante, soft pink and double; the flowers are borne in large panicles. Sweetheart comes next. Carissima then follows. Dorothy Perkins, a beautiful, soft pink, flowers about July 1, as do Wichuraiana, Crimson Rambler, and Lady Gay. Then follow La Fiamma, single red; Hiawatha, bright crimson, base of petals white; Minnehaha, large, double, dark rose color; Paradise, single and a most vigorous grower, well adapted for parks and driveways and trellis work. Coquina is a delightful shade of porcelain pink with the base of the petals yellow, flowers from one inch and a quarter to an inch and a half in diameter. Delight is considered by some to be one of the best of recent introductions. Its color is crimson with base of petals white and has dark, shiny foliage.

Jackson Dawson raised valuable and most desirable varieties, such as The Dawson, W. C. Egan, Farquhar and others. W. A. Manda, of South Orange, New Jersey, has furnished such grand varieties as Manda's Triumph and Favorite; and others have added many valuable ones to the list. So we have a good list of varieties in wide range of color, it is a matter of choice as to color. In planting, however, varieties should be selected which harmonize and not clash with each other, for at this time the effect from an artistic point of view adds much to the beauty of the garden.


A few varieties bloom quite freely in September by pruning. Cut back the shoots which have flowered in the early Summer to within two inches of the main shoot and shorten the long shoots a few inches. Hiawatha, Debuntante and Delight treated in this way will produce a nice lot of blooms.

When the shoots are too crowded, cut out the old ones, leaving shoots of the previous season's growth to produce the blooms. The number can best be determined by the space it is desired to cover and the vigor of the variety.

This class of roses, owing to the hardiness and their adapting themselves to varying conditions of soil and climate, commend themselves to the consideration of the amateur.

New and meritorious varieties in white, porcelain pink and yellow are expected and will shortly be ready for distribution. It is possible we may see perpetual blooming Ramblers as free as the hybrid tea or monthly rose. Then, indeed, we shall have realized our highest expectations. The American raised hybrids give great satisfaction in Europe and the Continent and are marvels of beauty when in bloom, almost baffling description.

A motion was made by Mr. O'Mara, and carried, to extend to Mr. Walsh a vote of thanks for his paper.

Mr. Barry spoke as follows: I appreciate what Mr. Walsh has done and I hope he may continue in his efforts. Certainly, within the last few years, the improvements in the hardy climbing roses have been very remarkable. The Lewiston single variety we consider especially valuable. The Wichuraiana class is most remarkable. The Blush Rambler is the newest. The Queen Alexandra is one of the most prolific. Every one I have mentioned is a valuable addition to the lines of roses and should be added to the collection of every grower in this country.

Mr. Walsh was asked if the rose he had referred to in his paper was half hardy. He replied that it was not half hardy, but perfectly hardy in any part of the country; that was one of the most valuable considerations of the variety.

Mr. Hill: I want to bring out another thought in Mr. Barry's talk, and that is in regard to Rugosa hybrids. The proprietor of the Bon Marche in Paris has one of the finest rose gardens in the world—something like two thousand varieties. He has been experimenting with the Rugosa. The reason I mention this is to show that the spines can be bred out. There is a great absence of spines on this particular variety, showing that it would only be a matter of a few years at the most until the spine would be bred out of the Rugosa type. I would like to see someone undertake this particular line of work in this country. It would be an untold blessing if we could have an everblooming rose. I believe they will come. What is wanted is earnest, painstaking work.

Mr. Farenwald spoke on the necessity of using every effort to educate the people up to the point where they would take an interest in the rose and in the breeding of new varieties. He said that the Park Superintendents of the different States and cities should use their best efforts in this direction. A splendid object lesson on this point was the wonderful rose garden of Mr. Wirth at Hartford, Conn. No one could see that garden and go away without enthusiasm.

The President, Mr. Simpson, said that he had visited the rose garden at Hartford and had gone home with the determination to try to have a little rose garden, just for fun. He planted some roses that he had the previous year intended to exhibit at the Boston show. He succeeded in raising a fine lot of roses, as fine as those at Hartford. He cared for them during the Winter, just as Mr. Wirth had told him. The following Spring he simply raked off the straw and manure and spread the soil over the top. The people had never seen such growths. He believed if the florists who had made a few dollars, and could afford to do it, would have a little rose garden and invite the people in to see it when in bloom It would accomplish as much for the culture of the rose as could be achieved in any other way.

The President was asked what varieties he had planted, and he replied that he did not know their names; he had planted a number of tea roses and some Cardinals.

Mr. Barry suggested that the florists cover the walls of their greenhouses with these outdoor roses, and that they place the name of the variety in a conspicuous place so the people in the vicinity could have something to admire. It would make a very attractive feature.

Mr. Walsh said that they had already done that, using the Rambler rose, and they had to be kept in subjection by pruning, or they would obstruct the light.

Mr. Elliott said that if anyone succeeded in getting an everblooming rose they would be disappointed after they got it. He believed that it was the short time that the present rose was in bloom that kept up its attractive features.

Mr. W. A. Manda spoke of his experience in growing the Wichuraiana varieties; the main object was to obtain better foliage.

Visit Cape Cod Heritage Roses for more pictures and information.

Hatton: Walsh Ramblers (1943)