Gardeners Chronicle & New Horticulturist. 3rd series 29: 216 (April 6, 1901)

Climbing Roses
"Wild Rose"

STRICTLY speaking, I believe there is no such thing as a climbing Rose, if by climbing is meant the power of fixing itself to any support against which it may be placed, whether wall, or fence, or stake. We have many rampant-growing Roses which are called climbing Roses, whose claim to be such no one for a moment thinks of disputing, and, like most other Roses, the class has received many additions during the past half century; before that time they were comparatively few in number.

Probably one of the best known of those in existence before that time was Aimée Vibert (Vibert, 1828), which still finds favour with a great many, and is, I fear, too often put on one side to make place for newer but not better varieties. It is very free-flowering, very vigorous, and almost evergreen, of a pure white colour.

Then there was, of course, that glorious yellow Rose Cloth of Gold, of which a glowing description was given in one of your late numbers; but it was so rarely seen, and so difficult to establish in our cold and damp climate, that it has not been included even in the National Society's catalogue.

In those bygone days the Ayrshire Roses were in much request. They were very free flowering, and very vigorous; but I think they have been mostly pushed out of the way by modern introductions. In truth, the grower who wishes to have climbing Roses finds himself in a difficulty (of course I am speaking only of amateurs)—the difficulty of finding space for them. You may plant a few on the walls of your house or on a fence, but your space is soon exhausted, and you are obliged soon to give some of them up altogether, because of the rampant character of their growth. Thus, I had a plant of Rosa multiflora simplex on a wire trellis close to my house, and when it was in flower during the early part of the season it was really a beautiful sight; but it was so vigorous, and grew so rapidly, I had to give it up— and I remember seeing some enormous plants of it at my late friend's, Mr. T. W. Girdlestone, of Sunningdale, of which he was justly proud, one especially covered a large space, and was a mass of the purest white. Many of the so-called climbing Roses were of a distinct Noisette character, and partook of the bright yellow and fawn colour of those varieties. Of course, the most brilliant of these is Maréchal Niel, and I remember seeing in this neighbourhood a large plant of it on the side of the house, giving every year an abundant crop of blossoms; but I came to the conclusion that as an outdoor Rose it is a failure. The flower-stem is very slender, and not sufficient to support the bloom in an upright position; consequently the flowers all hang down their heads, and the rain and rough weather to which we are exposed in our climate so discolours the outside petals that they look at a little distance as if they were half dead. In truth one rarely sees this very beautiful Rose in anything like good form out of doors, its true position is the roof of a conservatory; there are many glorious plants of it in that position one has seen. There are some growers who seem to be more successful than others with it, and who cm produce flowers of a deeper colour than others. Those who have visited the Drill Hall fortnightly shows will readily call to mind the boxes of beautiful blooms contributed by Mr. Walker, of Thame; their depth of colour astonished everybody. Some thought that there was a peculiar strain of it which he possesses, while others thought it was some peculiarity of cultivation. Also, I recollect Mr. George Mount, of Canterbury, had a peculiarly high-coloured strain, which I believe he obtained from the greenhouse of that wonderful veteran artist, Mr. T. S. Cooper. Very often, however, this colour is produced by the flowers being a little longer time cut. I dare say we most of us have noticed how much this changes the colour of many Tea Roses. It is somewhat strange that this variety has never produced any seedling, I will not say to exceed, but to equal its flowers in its brilliancy of colour. As to a white Maréchal Niel, I do not think it would find favour with Rose-growers. To obtain climbing Roses or rampant Roses of high colour has always been a point at which raisers of seedlings have aimed.

Messrs. Paul & Son produced a Rose which made a great sensation as being the commencement of the new race of Hybrid Teas. Cheshunt Hybrid is a rampant and vigorous growing Rose, perfectly hardy, and adapting itself to any situation in which it may be placed; its colour is objectionable to many, as it has a touch of violet in it which develops into a magenta colour, which is certainly not over pleasing. It has been superseded in many gardens by a Rose sent out by George Prince, of Oxford, who received it as a present from its raiser, Liambaud, and which he called Longworth Rambler. It is a deeper colour than Cheshunt Hybrid, has abundant foliage, and is nearly evergreen; it produces flowers up till very late in the season, and is fragrant. I have a plant of it on the side of my house. I cannot give it all the space it would like to use up, and consequently I have to cut out barrow-loads of it every season.

Reine Marie Henriette—This is another dark-coloured Rose, which is in this section much valued. It is of a somewhat straggling habit, not unlike the Dijon Roses, and it has been sometimes called the red Gloire de Dijon; it is probably better formed than either of the two preceding, and where space is limited and choice has to be made, I should certainly prefer Longworth Rambler. Indeed, only the other day an unknown correspondent asked me the name of a dark-scoloured Rose for his greenhouse, and, knowing the good qualities of Longworth Rambler as an out-of-door plant, I advised him to plant it indoors, and I believe he is quite satisfied with the result. The advent of what are called the Dijon Roses somewhat revolutionised our ideas about climbing Roses. The original Gloire de Dijon came up in the border in the garden of Jacotot, of Dijon; he could give no account of its origin, and was himself very much surprised at the prize he had gained. No one need be told what the "Glory of John" is; it is not an exhibition Rose, although when it first opens it seems to claim that honour, but when fully open it shows its centre. I have more than once seen an exhibitor relying upon it, hoping that it would endure, but was obliged at last to cast it out, and substitute another flower. Many seedlings have been raised from Gloire de Dijon more or less partaking of the character of the parent, and I think the best of these is Bouquet d’Or, raised by Ducher in 1872; its habit is much more compact than any of the others of the tribe, the foliage being very thick, with glossy leaves; the flowers are of a bright dark yellow, and in the bud are very beautiful. I do not think a place can be grudged to this beautiful Rose anywhere.

Réve d'Or.—This was raised in 1869 also by Ducher on the eve of the terrible days of the siege of Paris, when Rose-growers could pay little attention to their productions. A plant was, however, sent to me by a friend from Paris, which took six weeks to reach me. There seemed but little hope of its surviving, but it did, and grew marvellously. My plant was placed on the side of my dwelling-house, facing east, and so rapidly did it grow that in about three years time it nearly covered one side of the house, and those who saw it will not readily forget the sight; it had more than 3000 blooms, many of which were of perfect form and brilliant colour. I was, perhaps, too proud of it, for in one or two of the cold winters we had in the eighties, it was cut down to the ground. I was preparing to have it dug up when I noticed some signs of life, and so it was allowed to remain; it repaid me by again shooting forth, and though it has not quite covered the space it did before, it is again a very vigorous and free-flowering plant, and does not seem as if it would die of old age.

Gardeners Chronicle & New Horticulturist. 3rd series 29: 248-249 (April 20, 1901)
(Concluded from. p. 216.)

THERE are two climbing Roses which are to be found in almost every garden, large or small, both very vigorous and free-flowering, and very effective for the ornamentation of the garden. These are William Allen Richardson and Turner's Crimson Rambler—the former of these has been out for nearly a quarter of a century; it was raised by the widow Ducher at Lyons. It is a Rose of very attractive colouring, being deep orange-yellow edged with white. As a button-hole or Rose for personal decoration it is universally admired, yet sometimes it causes some considerable disappointment, for if planted against a wall, the way in which many Teas and Noisettes are planted, the white is apt to spread itself over the whole flower, and it loses its peculiar charm of colour. I have myself suffered in this way, and have hoped each year that it would mend its manners, but it his not done so, and I must now disestablish it. On the other hand, if placed on a fence where there is no hot wall to interfere with it, it is very brilliant, and no matter when you go to it, from May all October, you may be sure of being able to gather some buds. Like all these Roses when expanded, its peculiar beauty vanishes.

Crimson Rambler has had a wonderful popularity; it is a Polyantha Rose coming to us from Japan. It is most extraordinarily floriferous, displaying pyramids of crimson rosettes; yet some persons complain they cannot bloom it—the cause of this is, I think, not far to seek. Inexperienced gardeners will treat it, in the matter of pruning, as they do other Roses; and I am continually receiving letters from correspondents asking how it is to be treated, and whether it is to be pruned like other Roses? I need hardly say that, in reply to this latter question, the answer is in the negative; it forms new rods every year, and on these depend the bloom for the following year. The old wood must be cut away, and the new wood tied in. It, too, has its peculiarity: if planted against the wall, it is apt to be infested with red-spider, therefore a pole or a fence is the proper place font.

Of late years, single Roses have very much come into favour as climbing Roses; some of them are most vigorous, and, in fact, too much so for small gardens. The single Polyantha, from Japan, Polyantha simplex, is a remarkable example of this I remember seeing it in the garden of my late friend, T. W. Girdlestone, at Sunningdale, covering an enormous space of some 30 or 40 feet, and it was a sight not easily forgotten.

Another very beautiful and free species is macrantha, large, clear white, with golden stamens. Paul's Single White is very similar to this, except that the stamens are dark. The same Cheshunt firm has given to us two very beautiful single Roses in Carmine Pillar and Paul's Royal Scarlet: their names are sufficiently characteristic to show what they are, but it may be added that they are very free flowering, and sometimes you may get autumn blooms from them. To the late Lord Penzance we are indebted for the remarkable break in climbing Roses known as the Penzance Sweet Briers. There was a considerable number of these raised, but I think that the two first sent out are the most striking — Lord and Lady Penzance. Lord Penzance is a bright fawn in colour, very vigorous and free-flowering; Lady Penzance is also vigorous, free-flowering, and a rich coppery-yellow. Amy Robsart is a deep rose colour, of the same habit, vigorous and flowering. Flora McIvor is white, edged with rose, and very attractive; while Meg Merrilies is a bright crimson. It must be borne in mind that these Roses have an additional charm, in that they retain the perfumed foliage of the Sweet Briar.

One other Rose, more brilliant than any of these, is Bardon Job; it is not quite single, a glowing crimson in colour—I should almost have said scarlet. It was raised by Nabonnand in 1877, and he described it as a hybrid Tea; it is very hardy and distinct, it is not very fioriferous in autumn—at least not according to my experience.

Ard's Rover, a beautiful climbing Rose, raised at Newtownards, is of a colour we have not had before in climbing Roses, a brilliant crimson, shaded maroon, very vigorous, free-flowering, and likely to be in much request as a button-hole Rose; its foliage is very large and handsome. It will thus be seen that there is abundance of choice for those who wish to grow these so-called Climbing Roses, and when judiciously used they add much to the beauty of the garden. Wild Rose.