Friday, November 27, 2009

Flowers on Friday ... Wichuriana Ramblers.

Today is the anniversary of my very first blog post!  Those first few attempts were pretty awkward, but things got better and more interesting (I think) as I went along.  I was a cautious blogger back then ...  not sure what I had to say.  I have come to really enjoy my time here, and I look forward to sharing all sorts of things.  I think I've come out of my shell.

It's Friday ("Black Friday", as a matter of fact), so it's time for my Friday Flowers feature.  I want to celebrate my blog's anniversary by featuring my favorite class of roses ... the wichuriana RAMBLERS. 

Alberic Barbier:  Introduced in 1900 ... R. wichuriana X Shirley Hibberd (a yellow Tea)

Rosa wichuriana is a species rose native to Japan that has vigorous, lax growth and shiny, disease-resistant foliage ... but it has small, white, some-say-boring flowers.  It was brought to the US and Europe in the late 1800's.  Some rose hybridizers crossed R. wichuriana with Tea and Hybrid Tea roses to create the ramblers known today as Hybrid Wichurianas.  (The spelling of 'wichuriana' has evolved ... you may also see it spelled 'wichurana' or 'wichuraiana')

Auguste Gervais:  Introduced in 1916 ... R. wichuriana X Le Progress (medium yellow Hybrid Tea)

Aviateur Bleriot:  Introduced in 1910 ... R. wichuriana X William Allen Richardson (a yellow-blend Tea Noisette)

Rosa wichuriana contributed its ground-hugging, flexible, climbing growth habit and its shiny foliage to its descendants. The Tea and Hybrid Tea parents produced the lovely colors and form of the flowers.

Edmond Proust:  Introduced in 1903 ... R. wichuriana X Souvenir de Catherine Guillot (a red blend China/Tea rose)

Francois Juranville:  Introduced in 1906 ... R. wichuriana X Madame Laurette Messimy (deep pink China/Tea)

These roses are best with a firm structure to climb and room to grow.  Once established, they can easily grow 12 feet in a season.  Most of my ramblers are planted along a 4-board pasture fence, on 24-foot centers.  Their flexible canes make handling and training them a fairly straight-forward process .. despite their size.

Leontine Gervais:  Introduced in 1903 ... R. wichuriana X Souvenir de Catherine Guillot.

Leontine Gervais, in full bloom on my Rambler Fence.

Wichuriana ramblers bloom once a year ... beginning in late May and continuing into mid-June here in Virginia.  After they're finished blooming, their foliage is a great green background for the rest of the garden.

Henri Barruet:  Introduced in 1918, parentage unknown.  This one tends to have a modest rebloom in late summer.

Jean Guichard:  Introduced in 1905 ... R. wichuriana X Souvenir de Catherine Guillot.

Rene Andre:  Introduced in 1901 ... R. wichuriana X L'Ideal (red blend Tea Noisette)

One of the features of Ramblers that makes them unique is the fact that they are constantly growing new canes from their base (called "basal breaks" or just "basals")  These new canes that grow each summer will be the ones that produce flowers the following year.

To keep these ramblers tidy and under some sort of control, I remove about half of the older canes during my winter garden clean up.  I untie the canes from the fence, cut out the older canes right at the ground, untangle the remaining canes, and reattach them to the fence.  This job is a good one to do on a nice winter day, because the rose will be leafless and it's easier to see the what you're doing.

This is the south-facing, back side of my Rambler Fence.  Many of the roses grew through the fence, seeking the southern sun, and created quite a show on my neighbor's side.

I attach my ramblers to wire that I stapled between the boards of the fence ... if you look carefully, you can almost see one piece of it in the lower left corner of the photo above.  The roses here are Alberic Barbier, Francois Juranville, and Aviateur Bleriot. 

This last group of photos was taken in my friend Robert's garden.  He trains most of his ramblers onto arches over a path around his pond, which creates a lovely rose tunnel.

Gardenia:  Introduced in 1898 ... R. wichuriana X Perle des Jardin (light yellow Tea rose)

Gardenia on an arch.

Paul Transon:  Introduced in 1900 ... R. wichuriana X L'Ideal

Paul Transon on an arch.

It's easy to see, looking at the photo of Paul Transon above, why I love these roses as much as I do.  How could you NOT love a rose that can produce this many flowers? 

(written by Hartwood Roses.  Hartwood Roses blog)


  1. Connie

    I always love your pics, but the ones of the HW are great. I have the HW American Beauity Climbing and it is one of my favs.

  2. Dearest Connie,

    Great post! But there is one mention to make, it is Wichuraiana Koidz, when correctly spelling this Japanese name.
    I am following you as I want to check out some wanted antique roses later.
    Lots of love,



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