Thursday, May 27, 2010

The Rambler Fence

The star of the garden, at the moment, are the ramblers on the fence on the southern border of our property.  Most of these were hybridized by Barbier and Company, who did some really imaginative work breeding Rosa wichurana (a Asian species) with tea roses.  The result was a race of roses with long, lax canes, glossy, disease-resistant foliage, and beautiful, fragrant flowers.

The driveway in this photo is my neighbor's.  The roses quietly grow through the fence, to take advantage of the southern light on their side. 

This is Ghislaine de Feligonde, the first rose in line (on the right in the first photo) and the only one on the fence that isn't bred from R. wichurana.

Paul Transon

Alexandre Girault.  I planted this rose last year, so it's still a little bit small.  It was a twig when I put it in the ground last summer.

Auguste Roussel.  Same story ... planted last summer.

Jean Guichard.  Also planted last summer, when I moved Evangeline to the Rose Field.  I didn't take a shot of the whole rose, because most of it has evaded the fence and is crawling through the weeds at its feet.  (Have I told you how much I detest weeds?)

Leontine Gervais ... probably my favorite rose on this Fence.  I measured her yesterday, and she spans 38 feet from tip to tip ... she could go a lot farther in time, if I let her. It's easy to keep her (and these others) under control with winter pruning.


Aviateur Bleriot, planted with a dark purple viticella clematis.

Francois Juranville

Alberic Barbier, with a lavender clematis.

As the fence turns the corner, I switched from Barbier ramblers to ones hybridized by Dr. Walter Van Fleet, an American who bred roses and did wonderful plant research for the USDA in the early 20th Century.

Silver Moon

American Pillar.  I am training this rose to grow up into the cedar tree beside it.  You can see a few clusters of flowers in the tree in the second photo.  I can't wait till it reaches the top!

Just to 'keep it real', I'll show you my side of the fence.  It's the worst bed in the whole place, in terms of weeds and disarray.  I usually get a handle on this during the winter when I prune the ramblers, but winter pruning did not happen this year.  We had an unusually snowy winter, and there just wasn't a time when I could work without snow or mud up to my knees.


Francois Juranville

I was going to take care of the weeds when the weather warmed as spring approached, but the roses had already started to send shoots along the ground, and it would have been incredibly labor intensive to pick those canes from the weeds and put them up onto the fence.  Instead, I decided that having roses blooming through drifts of clover was a good thing, and I left things as they were.  I have promised myself to get more control of the situation later in the year.  Until then, please don't judge me by my weeds.

(written by Hartwood Roses.  Hartwood Roses blog)


  1. The fence of roses is just gorgeous! Who notices a few weeds with all of those lovely blooms?

  2. Wouldn't even notice the weeds, the roses are too lovely!

  3. With all the work you have with the roses during the warm seasons of the year, what do you fill you time with during the winter? Just being snoopy.

    The Blue Ridge Gal

  4. I love your fence! Those roses are amazing.

  5. What absolutely beautiful roses, I am in heaven! best wishes Elizabeth from England

  6. You have really given your neighbors a gift. Those ramblers are spectacular. But so are all the other roses you have shown. I have not seen roses grown so beautifully before and one of my good friends is a rosarian. And he would be so jealous. I am sending him this link though, so I guess I will be outed.


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