Rosa ‘Adélaïde d’Orléans’ (photo © Howard Rice)

In contrast to the climbers, ramblers generally have small flowers, lax growth, are vigorous and do not repeat flower, but like the climbers there are a number of exceptions that prove the rule. With their often rather extreme vigour their main value is for growing up trees or over pergolas where, with their lax growth, the flowers will hang down in beautiful festoons.

The early ramblers like Adélaïde d’Orléans and Albertine were simply crosses between climbing species like R. wichurana, R. sempervirens, R. moschata, R. arvensis and R. multiflora with various Tea Roses, Hybrid Perpetuals and Hybrid Teas. This resulted in a wide range of different colours and flower size as well as different fragrances: fruity from wichurana, musk from moschata and multiflora.

A number of ramblers, especially the bigger ones closest to the species like Francis E. Lester, Rambling Rector and R. filipes Kiftsgate set a superb crop of orange or red hips, some of which will last well into the winter.