One, Two, Miss a Few…..99…100!

IMG_5154After watching and waiting for the last couple of weeks or so there are finally a handful of buds open on ‘Rambling Rector’, the venerable gentleman no doubt finally tempted to take the air after days of sunshine – a decision he may well be regretting by tomorrow! This rose is growing on the arbour right outside the kitchen windows so is in easy view of the house and this morning, after turning my head to the right and exclaiming over the number of Danse de Feu roses flowering on the pergola, I turned it to the left and spotted those first creamy white blooms, putting the Golfer’s nose slightly out of joint.

Discussing the potential number of blooms, it was clear that 100 and even 1000 were ridiculously low underestimates and after counting the number of buds on one average truss as 54, it certainly wasn’t beyond the realms of possibility that there could be as many 10,000 – but I am not going to seek verification of that figure. The photo below gives an idea of the extent of the rose and belies the fact that for the last 3 years every shoot which has had flowering side stems is pruned off after flowering and the new shoots tied in, giving a neat and sparse framework of stems ready for next year’s growth.

I tolerated a gargantuan bird’s nest of dead wood for years before dealing with it this way and getting rid of years of old stems in the process – and as it surprised me by flowering just as well as ever the following year this regime has been repeated each year since, but without the need to remove dead wood as of course there is none. The arbour is currently patched up with temporary struts as some of the timbers had rotted and it was in danger of falling down, but will be repaired in the autumn when there is less growing on it.

Watch out for a fully flowered floriferous update in a week or two!

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32 Responses to One, Two, Miss a Few…..99…100!

  1. Pauline says:

    Absolutely fantastic! Your Rambling Rector is certainly going to be stunning when all the flowers appear.

  2. rusty duck says:

    Curtailing the Rector’s rambles has obviously worked wonders.

  3. Sarah says:

    Excellent work and a magnificent rose. Can’t wait to see it in full flower.

  4. It is such a wonderful treat when they appear, they are such gorgeous blooms…I am really looking forward to your next photos.

  5. Wow I would love to have my roses bloom like that….your hard work has paid off.

    • Cathy says:

      He would flower just as well without the pruning, Donna – but it stops all the dead wood accumulating. The flowers are only tiny and will be over in a month or so but are worth it for their temporary magnificence. It was one of the very few things that were in the garden when we came – we have been here nearly 19 years so this may be 35+ years if it was the previous owner who planted it.

  6. Cripes… please do show us this in full bloom! It must be a spectacular sight.

  7. Amy says:

    A magnificent showing from the rector! I didn’t know you could get away with that pruning on a rambler – will file that for future reference!

    • Cathy says:

      I wasn’t sure what effect it would have on flowering but it didn’t make any difference at all and keeps the plant in check as the stems can grow 30-40 feet in length. It’s amazing to see it growing like this every year

  8. Stunning! It is going to be a spectacular show!

  9. Annette says:

    Stunning and think of the scent…once you settle under that pergola of yours you’ll never want to get up again! Knowing how rampant ramblers are I’ve only planted them along the boundary of the property in this garden. Enjoy your weekend, Cathy ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Cathy says:

      Settle…? ๐Ÿ˜‰ Interestingly, I didn’t used to notice a scent but now the new growth is tied in low down it brings it nearer my nose. Wet here today, but much needed so I and my garden are enjoying it! Have a good w/e yourself

  10. Christina says:

    Wow! Cathy that’s fabulous a great reward for your pruning skills. Looking forward to seeing it in full bloom.

    • Cathy says:

      The pruning just keeps the deadwood away Christina – he has flowered brilliantly every year, regardless of pruning, honestly! Hope you are enjoy your transatlantic jaunt ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. Chloris says:

    Wow, what a marvellous Rector he is. I think you should count the blooms in the interests of accurate blogging. He is earlier than many ramblers. I used to have him in a previous garden but he turned up his toes and died. Perhaps he didn’ t like to be seen growing in the garden of someone as irreligious as me. I have a couple of rambler seedlings which are threatening to take over the trees they are rambling in.. They will flower for the first time this year which is quite exciting.

    • Cathy says:

      You are a hard taskmaster, Chloris…!
      This RR came with the house and has flowered every year regardless of pruning or religious belief – not quite sure what you would have to do to kill him off if you were so inclined… I wonder what your seedlings are – I took cuttings from a dark pinks one that was hidden in the hedge, one of which has ‘taken’ but it won’t be flowering for a while yet although it could do with being repotted ๐Ÿ˜‰

  12. Brian Skeys says:

    It is a brave gardener who attempts to curtail the ambitions of this Rector. Congratulations you appear to have achieved it and about to be amply rewarded. I look forward to seeing more pictures.

  13. Gorgeous – can’t wait to see the bloom!

  14. rickii says:

    I would expect a little more restraint from a rector, but I’ll forgive him his tresspasses and just enjoy the show.

  15. Anna says:

    Your tender loving care has reaped rewards Cathy and the Rector looks as if he will put on a great show this year. I’ve been inspecting the buds on my ‘Blush Noisette’ today and was rather put out to discover a motley crew of aphids. I hope that the Rector manages to escape their clutches.

    • Cathy says:

      The Rector would shrug off any aphid attack – he is as tough as old boots despite his profession. I have noticed aphids on many of my roses too but I have talked to them nicely so I trust they will be no bother! Just one or two blooms open on my BN so far but the plants are bushing out nicely

  16. garycdavis says:

    I have ‘Bobby James’ growing over my potting shed. I have long since given up trying to control it i just try and live with it. I have used some of it to create an arch as the entratrance o my alpine house this year. Good luck.

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Gary – perhaps Bobby would respond to the same treatment? It was the best way to get rid of all that deadwood and RR has just carried on flowering regardless, year after year

  17. Ian Baker says:

    That will look impressive already cant wait to see it in flower. Your pruning regime is clearly keeping the rose in check while not effecting, probably encouraging the flowers. My own rambler was planted last year and is a long way off what you have. Bur hopefully will give me a prelude of things to come.

    • Cathy says:

      It is unbelievably floriferous, Ian, and you are right about the pruning – the first time I was so ruthless I couldn’t believe how well it still flowered. I wonder what rambler you have..? I fairly recently added ‘Rural England’ at the side of the sitooterie which is meant to be a continuous flowering rambler and not so rampant, but it is still settling in.

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