After 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!