Banging the Drum for Big Ramblers
Charlie Pridham, from Roseland House Nursery, in Cornwall, on his two favourite rambling roses. - 02 May 2023
Few plants in the garden can evoke that feeling of summer in the garden as roses do, and even fewer plants can make the impact of a rambling rose when it does its thing. If, like me, you are a fan of these versatile plants then you may have stood in awe and amazement at the sight of the rambler ‘Kiftsgate' with its huge profusion of scented white flowers. Sadly, like me, you will have probably concluded that trying to fit it into your garden is an impossibility! However, in the 1980s and 1990s Rosa felipes, which is what ‘Kiftsgate' is a selection of, attracted the attention of rose breeders – in particular the old nursery of Treasures. They bred from 'Kiftsgate' and named two roses that, in my view need, to be much better known. Given their parentage, neither are can be considered small, but both are within the bounds of most medium and largish gardens.
The first, and one of my favourite roses,is Rosa 'Pink Bouquet', which was the result of a deliberate cross between Rosa 'Kiftsgate' and a china rose (the latter being a much smaller more lightweight plant). The result is a rambler which will grow to 20' but can be kept smaller, bearing in summer massive sprays of small shell pink flowers which are highly scented with scent that carries some distance, it is something of a bee magnet and the foliage is remarkably disease resistant.
The second also came from Treasures, originally again from 'Kiftsgate' but this time crossed, it is thought, with 'Buff Beauty', which for me is a small to medium sized shrub, and was aptly named 'Treasure Trove' - the flowers are of apricot pink and again the scent is strong.
Despite all their virtues, 'Treasure Trove' is only produced by us and one other nursery and 'Pink Bouquet' only by us!
Charlie Pridham and his wife Liz run Roseland House Nursery, a nursery that specializes in growing choice and unusual climbing plants. They are holders of National Collections of both Lapageria and Clematis viticella cultivars.