This is a very new and distinct strain, and produced by crossing the Wichuraiana with many of our cultivated roses, including some of the well-known teas.
Some of them will take high rank as climbers, and some being creeping or low-growing, will be adapted for covering rockwork and for cemetery use. Some have their flowers distributed along the stem, which gives them a handsome wreath-like appearance, and others flower in clusters like Crimson Rambler. Others have the fragrance of the sweet briar, so their pedigree is of various sources.
I cannot speak from experience, but some of them are said to be valuable plants for forcing in pots. W. A. Manda, of South Orange, New Jersey, has sent out many fine varieties of these roses, among others: Universal Favorite, large double flower of a soft light pink; South Orange Perfection, blush changing to white; Manda's Triumph, a splendid climber, bearing large clusters of flowers. Those crossed with the tea varieties have the evergreen character of the latter, and if they prove hardy and inherit the ever-blooming qualities of the tea roses they must prove a great acquisition to our gardens.
Undoubtedly the greatest acquisition of all these rambler roses is the well-known Crimson Rambler. Either in a mass in a bed, or treated as a climber for a veranda it is unequalled. And grown in pots it is now a leading Easter plant. One of the handsomest beds of this rose was the exhibit of F. R. Pier-son at the Pan-American Exposition, and as the writer had the handling of these plants a brief account of their care may not be out of place.
The bed was about 30x75 feet, of irregular form. The plants were not received till the second week in June, and were dry little sticks that gave little promise of ever breaking into growth; the date was at least six weeks later than it should have been to expect good results. They were planted in the only correct way, watered in the hole that held the roots, and the tops were cut so low that it was difficult to locate the plant; that was their salvation.
Slowly they almost all started into growth and with a mulching a few weeks later and copious watering every week till September, they had covered the ground with strong growths. As much of the growth was made late in the fall, it was soft and immature and therefore would have winter killed had the plants not been protected by a heavy covering of evergreen boughs. In the spring some of the strongest shoots were tied up to iron stakes, but most of the plants were left to grow and flower in their natural way. In the early days of July the bed was a sight. I shall never forget it. Now, the only lesson to gain from that great success was the severe cutting back of the almost dry stumps at planting time, and the liberal treatment they received after they did start to grow.
As is generally known, the rambler roses make growth and canes during the summer of one season, and flower from the lateral growths of these canes the following year, so that little pruning in the spring is needed. In fact all the pruning that is wanted is to cut out old growths that have lost their vigor. So in the case of the bed of ramblers described above there was not the slightest pruning done of any sort. In this they differ widely from the remontants.