Ramblers are vigorous roses, in general they reach a height from 4m - 10m. They are very useful to cover walls, hide unsightly buildings and do well climbing up trees. They mostly flower just once a year, in spring, for about a month and many of the below mentioned varieties have spectacular rose hips in autumn.
Besides all the above they are very resistant to illness, don't need to be pruned. The cheapest way to buy them is bare rooted. From November to beginning of April is the time to plant them.
There are plenty of ramblers to choose from. The following varieties have been recommended by various outlets: France 2 (Telematin), Rustica magazine and the below mentioned rose growers:
American Pillar - single carmine pink flowers with white centres in huge clusters.
Apple Blossom - lightly scented pink flowers that resemble apple blossom.
Belle de Remalard - semi double clear pink flowers with red rose hips in autumn.
Bobbie James - clusters of semi-double white flowers with red/orange rose hips in autumn.
Chateau du Rivau (rose of the year 2005 in France) - a rambler that has it all, beautiful semi-double white flowers with large yellow stamens, lovely hips in autumn.
Francis F. Lester - single white pink flushed rose, bloom is not spectacular, but this variety is known for its scent and its profusion of red/orange hips in autumn.
Kew Rambler - single, small pink flowers with white centre, growing in clusters, strong fragrance, orange rose hips.
Kiftsgate - single, creamy white flowers grown in large clusters, well scented, small decorative rose hips in profusion. It takes sometimes 3 years after planting for Kiftsgate to flower.
Lijiang - Pink rose with a beautiful perfume. Just recently introduced. Originally from China.
Sir Cedric Morris - single, scented white flowers, orange/red rose hips in autumn.
Wilderode - semi double deep pink bunches of flowers, colour is unusual as most ramblers vary from white to a middle pink colour.
All these roses except "Wilderode" are available by mail order from Andre Eve (www.roses-anciennes-eve.com) at 15.90€ each.
Rosa "Wilderode" can be ordered from Lens Roses - www.lens-roses.be at 11€ each.
Media/Bibliography: France 2, Telematin/Rustica November issue/Andre Eve/Lens Roses