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Early Bloomers

Aside from the Rugosa roses that bloom early, some of our climbing and rambling roses are also blooming.  The sad part is most of them bloom only once a year.  All of the ‘once blooming’ roses in the garden are ones that I planted very early on when I had no idea that some of the roses in this climate bloom only once a year (I grew up in the subtropics where they bloom all year round).  I select more carefully now.

The once blooming rambling rose that’s worth growing is the ‘Paul’s Himalayan Musk.’  When it’s in full bloom, aside from a sea of small pink flowers, the honey scent is lovely.  It can grow around five to six feet a season and can grow more than thirty feet in length.  This rose and it’s cousin – Himalayan Alba- are the ones that give me grief every spring.  Pruning rambling rose is not an easy task.  I gave both of them a crew cut this spring and they have already filled up the empty spaces.

Both of us attempted to dig out the Blaze many times because all of the leaves drop off after it finishes blooming, mostly from black spots and in some years, mildew as well.  But it manages to change our mind every spring when its branches are cover with bright red flowers.  It is another of the roses that I originally planted.  One of these days, either I figure out how to deal with the black spots or I’ll just dig it out and plant a different rose that will bloom all season.  It’s a heart wrenching decision.

Zephirine Drouhin is an Old Garden climbing rose that will bloom throughout the season and is highly fragrant as well.  The deer ate most of its new shoots last year but this year I managed to discourage them so it bloomed profusely in gratitude.

We grow climbing and rambling roses to cover the unsightly pool fence.  This is where Paul's Himalayan Musk and Blaze meet.

We grow climbing and rambling roses to cover the unsightly pool fence. This is where Paul’s Himalayan Musk and Blaze meet.

Blaze has been loading its branches with bright red flowers every late spring but its leaves drop afterward, caused by black spots.  How can we dig it up when it manages to do this every spring.

Blaze has been loading its branches with bright red flowers every late spring but its leaves drop afterward, caused by black spots. How can we dig it up when it manages to do this every spring.

Blaze, close up

Blaze, close up

Paul's Himalayan Musk covers one side of the fence

Paul’s Himalayan Musk covers one side of the fence

Loaded with small pink flowers having a honey scent

Loaded with small pink flowers having a honey scent

Paul's Himalayan Musk, close up. Various stages of flower-from pink when first blooming to almost white before the petals drop

Paul’s Himalayan Musk, close up. Various stages of flower-from pink when first blooming to almost white before the petals drop

Zephirine Drouhin is a re-blooming climbing rose with very strong fragrance

Zephirine Drouhin is a re-blooming climbing rose with very strong fragrance

Zephirine Drouhin with Knockout rose in the background

Zephirine Drouhin with Knockout rose in the background