This book reminds me of a visit some years ago to Ravello, Italy. I'll never forget visiting a garden that featured an enormous tree absolutely covered in yellow roses hanging down in great looping chains off the branches. Sadly it was back in the day before cellphone cameras, so I do not have a photo of it. But as rose grower and author David Austin notes in the introduction to his book, Climbing and Rambler Roses (Antique Collectors Club Dist., 2016), "Strong Ramblers may be encouraged to grow into trees, from which their flowers will hang down in festoons; others may be allowed to clamber over shrubs and hedges."
He also notes that you don't just have to settle for the occasional hybrid tea or shrub rose because you like the scent or want one for the cutting garden. "The rose is the most adaptable of flowers," he says, "in fact it's hard to think of a more useful garden plant. There really does seems to be a rose for every part of the garden."
In the pages that follow, there are brief descriptions of very familiar roses and many others you've never encountered before. And if you've wondered about the difference between Noisettes, Old Climbers, Modern Climbers, Climbing Species Roses, Wichurana and Multiflora Hybrids, you'll find it all here.
Who wouldn't be entranced by Hume's Blush China, with long, pale pink petals, a tea fragrance, and blooms that extend over a long season. It was brought to England in 1809 from Canton, China, -- thought to be extinct by the early part of the 20th century -- but found again in Bermuda and in a village garden in Pingwu, Sichuan. That's the great thing about roses .... they really do last forever.
Anyone who likes roses will appreciate the great photos in the book and the rose wisdom passed on by one of the world's most prominent growers.