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Friday, July 20, 2018, 9:04 p.m.

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Rambling rose

The Rambler is timeless, a flower worthy of poetic devotion

By ADRIAN HIGGINS The Washington Post

This article was published July 7, 2018 at 1:47 a.m.

connie-hilker-uses-her-garden-to-collect-and-preserve-antique-rose-varieties-in-danger-of-being-lost-the-cotton-candy-variety-shown-here-was-originally-bred-by-a-california-hybridizer-named-ralph-moore-and-introduced-in-the-1950s

Connie Hilker uses her garden to collect and preserve antique rose varieties in danger of being lost. The Cotton Candy variety shown here was originally bred by a California hybridizer named Ralph Moore and introduced in the 1950s.

Rambling roses — such as this Alexandre Girault at the author’s community garden in Washington — are vigorous, pliable and bloom just once a year in e...

Connie Hilker stands at the foot of American Pillar growing high into the canopy of an old red cedar tree. MUST CREDIT: Dayna Smith for The Washington...

The rose lends itself to plant breeding as willingly as its cousin the apple, and gardeners have been trying to find the next perfect rose for centuries. In recent years this tinkering has reached a new pitch as breeders, growers and nurseries have frantically sought to reinvent the rose and reshape its image as a sickly and fussy plant.

Rambling roses — such as this Alexandre Girault at the author’s community garden in Washington — are vigorous, pliable and bloom just once a year in e...

Connie Hilker stands at the foot of American Pillar growing high into the canopy of an old red cedar tree. MUST CREDIT: Dayna Smith for The Washington...

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