Don’t Reject This Rambling Rector — Grumpy Rates A Rose

May 11, 2010 | By | Comments (5)

Every now and again, the Grump likes to escape from the office and see what intelligent people are actually growing. So this week, I hopped into a ramshackle SUV and scooted a couple of hours northwest to Florence, Alabama to visit fellow garden blogger Phillip Oliver.


Phillip Oliver 007

Phillip’s labyrinthine backyard garden makes the spring garden tour almost every year. Beautiful roses, old and modern, jostle for light and attention. The huge white one on the arbor above caught my eye immediately. It’s an old musk rose called ‘Rambling Rector.’

Personally, I’ve always suspected rambling rectors. If you find a congregation is in serious need of rectoring, you should stay until the job’s done. But I can’t hold some wayward clergyman’s lack of commitment against this rose. It’s a flowering machine.

Phillip says it blooms once in spring, smothering itself for several weeks with highly fragrant, creamy white flowers. It’s one of those energetic roses that seem to never stop growing, snaking upward into trees and pergolas and over old, beat-up cars and dilapidated sheds. What this tells me is you don’t have to be a rosarian (or even a Rotarian) to grow one. Give it at least a half-day of sun and something to crawl on and get your sorry behind out of the way.

Willing to give ‘Rambling Rector’ a try? You can order it from Rogue Valley Roses. You’ll be getting the only plant the Allman Brothers ever wrote a song about. It goes like this.

Lord, I was born a Rambling Rector


Always keep a-moving, never made it in the private sector


Quit my last real job, I was a weasel meat inspector


I was born a Rambling Rector.




Get a Whiff of Gardenia



  Rachel sniffs a gadenia. So talented!

Gardenia has to be the most fragrant flower in your garden. No plant better expresses the grace and beauty of the South. To learn how to grow it, straight from Grumpy’s golden lips, click here.



  1. Peggy

    Are you still active? I found your site by accident and I really enjoyed reading about Rambling Rector.

    June 13, 2016 at 12:42 am
  2. Grumpy Gardener (His Benevolence)

    If that’s the case, then I have only one thing to say. Help me, Rhonda. Help, help me, Rhonda.

    May 15, 2010 at 5:29 pm
  3. Rhonda

    Stunning rose, gorgeous gardenia and beautiful child! Thanks for sharing.
    Evidently I am the only Methuselah aged person appreciating your Dickey Betts/Allman Bros. tribute?
    Rock on, Your Grace 😀

    May 12, 2010 at 1:32 pm
  4. Grumpy Gardener (His Grace)

    Yes, and I for one appreciate good smells. That’s why I bathe every morning in Brut.

    May 11, 2010 at 2:26 pm
  5. Pam/Digging

    Lucky you to have seen Phillip’s garden in rose season. I bet it smelled good too.

    May 11, 2010 at 1:24 pm

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