Bobby or Bobbie James is a rose that can ramble Jack-in-the-Beanstalk fashion to dizzy heights where it is covered in flowering heads made up of small, delicate, white scented flowers that the overall effect is more like spectacular cherry blossom. The flowers have a double layer of petals that show off the central golden boss of stamens. They last well and the exuberance of the display which will cover shed, support, Uncle Tom Cobley and all, makes Bobbie James a wonderful rose even without the bright orange hips that cover it in autumn and are a songbird's delight. Add good, glossy disease resistant foliage and a seductive fragrance and Bobbie James makes a first class rambler rose.
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Those who want a white garden need look no further. No unsightly building or wall is too large for this plucky rose which rises to 10 metres plus yet still flowers from top to bottom. Sitting under a large pergola enveloped in Bobby James is to enter your own private aromatherapy heaven.
The more sun, the more flowers so south facing is ideal but it is an unfussy rose that grows in most places if you mulch it annually with compost. So it will grown close to a large tree to clothe it in summer. To prevent any post blossom sense of anti-climax, train a viticella clematis through Bobbie James so the flowers, like the music, play on into the summer before the masses of orange hips in the autumn. If you think Bobbie James may be a trifle... muscular, then an equally glorious option might be the Felicite Perpetue rose which is smaller, has a slight tinge of pink and needs less sun.
Graham Thomas, the famous rose grower and dedicatee of the best yellow rose of all - Graham Thomas - discovered this in Yorkshire in 1961. He named it after the owner of the garden, one Robert James and the rest is history.