Climbing roses bring a dramatic presence, with profuse seasonal blooming and their ability to create volume and highlight architecture in a garden or around the home. Roses require sturdy support upon which to grow by means of arbors, pergolas, buildings or trellising and the like. These supports can be made visible and decorative such as white painted trellising with finials or columns, or they can be designed to be invisible beneath the roses, such as filament wire trellises mounted on an exterior wall of a building. Climbing roses can be used to draw attention to architectural features such as windows, doors and balconies, or they can be used to disguise less attractive features, frame views as well as create a sense of enclosure in a garden.
Highlight Existing Architectural Features
Climbing roses add real appeal when grown around or over window frames and doors, even utilitarian sliding doors. They also soften large expanses of materials such as garage doors, yard fencing and front and side gates. Ensure that the underlying structure is sound, and then apply the trellising or wiring technique of your choice to weave the rose vines in and among to secure them as they grow. Climbing roses cascading over a window provide a beautiful accent when looking at the structure from the exterior, but they also provide a stunning frame when looking out of the window. Allow the sweet scent of roses to waft through the window when open.
Frame a View or Vista
Roses are an ideal climbing material for helping to frame views in the distance and create a sense of depth and perspective in a yard or garden. An arbor at your front gate covered in roses in which your front door is the direct axis view through it creates a dramatic sense of arrival and welcome that cannot be matched. Looking through them, you take in the softening sight of blooming plants and their scent and experience the sense of special invitation into a space. This technique can also be used to capture and borrow a view in the distance that may not even be on your property. A distant hill, lone tree or tree canopy view framed by roses adds to the sense of space in your own garden without enlarging it.
Create Architecture with Roses
Structures often appear more stately and beautiful when accented or nearly covered by climbing roses or other foliage. Whether they are large or diminutive, overhead arbors, pergolas, loggias, patio enclosures, tool sheds and outbuildings are ideal places for growing climbing roses. Plan to allow the roses to cascade lushly over the edges of the structure for a romantic softening effect, to showcase the blooms to their best advantage and to bring the scent closer to the observer.
Disguise the Unsightly
Whether it is an enclosure for trash bins, some cracked plaster or a view of the neighbour's side-yard junk pile, climbing roses can readily be used to mask the unsightly. Although in most climates the foliage will not be year-round, the time of leafing out and bloom will likely coincide with outdoors activities anyway. In some temperate climates, climbing roses are not completely deciduous and will provide nearly a year-round screening effect.
Appropriate Structures for Climbing Roses
Climbing roses require secure supports that their canes can weave into or knit onto that can sustain the weight of a mature climbing plant over time. Pressure-treated lumber and lath wood trellising is good, as is a less visible support structure using lines and grids of filament or thin, metal, plastic-coated wires mounted to structures with eye screws. The wire trellises allow infinite options for sizing and shape of the support with minimal capital outlay or construction time.
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