Fairytale images appear before our eyes in summer when blooming roses surround archways and doorways, forming a frame of flowers around windows and doors.  The term “climbing rose” is actually a bit misleading, since the classic types can’t climb up walls on their own as ivy or wild grapes do.  Roses need support.  To give your roses footing, they need a pergola or an espalier.

Rosy Times

Classic climbing roses reach a height of about two or three meters (about two to three yards).  They usually bloom several times a year and can keep the house covered in roses from July until November.  The flowers of climbing roses form on the stems coming from the main branch.  If the main branch is tied securely into a horizontal position or into an arch, more stems will develop than on a plant that is kept upright.  Thus it’s recommended that instead of planting your roses between two windows that you plant them directly underneath the windows.  This way the horizontally tied stem will promote the growth of flowers near to the ground.  It’s important to make sure that the material used to tie the stem doesn’t cut into the plant’s epidermis.  Climbing roses don’t require a lot of ground space for you to enjoy them – a free corner of the house with a small space less than a square meter will suffice.  The one requirement is to make sure that the rose’s roots are allowed to grow deep into the earth undisturbed so that they can access enough water.


Besides the classic climbing roses, so-called rambler roses also enjoy popularity.  As the name suggests, these roses like to roam.  Through cross-breeding, this group of roses has descended from climbing roses and they can entwine themselves around sound, load-bearing architecture with their long, slender, and bowed offshoots.  Ramblers are unusually fast growers and can reach heights of up to five to ten meters (five to eleven yards).  They are also interesting for greening up even high buildings.  Most types bloom only once a year and display their roses in June or July in a thick grouping of small, wild-like flowers.

Combinations Full of Contrast

You can create variety by mixing different types of climbing plants.  An interesting partner (for roses) is winter jasmine (Jasminum nudiflorum) with its glowing yellow blossoms in February and March.  It reaches heights of about two meters – with support it can reach five meters.  A combination of roses and clematis offers a wide variety of creative opportunities.  Clematis come in many varieties with blue blossoms – a color that most roses don’t have – and provides contrastive combinations.  Many varieties of these plants, which belong to a non-taxonomic group of plants called liana (woody vines), can reach up to six meters in height.


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