Any suggestions....

gardennatlanta(z7atlantaGA)February 3, 2014

for a climbing rose that can be trained on a short (3 foot) fence?

I'm considering putting in a short picket type fence across the front of my yard, training roses to climb across the length of the fence, and underplanting with perennials.

Ideally, I'd like something that would be black spot resistant, easily trained, and bloom frequently. (Fragrance is not important for this rose). I would consider a spring bloomer if it was extremely black spot resistant and didn't get so big that I have to constantly battle to keep it in bounds.

Ideas? Suggestions?


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dublinbay z6 (KS)

Take a look at John Davis--he's gorgeous. Haven't ever grown him, but this discussion claims marvelous things for him. If I needed another climber, I'd be looking him over very carefully.


Here is a link that might be useful: Beautiful John Davis

    Bookmark   February 3, 2014 at 5:48PM
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Garden Atlanta, I live in Portland, Oregon, so you may wish to verify suitability in your area, but I do have a couple of recs. I've found that medium to medium large arching or sprawling roses often work well stretched across low horizontal supports. They tend to flower profusely as they "break" into blooms all along the canes. Start training early. Ballerina is a bit prickly so gloves are required for training, but she's very healthy and blooms almost nonstop. Gee, she looks cute on a picket fence! How are Gallicas in your area? Oddly, I have trained some (once-blooming) gallicas which are usually grown as shrubs. Tuscany Superb looks superb against white pickets. He's very healthy here. I believe Colonial White ("Sombreuil") is reputed to be a good true climber choice in your area. Once again, thorns. When training a shrub as a climber, it's fairly easy to pop out once in awhile to snip off shoots or canes sprouting in unwanted places along the fence. 5 minutes here and there with Felcos. Carol

This post was edited by PortlandMysteryRose on Mon, Feb 3, 14 at 18:17

    Bookmark   February 3, 2014 at 6:06PM
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I should add that Tuscany Superb was a somewhat bushy "climber," but the effect was cute.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2014 at 6:23PM
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alameda/zone 8

I simply adore Crepuscule! Not thorny and will make a smashing arching bush just covered over and over in peach ice cream blooms. Had a photo of mine somewhere. Will try to find it and post it. I bought several last fall so I can have it everywhere I look.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2014 at 10:53PM
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Three feet is rather short for anything climbing. Even miniature climbers are going to want to be taller than a yard. Perhaps you should look at shorter floribudas which can be grown along the fence at whatever interval you decide is proper? I'd fear a climber would shoot up taller than the fence and be difficult to keep to that height. Remember, those canes are going to grow up and require being bent over and tied to the fence, THEN, there will be laterals growing upright from those bent canes. It's upon those most of your flowers will be carried. 3' is just rather short for that kind of growth. Kim

    Bookmark   February 4, 2014 at 12:38AM
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Kim is spot on, of course. I probably cut off half the blooms...but the other half sure looked nice. :-)

    Bookmark   February 4, 2014 at 1:27AM
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Campanula UK Z8

aha, I do this very thing (we call it a fedge - a sort of fence/hedge hybrid) and use wichurana types which have very flexible canes and can be bent almost to a complete horizontal. Leontine Gervaise, for example, rarely rises more than 2.5 feet above the ground while stretching a good 3m in each direction. I intermingle mine so that I have very low-lying bendy types (ayreshires are stunning for this) with chunkier multiflora types at each end and in 2 spots along the boundary, forming sentinels (Goldfinch). We use posts with tensioned wires at 9inch widths with supporting posts every 3metres (the boundary stretches halfway down my allotment, about 27metres or so). Of course, I am only in the 4th year of doing this but it is holding up well and I have hopes of extending this the entire length as a practice run for a much longer fence in our woodland.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2014 at 8:08AM
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I know I recommend these over and over, but many of the Pemberton Hybrid Musks are lax growers and might be trainable at that height: 'Cornelia', 'Pax', 'Buff Beauty', and 'Kathleen' all grow low if left to their own devices. Reblooming, sweet-smelling, and they have good foliage. I don't know about their disease resistance in your area.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2014 at 8:44AM
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Kippy(SoCal zone 10. Sunset Zone 24)

If she did not ball in wet so badly, I would recommend DA Janet. The canes are almost too flexible at first, I tie mine to the picket fence and she is busy throwing laterals the whole way down the canes.

But she balls here and who knows about the disease resistance

    Bookmark   February 4, 2014 at 10:25AM
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porkpal zone 9 Tx

Red Cascade might fill the bill if you like a profusion of tiny crimson blooms. My climate is much like yours and she does very well for me. The canes are stiff so train early.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2014 at 1:52PM
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nanadollZ7 SWIdaho(Zone 7 Boise SW Idaho)

Take a look at the current thread called Cabin Fever for a small climber suggestion, plus great photos to illustrate it. I'm talking about the climber, Colette, a lovely pinkish apricot. I grow it, too, and its canes would be easily trainable along a fence, I think, instead up and over an arbor, which I'm doing. My Colette is bigger than the Colette in that thread's photos, but has very trainable canes. Here's a bloom pic. Diane

    Bookmark   February 4, 2014 at 3:35PM
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Tessiess, SoCal Inland, 9b, 1272' elev

Maybe look at some of the groundcovers? Many of them are so lax as to be completely prostrate and are thus very flexible of cane. I have Arctic Sunrise that I got last year from Burlington in California. It is cute as a button with loads of tiny pure white flowers against shiny dark green foliage. Completely prostrate but would be very easy to arrange the canes. Blooms a lot!

Heirloom carries it, but they also have a nice page of groundcover roses, so you can look at a group of them to see if any look appealing.


Here is a link that might be useful: Groundcover roses at Heirloom

    Bookmark   February 4, 2014 at 7:53PM
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plantloverkat zone 9a north Houston(zone 9a)

I have trained climbing roses on a four foot tall wire fence before, and I thought it was fairly easy to do so. I have never trained climbers on a shorter fence, but I have seen several trained that way at the Antique Rose Emporium near Brenham, Texas. Sombreuil is trained on a short fence there - it has been a while since I have been there, but I think it could have been as short as three feet tall. Peggy Martin and Elie Beauvilain are both trained along somewhat taller picket fences.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2014 at 12:26PM
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Buff Beauty loves to be trained horizontally. It does have thorns, though. Some repeat.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2014 at 1:27PM
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titian1 10b

I put "climber, short, very disease resistant" into HMF and it came up with Tajique (Paul Barden), which may be available from Rogue Valley Roses. It mentioned a couple of others, but they are not available in the US.
I also wondered about Nozomi, once-blooming though.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2014 at 4:07PM
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Tread VERY carefully around Nozomi. I knew a lady in the Bay Area whose entire rear yard was eaten by Nozomi. The rose took off to the trees, ate her daughter's playhouse, the garden shed, the garage and lawn. It laters itself worse than Algerian Ivy and has those hateful "Chihuahua teeth" prickles from The Fairy. Not that it isn't a nice rose, but it can be QUITE aggressive! Kim

    Bookmark   February 5, 2014 at 6:22PM
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Campanula UK Z8

Mmmmm, I agree that Nozomi has 'issues' and would not like to have to train it on anything where tying down happens. It throws out loads of twiggy canes, which throw out many twiggy all directions. However, for trailing down a hillside or bank or covering old stumps....or anywhere which is bosky and wild......Nozomi is your rose. I would like to make use of it (alongside Grouse and Daisy Hill) to scramble down into the ditches surrounding our woodland - they will never be pruned or clipped (the sides are too steep and are homes to water vole ). For us, it is just a question of swapping one thug (bramble) for another (Nozomi et al.) and leaving them to do their thing.
I have seen some lovely picket fence pics over the perhaps do a thread asking that specific query....and hope they (picket fence owners) chime in with some examples - just last week I saw a lovely photo of Violette on such a fence - very charming.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2014 at 10:31AM
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I'm confused.

I've seen about fifty billion pictures of climbing roses growing along white picket fences, low stone walls, and split log fences, especially climbing teas and tea noisettes (since that's what interests me) which get fairly sizable. I've got a young 2 year old tea-noisette, Pleasant Hill Cemetery which has lax canes, on 3 foot picket fence here. Seems to me that as long as I'm giving it enough fence line for the length of the canes, and I'm happy for a less formal cottage garden look it will work fine--or at least it is so far.

Am I going to have a big problem down the road that can't be reasonably managed?

    Bookmark   February 8, 2014 at 10:07AM
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sammy zone 7 Tulsa

I wouldn't look for a climber at 3 feet. It is horrible trying to keep a large rose small. I think you would have funny looking sprouts all over the place, and the canes would be too large.

My polyanthas are taller than what you are wanting, but I think you could find some small ones that would be very pretty. The Fairy might grow wide. Sea Foam grows wide, but may be about 4 -5 feet.


    Bookmark   February 8, 2014 at 3:37PM
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Here is a picture of Jeanne LaJoie, the miniature climber, grown as a freestanding shrub. I thought about this one and your fence. It was about 4 feet tall and maybe 6-7 feet wide at the cemetery in Sacramento. Too tall? Is this the look you want?

    Bookmark   February 8, 2014 at 4:44PM
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In my experience, climbers can be trained along extensive horizontals, but as Kim noted, the plants will throw up shoots which are awkward and you will have to sacrifice blooms. However, if the rose is a solid bloomer, I still find the effect charming. Many climbers on supports that are taller require the pruning of awkward blooming shoots, too. It's like some kind of Murphy's Law that the blooms on one's trellis rose often appear on canes you can't tie in gracefully. I've trained some fairly large climbers, such as New Dawn, on rather low (4') fences. I wouldn't attempt to keep a large rambler in check but some of the tea-noisettes are probably similar to New Dawn in vigor...and not as viciously armed. Location is key. I'm referring to what I've attempted over the years in Portland. I even have a Lady Banks growing in a big pot. On another post, a member attached a photo of her Veilchenblau in a whisky barrel. It's comforting that other rose gardeners push the envelope, too. The results can be lovely...when we succeed. Short supports require a little more work than tall ones, but if you don't garden in a large area where you must attend to the needs of many plants, the demands are not too demanding for the rewards. Carol

    Bookmark   February 9, 2014 at 12:12AM
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