climbers or shrubs

Campanula UK Z8April 4, 2012

it has been climbers and ramblers for me, all the way. My tiny garden has been completely enclosed by just 6 climbing roses and I have continued growing these enormous plants at my allotment. Fruits and vegetables have to be supported, or defended by a whole battalion of struts and beams, netting poles and canes, so it was obvious to me that huge climbing roses were the way to go. I even used them for hedges, just kept bending them to a horizontal. I would guess the ratio of ramblers and climbers to shrubs or bushes is about 10:1. Somehow, small roses just don't do it for me, even though space is limited: one can always go upwards. So, what do you favour and why. Convince me to plant some tiddlers in place of bulbs or perennials.

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strawchicago 5a IL(zone 5a)

After the chipmunks ate my newly arrived mini-roses, but only the lowest 1/5 of Golden Celebration, I'm leaning toward climber or tall shrub. I can stand up to sniff them, rather than crawling to sniff 1 foot tall roses. Most HTs die back to the crown in my zone 5a, and are under 1 foot in May.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2012 at 5:01PM
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Campanula UK Z8

nooooo strawbs, not the ones you were so pleased with from Burling. What a bummer. Get a catapult. A big one.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2012 at 5:26PM
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Definitely climbers, or old tea roses which get huge - in all directions. We have mule deer here, and although they are rather small as deer go, they do like to eat roses. I learned a long time ago that I can tolerate damage on the lowest 2-3 feet of a rose if the rose is 15-20 feet tall, and 10 feet wide!

I only have to protect them when they are babies, which is why there are all sorts of short cages in my garden surrounding small roses. As soon as the roses get about 3-4 feet tall, we take the cages off and let them get the idea - they go straight up!

I have few small roses, but they tend to get buried in the 12-18 inches of leaves our 2 Scarlet oaks donate to the garden each year - sometimes I have to go looking for the roses.


    Bookmark   April 4, 2012 at 6:44PM
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Mendocino_Rose(z8 N CA.)

I'm not big on tiddlers either. I grow them in pots on the deck. That way I enjoy them and they don't get lost. I love ramblers and climbers. I love big roses. Here many HTs are big. We have an area of the garden called The Avenue of the Giants and another called Garden of the Gods(where many of the ramblers grow)

    Bookmark   April 4, 2012 at 6:45PM
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altoraMA(5/6 MA)

LOL I will be of no help-90% of my roses are climbers and ramblers.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2012 at 7:31PM
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Campanula UK Z8

Avenue of the Giants and Gardens of the Gods ....well, I guess I had better come up with something more poetic or descriptive than 'old broccoli bed', 'late summer bit', 'side of shed', 'near compost bin' or 'fedge'. Jaqueline - looking for roses under oak leaves - you have no idea how lovely that sounds (Mine are more likely to vanish under the weeds). Deer, chipmunks, gophers - grief - the worst I have to contend with are marauding pigeons....and you can often fool them by leaving a furry hat on the ground - they think it is a snoozing cat.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2012 at 8:45PM
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meredith_e Z7b, Piedmont of NC, 1000' elevation


I love the tall guys, too! I like putting 4-6 ft roses in front of climbers, and I even have some shorter guys in front of that. But I have tree- and shed-eating climbers scattered all around, too :)

Basically, if there's a wall, pole or large tree, I picture a climber on it!

    Bookmark   April 4, 2012 at 10:34PM
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altoraMA(5/6 MA)

Actually I do have some smaller roses!!

Sweet Chariot- tried to show the bloom as well as the bush. Extremely fragrant.

Burgundion Rose-It's a once bloomer, but even when not in bloom, the bush is beautiful.

Here, you can see how tiny it is compared to the bricks.

Compte De Chambord. Smells like Heaven, reblooms.

Mountain Mignonette. About 2-3 feet tall and as wide. ALWAYS in bloom. Not scented from what I can remember, healthy, forms hips.

Marie Pavie-supposed to be a great rose, it hated me.


Mary Rose

    Bookmark   April 5, 2012 at 8:51AM
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strawchicago 5a IL(zone 5a)

Great pictures, altorama - they brighten up my day. It's nice to look at gorgeous roses that don't do well in my alkaline soil: my Mary Rose is itsy-bitsy 3" tall, Comte de Chambord is already chlorotic as a band, and I don't even dare to try Sweet Chariot - multiflora parentage hates alkaline soil.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2012 at 9:38AM
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I like big, free-growing plants in the garden, they give a sense of lushness and abundance. And I like height, though we started with a grass field and trees grow here at glacial rates. That said, my 'Robert le Diable' planted about 7-8 years ago is probably less than three feet tall and perhaps five feet wide, and there's nothing dinky about it. I don't know whether it's the thicket of stems and all the foliage and flowers when it's in growth. It's like some small dogs have big dog style, and for short roses, I suppose you can say the same. Obviously roses like this--quite a few Gallicas, for example--can't be the only plants in the garden, but they occupy their spaces very worthily.
I do love humongous climbers. But I don't have enough big trees for them to grow up. And I love great hefty shrubs.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2012 at 12:21PM
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