Clematis behind Roses

ocelaris(7a)March 30, 2010

How easy would it be to train a Clematis to ride up a chain link fence behind my roses? I have about 8 roses along a chain link fence in the back yard, and would love to have a colorful blue flower behind the roses. I'm just worried that the clematis would prefer to climb up the roses instead.

I have about 2 feet between roses minimum and they're about a 2 feet off of the chain link fence, so the question is their growth pattern, is it more like once they get going in one direction they stay going that way like Ivy? Or is it like Peas that will grow out in any direction at all times?

It's full sun, raised beds, drip irrigated and I've done extensive work making the soil just right for roses, but with just the roses by themselves it's missing a little lushness of foliage. I don't spray also except in extreme circumstances, they're mostly disease resistant varieties.

Thanks, Bill

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jeanne_texas(Z 8B TX)

Bill..I think your clematis would love to climb on your chain link fence..Clematis will grab whatever they find to climb..I'm really anal about being out there and trying to "guide" them but they always seem to grab something and poof..I have to let 'em reign supreme..How tall is your chain link fence..keep that in mind when choosing your clematis and check their height unless you are like me and just don't care and let 'em flop back forward...Jeanne
Check out Diggers Clematis on his chain link fence..just stunning!

Here is a link that might be useful: Digger's Clematis

    Bookmark   March 30, 2010 at 7:54PM
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Thanks Jeane, That's exactly what I was looking for, almost exactly my sitation too. I have the roses a bit further out from the fence than Digger, so I should be fine by a long stretch.

The fence is about 4 feet, but I've got a raised bed made from the rocks excavated from the site (it's VERY rocky here in the Bronx). so it's probably only about 3 feet... but I will have to encourage them to go horizontal.

This is a picture from last year, the first year we planted. As you can see, the fence is pretty ugly... Would be nice to have some lush foliage behind the sometimes sparse roses.

Diggers pictures' are fabulous, so definetly get the DW on board.

Thanks! Bill

    Bookmark   March 31, 2010 at 10:58AM
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jeanne_texas(Z 8B TX)

Bill..OH my that will look grand..can you imagine your neighbors will get to enjoy as well give you a bit of privacy too and just think walking up the side and seeing those beauties all the way to the street!!The wonderful thing about Roses and clematis is that they both adore the sun and rose fertilizer..the roses will shade the roots of your clematis so they will stay moist..Now I must get you into using Alfalfa tea on both your Roses and Clematis and you'll see basal breaks like never before and the strongest most gorgeous roses and clematis that bloom their little heads off...please share pics as you do this..'cause I'm a nosey clematis fanatic and go all out and be ferocious in planting ..plant 'em 10-12 inches" apart for maximum affect and also check out my friend Evey's site for clematis ..I just ordered some hard to find ones like "Star Burst","Kimi'idera",Fleuri" and "Kasugai"...and another I had to have from her was "Veronica's Choice"...Check out my link...Jeanne

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   March 31, 2010 at 1:55PM
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buyorsell888(Zone 8 Portland OR)

I'd plant Clemmies behind and daylilies and daffodils in front of the roses myself. :)

    Bookmark   March 31, 2010 at 3:34PM
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Thanks for the link Jeanne, I will definetly be ordering from that site. I was looking for somewhere where they listed the pruning types. I better get started though, it's about 2 weeks before our last frost date here in NY. I'll be sure to post some pictures when it starts, but I'm not expecting anything grand for a while.

You might not be suprised to hear that most gardening supplies that people in the rest of the country take for granted are sparse or non-existant in and around New York City... I actually met a person who had never heard of mulch... and this was an intelligent person, but gardening and high density don't always go together!

I'll look next time I'm cruising the suburban garden stores around us for some Alfalfa tea.

Are there certain starter Clematis? Like is type2 easier than type3? I'm kinda still getting comfortable with the terminology. Every plant has it's method, figuring out the strawberries and raspberries was a tough one! but I somehow managed! Thanks, Bill

    Bookmark   April 1, 2010 at 4:00PM
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Ocelaris, it would be great if we could just buy alfalfa tea, already made, but unfortunately, WE have to brew it! You need a bag of alfalfa pellets or meal, which is sold at farm supply stores usually. That will be difficult to find unless you drive way out of the city limits. I believe some people, if all else fails, have used rabbit feed pellets, sold in pet stores, to make it, but they contain salt, so I don't know how good an idea that is. Here's the recipe for the tea, from the website of a very knowledgeable rosarian:

Good luck!


    Bookmark   April 1, 2010 at 6:17PM
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jeanne_texas(Z 8B TX) much for destroying my opinion of NYC being so Cosmopolitan well..maybe in fashion and not gardening..LOL..I'll get over it but fortunately we have online to order..Most websites that sell clematis will list their pruning types..I have tons of Sites to share with you...As far as starting out..You'll get more gratification and less aggravation with the Pruning group 3's..not to say I don't just adore all the other types & varieties for I DO!!..Pruning group 3's get hard pruned each late winter/early Spring and bloom on the new growth for the season..they also rarely suffer wilt (We have tons of tips to avoid or lessen the chances of wilt on the 2' hang in here with us!)The 3's just perform quickier and give newbies the courage and confidence to try the 2's!! Once you learn their needs and requirements you'll be a pro in no time..Please check out Donahues!!I will put a link for them and our Beloved Clematis Bible aka Clematis on the Web aka COTW!!..which lists info such as pruning,height,growing zones and pics to see their beauty!!
As Judith said Alfalfa Tea is something you must brew..Go to your nearest Feed Store and ask for Alfalfa pellets..they are commonly known as "Cattle Feed" a 50LB bag can cost ya about 11-12 bucks..
Take a 5 gallon Bucket and put in about 4 cups of Alfalfa Pellets..fill up with water..sit in the full sun..stir it daily and in about 7-9 days it'll really start to stink..this is your sign it is ready for use!!..Put in 2 cups of Epsom Salts stir well and place about 2 cups around each rose and about 1 cup around each clematis..water in..REMEMBER to always stir well before usage as all the goodies sink to the bottom..Jeanne

Here is a link that might be useful: Donahue's Clematis

    Bookmark   April 1, 2010 at 6:44PM
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jeanne_texas(Z 8B TX)

Just click on Clematis A-Z and click the letter that matches the first letter in the name of the Clematis!!..Your Gonna Love this site!!

Here is a link that might be useful: COTW

    Bookmark   April 1, 2010 at 6:46PM
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jeanne_texas(Z 8B TX)

A great site to read and learn..just go from page to page and absorb!!..I really love this site...Jeanne

Here is a link that might be useful: Garden Action

    Bookmark   April 1, 2010 at 6:50PM
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Thanks for the links! I ended up ordering 6 from Donahue's, just because there are so many, I needed to speak to some one to help me pick out some (couldn't find a phone # on the first mail order place). I got Jackmanii, Prince Charles, Bonanza, Ruby Glow, Bee's Jubilee, and Durandii

So 4 group 3, and 2 group 2. 4 blues, a white/pink and a pink.

I'l look into the alfafa tea mix, not sure where the local feed store is here in the Bronx! Lol... I mean, I didn't grow up in New York City, so I know what you're talking about, but the people here live in their own little ecosystem... I'll give you another story. I went to our local home depot and asked for some mulch, just plain old hardwood mulch (all they have is dyed red, black or brown almost artificial looking stuff)... the kid working there was stunned/puzzled, he was like " what do you mean? All mulch is colored... you want clear mulch???" I kid you not, the guy had never heard of mulch that wasn't artificially dyed... And he worked in a home depot.

I digress, thanks for all your help, I'll continue my reading and be sure to post some pictures when they come in maybe next week.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2010 at 3:39PM
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buyorsell888(Zone 8 Portland OR)

Durandii doesn't climb. You'll have to tie it to the fence or let it sprawl. It grows with very stiff stems. Straight up then flops.

Many working at Home Depot have no clue. I applied for work there once years ago and they would not hire me to be their garden dept manager because I had too much experience in horticulture. They wanted someone with no clue who would do what they said with no questions asked even if it meant putting pointsettias outside in the cold to die.

There are feed stores everywhere, even in NYC. :)

Here is a link that might be useful: Feed stores near the Bronx

    Bookmark   April 6, 2010 at 12:39PM
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Got all 6 planted, put a little dripper ring around them, should perk up nicely ;) Also planted some moss roses around the base of them, since they're already getting water, should be pretty!

    Bookmark   April 11, 2010 at 7:16PM
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jeanne_texas(Z 8B TX)

How wonderful that place is going to be..well done..So you keep your roses in pots to bring inside during the winter so they won't die?...Clematis can stand your winters...Jeanne

    Bookmark   April 11, 2010 at 8:28PM
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Thanks! It doesn't get that cold here in NY, we're zone 7 on some charts, 6B on others... Roses and everything stay outside, I do a bit of mulching around the crowns, but nothing serious, it's pretty mild since we're only a mile from the ocean.
This is the second year with this garden, so hopefully everything will settle in and nothing will eat it. I'll post some updates throughout the season. Thanks again!

    Bookmark   April 11, 2010 at 10:20PM
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jeanne_texas(Z 8B TX)

So..why are your roses and clematis in pots?...Jeanne

    Bookmark   April 12, 2010 at 7:17AM
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bob414(USDA 9, Sunset 15)

Those are irrigation hoses Jeanne.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2010 at 8:43AM
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jeanne_texas(Z 8B TX)

LOL..thanks BOB..boy my vision ain't what it use to be..really looked like pots to me..well done and thanks..Jeanne

    Bookmark   April 12, 2010 at 9:53AM
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bob414(USDA 9, Sunset 15)

If you lived in California where we have a long dry season you would have know right away what they are. They aren't needed so much in Texas where you get year around rain.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2010 at 12:24PM
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Yeah, they're virtually unknown here in the North East as well, it's a virtual wetland here, but gardening as intensively as we do in our small space, it's almost required... It's amazing what you can do with good dirt + good watering. I've put like truckloads of dirt/compost etc... into the beds. These are some pictures from the first year, just a small crop we took on vacation to the beach. The Kholrabi is 10 pounds! (click pictures to make larger). I mean our entire back yard is only 25' wide by 30' long.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2010 at 10:51AM
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