Your Opinion Please

toolbelt68 (7)(7)January 13, 2014

I have a triangle bed with about 5 feet each side that I am thinking about putting a 10 foot 4x4 post in the center. That would give me about 8 feet above ground. At the base I plan on planting a Madame Alfred Carriere climber. I understand that it will go to 20 feet. After it reaches the top part of the post (I'll attach strong metal or wooden limbs to the post to support the canes) it can then drape back down to the ground. Any excess after that would be trimmed off. Since the climber is almost thornless it should not hurt anyone getting close to it. My robot lawn mower should not have a problem mowing under it so I don't care if it goes outside of the triangle.
I could do this with Zeffy but I have 30 of those around the yard and I'd like to try something else. Other thornless types would gladly be consider sooooo, what do ya think folks? Good idea or not? PS I know zip about roses so you won't hurt my feelings...... lol Post would replace the Tree Peony in the attached picture. (Peony died off last year)

This post was edited by Toolbelt68 on Mon, Jan 13, 14 at 21:44

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Campanula UK Z8

So, you are basically going to have a pillar rose? There are many roses suitable for this type of training....but Madame Alfred is not one. It is stiff, angular and somewhat badly behaved - a rose for a wilder part of the garden which has the space for this beautiful monster to thrash around without removing the odd eye. You are looking for a climber or shrub which has a good amount of flexible growth (and I would not hesitate in recommending some of the Barbier ramblers which have japanese wichurana rose in their lineage) - Alberic Barbier, Leontine Gervaise spring to mind. Avoid any of the multiflora ramblers (too much basal growth to contain in a pillar) and also, a number of climbing roses such as Altissimo, while lovely, are nowhere near as pliable as required to do the pillar thing of basically wrapping roses round and round the central pole, so that the canes actually grow fairly horizontally. I believe Paul Zimmerman has several videos involving training, pruning and various suggestions you might like to investigate.

    Bookmark   January 14, 2014 at 6:36AM
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toolbelt68 (7)(7)

Thanks campanula. I didn't know it took a special kind of rose plant in order to do this. You just saved me much aggravation.
I prefer almost thornless type plants since that is what my Zefies are. I have a Joesph Coat rose that scares me just to be within 10 feet of it. lol On the HelpMeFind page they say that "The original descriptions of 'Albéric Barbier' are for a semi-double, medium size bloom on almost prickless canes. This does not fit with the plant with large, full blooms on prickly canes sold today." Would you agree with that statement..... that it's NOT thornless?

    Bookmark   January 14, 2014 at 10:06AM
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My Alberic Barbier had a few small thorns nothing too awful. It was fun to train. I had it in a pot and had to choose between planting it and Albertine which is much thornier. I liked the color of Albertine with my climber Peach Silk but Alberic Barbier is a beautiful rose in bloom. It would look fantastic on a post.

MAC would be good if you wanted something to go up onto the roof of your home or all along the eaves. It's just too big for a post and would like a gazebo better. I have seen a MAC kept smaller at Nixon Library. They must be constantly pruning it so it can be done but theirs looks like a huge shrub that someone sat on and squashed down. The canes twist back and forth like compressed springs. Mine jumped up to the highest point of my roof in one year. Jasmina has been a pretty climber with flexible canes. I put it in my crepe myrtle tree and it gently spills out and the flower clusters hang down. Another one that might do well is Felecia because it has fewer thorns and has showy flowers.

At the top of the post you might like to put 2 sets of short 2x4s one going North/South and the other East/West to give the rose something to anchor on at the top and not slip down in the wind and also so it can build a mass if you want it to be a fountain of flowers rather than a flowering pole.

    Bookmark   January 14, 2014 at 10:33AM
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I'm visualizing what your thinking of in your original post: Canes go straight up the post then waterfall to the ground?

One thing to keep in mind is that climbers don't bloom off of vertical or almost vertical canes. So canes that go straight up or straight down won't get many blooms. The reason to wrap the canes around the post is to get the canes to be more horizontal so that laterals (which will bloom) will bud off the main canes.

Here is Paul Zimmerman on how to prune a climbing rose that does a great job explaining how a climber grows and how to prune to get lots of blooms:

Here he get's more specific as to training a rose to a pillar:

The videos that PZ does are fantastic and have really make the difference for me in being able to even grow roses.

    Bookmark   January 14, 2014 at 10:49AM
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I don't know how the person who first made the claim that MAC was "thornless, or nearly so", ever came up with that idea. She has VERY sharp, hooked prickles which rip flesh. She is also NOT flexible (at least in this climate) but very vigorous, large and stiff. Even when the canes were thinner and well over fifteen feet, they would make a very wide arch if left unsupported, but never a "drape". Eventually, if left unsupported or unpruned, they would kink themselves and die back to the kink. Lovely, fragrant flowers, but a plant which demands real estate and support. I finally shovel pruned her and am enjoying Lamarque instead. Kim

    Bookmark   January 14, 2014 at 3:29PM
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Campanula UK Z8

If Zepherine does well for you, you might take a look at one of its sports, either Martha or Kathleen Harrop. Or climbing Pinkie. Or Renae or its seedling, Annie Louise MacDowel. Any of these roses will be gracious on a post and have either none or very few prickles. I am not familiar with Climbing Pinkie but believe it is not a repeating rose.

Absolutely fabulous dogwood, by the way.....and cute little doglet.

    Bookmark   January 14, 2014 at 3:38PM
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toolbelt68 (7)(7)

Thanks. Mac is deletedâ¦.. lol I chose that one because it got big as I want something that will not only go up to the top but drape back down. I did plan on adding arms to the post so the canes would be supported. I can either drill a hole and use heavy re-bar or like you say a couple of 2x4s. I have a crepe myrtle that is about 15 feet high â¦.. hmmmm Jasmina ya sayâ¦. lol Thanks.

You got it, now all I have to do is come up with the perfect bush. Scratch perfect, I know betterâ¦..
I'll check out the videos, thanks.

Others agree with you. thornlessâ¦. NOT. That is the kind of advice I was looking forâ¦. honest. I'd hate to go to all the trouble of trying to train something that wasn't going to work.

Thanks, I was wondering about climbing Pinkie. Come to think about it I think I got Madame Alfred Carriere confused with Annie Louise MacDowel. Your other selections also sound good. Thanks.

BTW, the picture is a year or two old so the dogwood (that was support to be Pink) is about twice that size. The dog is a 12 year old female Lhasa Apso that we keep her hair clipped. (they don't shed), She is either in our laps or waiting to be picked up. Not spoiled one little bitâ¦. and if you believe that, I have this bridge you may be interested in purchasing.

    Bookmark   January 14, 2014 at 5:01PM
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