spacing for climbing roses along my fence

woodstockfenceguyNovember 19, 2011

I am installing a new garden in my lawn with fruit trees and blueberry bushes. It will be fenced in with a fence like my old fence, shown here:

Post spacing is 12', and top rail is about 4' high. I plan on planting cane hardy climbing roses, along about 100' of the fence that is most visible to our house and lawn area. Ideally, I will train canes up to top of post (about 7' high), and then along the top rails of fence in both directions. If roses are very vigorous, I can install another rail at about 6 or 7' height for canes to also grow on. Will climbing roses fit this application? Should I plan to plant a rose at each post (12' on center), or every other post (24' on center)? I would save on the cost plants by doing every other post, but will they cover the fence?

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stlgal(south z5)

A robust rose like New Dawn could cover your fence planted every other post (with canes going 10-15' in each direction). We did something similar to cover a long 8' tall wall here, by stringing brown wire as laterals at several points. But the height of a rose like that would make it hard to keep everything going laterally, even if you put in another 7' lateral. And the wicked thorns on that one makes training/pruning it a bit of a fearsome proposition.

If I were to do a project like this, I might aim for a smaller 8-10' pillar or trellis rose that is cane hardy and relatively thornless and put one at every post--you'd still probably want the higher lateral, but wouldn't end up with octopi trying to throw out canes vast distances in every direction. I have some varieties that would fit the bill here, but you should ask the east coasters what is best out there, especially for a mass planting of this scale.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2011 at 11:18PM
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Campanula UK Z8

I do the exact thing at my allotment, using a variety of flexible roses such as Nastarana, various Barbier ramblers, Ayreshire Splendens, Goldfinch, R.helenae. The spacing varies according to the rose but is generally about 3-4m apart as I want to keep the roses quite low down so train them to run horizontally from the moment of planting. My fence is just posts and wires.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2011 at 4:20AM
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mad_gallica(zone 5 - eastern New York)

The best roses for this are probably hardy ramblers. If the soil pH is acidic, multiflora types are very good. If it isn't, then setigera. Be very careful with wichurana hybrids, since a lot of them are quite tender.

Bethel is just far enough away that I don't have a good feel for just how cold it is. I've always gotten the idea that Wurtsboro is colder than here, but that may just be that they seem to have snow after us. The point of all this is that once you get much below zero, a lot of the supposedly cane hardy climbers aren't. And for every degree or two colder than that, the more you lose. Also, the truly hardy climbers - the ones that can look -30 in the face and yawn, tend to be very stiff and difficult to train.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2011 at 7:00AM
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What color do you want???

    Bookmark   November 21, 2011 at 8:37AM
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mad gallica, where do U live? I think wurtsboro is warmer than here, we are higher in altitude.

Last winter, the lowest I remember was -7F. We have seen -25ish? maybe 15 years ago, but I would say on average we are in the 0 to -5F range, at the coldest. But constantly -20 to -30 and lower with wind chill. I am up on a hill that is open to the west, and wind is commonly 20-30mph in the winter, all day long.

Soil PH is 6.2 at the site of my old garden, it is probably in the 6-6.5 PH range in the new spot.

I would like red, blue, mulitcolored. My wife and daughter like pink. Any colors that will grow and flower without spending much time would be best for me. I have a hawthorne/japanese? bush rose, and knockout. They both have proven cold hardy and easy to grow here without problems. Knockout flowers the most, which I like.

I will prep holes 12' on center, I am waiting for the ground to dry out a bit before I start playing with my dad's excavator and skid steer in the lawn.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2011 at 2:38PM
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mad_gallica(zone 5 - eastern New York)

I'm across the river from Kingston, northwestern Dutchess Co. I'm close enough to the river to cool down slowly in the fall, and warm up slowly in the spring. I used to think that we couldn't go much below zero until the river froze, until the winter we hit -15 with the Hudson still open. Given that we barely got below zero this past winter, I'd say you are colder than we are, and would be wise to plant accordingly. Particularly for long caned roses that have to get some size to be effective.

Here are some pictures of my Explorer climbers. They are from a AgCanada experimental station near Montreal, and generally do well here.


Captain Samuel Holland

Quadra is on the far left, with John Davis in between.

If you are open to once bloomers, it does sound like your soil is acidic enough for the multiflora ramblers. There are a lot of pictures around of Veilchenblau. My pH is over 7, so anything that strong prefers acidic soil suffers.

    Bookmark   November 22, 2011 at 8:05AM
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Lavender Lassie might not grow large enough for what you are looking for, but I thought I'd mention it as it is really beautiful and fragrant. It grows to 6' X 6' shrub here, with a sprawling habit. It's vigorous and tolerates winter very well.

    Bookmark   November 22, 2011 at 11:36AM
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Very nice, all of those kinds would work fine for me if they will survive my winter. Are those types all repeat bloomers? I may plant repeat and once bloomers, do once bloomers flower more, but just once?

I am adding sulfur to acidify a row of soil to 5 PH for blueberries (they require very acidy soil), I could acidify holes for roses if needed. I could also hit any acid liking roses with acid fertilizer, if I know they need it.

    Bookmark   November 22, 2011 at 8:34PM
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I think Veilchenblau is a once bloomer....

Both once bloomers and repeat bloomers bloom abundantly in June.

Lavender Lassie is a repeat bloomer, but the repeat bloom is not as heavy as the June flush.

Lavender Lassie has little dieback here, so I think it should be OK for you.

If you're interested in adding a few shrub roses to your hedge, Marchesa Boccella is really easy to grow, with exceptionally fragrant blooms. Reine des Violettes is wonderful as well, with thornless canes. They are repeat bloomers, and very winter hardy.

    Bookmark   November 23, 2011 at 10:27AM
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I need to clarify: Marchesa Boccella has thorns, but Reine des Violettes does not....

    Bookmark   November 23, 2011 at 10:35AM
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mad_gallica(zone 5 - eastern New York)

Ramblers pretty much by definition are once bloomers. They resemble lilacs or azaleas in that they only bloom once a year, but the show is quite amazing. They can also get big. 20 ft canes aren't out of the question. There is currently a thread about them in the Antique Rose forum, and yes, while not all those roses will grow here, I do know other varieties that can look like that here.

The Explorer climbers repeat. Quadra and Captain Samuel Holland repeat well once established, and are extremely resistant to blackspot.

Blackspot is another major rose issue around here. For example, Lavender Lassie blackspots badly, and requires regular spraying to do much of anything.

    Bookmark   November 23, 2011 at 11:39AM
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I see blackspot late in the season in my no-spray garden, but this has not diminished blooming or hardiness, in my garden setting.

    Bookmark   November 24, 2011 at 9:45AM
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I know what I would do with a fence like that on my property. New Dawn on every post and Don Jaun in the middle. It would be a little bit of work but it would be outstanding all summer long. :)

    Bookmark   November 25, 2011 at 11:53AM
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Just put in a Francois Juranville this summer. Grows like a monster. Can get big. Once bloomer. Leaves are smallish and glossy. Looks nice even when not in bloom. Not a hint of blackspot or anything. Easy to train. Seems to like to creep along the ground if not trained on fence. Might be a good option for you.

    Bookmark   November 26, 2011 at 10:20AM
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Climbing along the ground sounds like a great option for me, if they cover the edge of the garden along the fence and choke out the grass, they will cut down on my weedwacking, which I hate to do! Canes along the ground may be mole and vole food in winter here, though. My thornless blackberries will grow along the ground if not put onto trellis.

It looks like some of these roses are a little rare, is there any big mail order nurseries that carry most Ramblers and explorer climbers?

    Bookmark   November 28, 2011 at 10:33AM
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stlgal(south z5)

There are many, Pickering and Edmunds come to mind as places where I've found explorers, shrubs etc.

    Bookmark   November 28, 2011 at 6:04PM
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