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Climbers against fence - not attached to it

Posted by maureeninmd z6 MD (My Page) on
Wed, Jul 20, 11 at 13:09

I'm growing some climbers / ramblers along a fence. I've used eye hooks and wire with success, and have hung trellises horizontally from the fence with nails.

Unfortunately, my neighbors recently took down the old fence and built a new, custom stockade-type fence. They are extremely proud of it and I am sure would not want me to mar their creation.

So what can I do? I was wondering if I could use rebar stakes a few inches from the fence and somehow?? secure heavy wire to the rebar? Any other ideas?


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RE: Climbers against fence - not attached to it

  • Posted by hoovb z9 Southern CA (My Page) on
    Wed, Jul 20, 11 at 18:30

Depending on how big the rose is and how bad your weather gets where wind is concerned. The bigger the rose and the worse the wind, the sturdier the support needs to be.

Also do you want a long-term solution, or are you just interested in this year and maybe next? Something flimsy will eventually collapse.

A trellis set in concrete in front of the fence would be a long term solution.

RE: Climbers against fence - not attached to it

In my work with roses I've had to come up with some creative solutions.

When I was caring for a row of 6-14 foot tall Tea-Noisettes and R. moschata that had been planted against a 5 foot tall historical wall and our local historical society said I could not put any nails, hooks, or other devices in the wall:
- We espaliered every plant so that its weight would be reduced by c. 50%.
This allowed each rosebush to lean against the fence for support and in late summer I pruned the out of bounds longer canes back to the spring season espaliered size.

Espaliering a rosebush is easy, you just prune on a vertical plane instead of a horizontal plane.


I prefer to espalier a rosebush to this size:
A) 5 and 1/2 to 6 feet tall, (only taller if hooks and screws are allowed.) or you can drape the longer canes over the wall for a counterweight.
B)8 feet to 12 feet wide. Or as wide as there is room for.

C)-and this is the most important part, the espaliered dimension: only 3 and 1/2 feet from the front of the bush to the back of the bush (nearest the fence) for medium sized rosebushes such as "Corneilia"
- and up to 4 and 1/2 for rosebushes that would otherwise grow to be more than 8 feet in diameter.
I prefer no more than 5 feet from front to back, for this dimension as it presents a tidier appearance, rather like a tall hedge against a wall.
Most Ramblers have tough genetics from their wild rose parent which makes many of them marvelously undemanding plants that take well to creative pruning solutions.
I often visit a sort of wilderness garden where "Alberic Barbier" is grown as a self supporting bush at c. 8 feet in all directions in a mounded shape.
It is a beautiful sight, it stirs my heart.

RE: Climbers against fence - not attached to it

Thank you for the great ideas. Hoovb - This does have to be a long-term solution. I don't think wind will be a problem as this 6' fence (or more in some places) has overlapping slats. The roses are Leontine Gervais (now just lying on the ground) and Awakening (still small). I also have a pipevine (now tangled on a tiny trellis) and a sweet autumn clematis that I've kept hacked down.

Luxrosa - thanks for the detailed instructions. I did plan to espalier the roses. Awakening is in the back of a very deep bed (already overcrowded!) Leontine is in a narrow strip along a driveway, next to Paul Transon who is safe on a different fence.

Another problem is that the neighbors plan on staining this fence next Spring. I have been accommodating these people but may reach my limit.

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