Heavy Metal In Rosegardens

January 18, 2007

I write this rather long post in order to inspire those that are interested in creating metal structures, that will support your climbing roses to create awesome effects.

I know that many DIY rose lovers use rebar to form metal support structures. I would like to show you some other solutions, I use.

Lots of rosegardens will go from beeing pretty to divine, with the right supports for your climbing roses. I think the mayor obstacles that prevents rosegardeners from getting the supports structures they want for their climbing roses are; the cost and utter lack of imagination from those who design these, ugly and terrible expensive arbors, tuteurs and supports.

I am not very wealthy, but 12 years ago I went to a garden center to buy 2 rose arbors that I wanted for my path. I saw what other people had in their gardens, and I was not pleased. The metal arbors looked so fragile and they were not very sturdy. In the big exclusive garden center I saw a rather large metal arbor. It was not very wide but was the biggest they had. I looked at the pricetag: $ 259. I could only afford one of these arbors, but I needed 2. I also looked at the wooden arbors but I found them way too ugly and the were just as expensive.

I went to a store similiar to your homedepots, and found some that only costed $89 each. 3 years later during a summerstorm I came home and saw my arbors beeing knocked over by the wind. They were not sturdy enough, and I had been really annoyed by the width beeing only 48 inches.( Thorns tore mine and people clothes). I should have bought the expensive ones 3 years before, they were 60 inches wide and had longer parts to go in the ground, so they would not have been knocked over by the wind.

As my interest in rosegardening grew I also needed circular iron supports for some of the taller roses like Reine de Violettes and Mme Issac pereire. Very few had the dimensions I wanted and again I sighed every time I had to pay $139 dollars for some rusty pieces of Iron . But if you are anything like me you know you have to have it!!!

I began using pressure treated wood to build some rose structures 8 years ago, and I was rather pleased wih the results. But they did not have the arbor shape I longed for. But a pergola made of wood with climbing roses and clematis looked good:


6 years ago when I ran out of space in my own small garden I began helping some friends of mine who works as landscapers. They mostly needed my help with choosing the right plants and make some garden designing and plans, since they had seen my creativity and succes with growing roses and gardening. I worked a lot and the owners of the homes were very pleased with the work I did. I wrote some articles for gardenmagazines about rosegardening and garden design and I got more work. I also began lecturing the local garden societies about growing roses and made pruning workshops in the spring.

My interest in garden design has grown to an obsession ( that is what other people call it...I prefer to call it a passion). I wanted to work full time as a garden designer, but quickly learned that in order to get more work I needed to have a horticultural degree, be a good photographer and write good articles and have a website in order to promote my work. The established Garden designers charged $90 every hour. Very few of the people I worked for could ever afford that. They were middleclass people with middleclass houses. But due to a growing interest in gardening and a boom in newbuilt real estate I managed to make a living. I have to learn taking better pictures, and make a website ( will take webdesign classes this year) and perhaps begin studying at a horticultural school).

But let me get back to the main issue. Using metal for rose supports. Due to the cost of these supports I was sure I could make these supports myself. My first attempts were disasters. LOL. But I had a good friend who is a blacksmith and I kept asking him for advice about welding, and how to bend steel ( wonder why they call rusty iron rods and tubes for steel) and he showed me how to work with metal and come up with the solutions to my problems.

I began making simple supports like this: cost materials:

$6 and it takes 20 min for me to make: (Wonder why the gardencenter charges 70-90 dollars for these):


Later I learned how to bend the top parts so they looked nicer:


Another design:


Pyramid supports ( they will rust, and become beautiful ):


Early on I used mesh iron nets (6-8 mm)and wood posts to create simple supports for low climbers (I made a lot of these in differnt sizes and shapes) using both rusty steel mesh and galvanized nets. Some of the bigger metal trellies I made 6 years ago are beautiful today covered by the mature roses. A cheap way to create dividers for your gardens and it does not take a lot of skill to cut the mesh and secure them to the posts:


The mesh net (6 mm) can easily be bent around a square post with a ledge and a hammer and closed by welding. Bent into shape and secured to post in the ground it is possible to create arbors like these, that makes training the roses very easy. Also note that the rusty metal arbors blend in well with the surroundings and becomes almost invisble when covered with roses:



These small mesh net arbors can not support a heavy big rambler like adelaide d orleaons:


The solution is to use the heavy 8 mm mesh net and make the structture wider. This large mesh net arbor had to be made out of 3 iron mesh nets and is very difficult to bend and has to be fitted together with metal tubes and welded

really nice for large ramblers!:



My dissatisfaction with the normal metal rose arches is that they sometimes do not fit the spot you want to place an arbor. Either you buy the sorry excuses for metal arbors awaible or you have to have them custom made (if you know someone who can do the job, and it will be pricy!!!). I really liked the Iron tube arch I saw in the garden center but it was way too small for some of the structures I wanted in the gardens. I tried bending some of the steel tubes, but they became deformed and had to be heated very much and bent gradually in order to retain their tubular shape. Also getting them bent even was difficult they all looked different! My friend told me to make templates according to the width of the arches, instead of having them bent around a circular structure. And to heat them before slowly forcing a bend matching the template (made of metal plates). The 2 bent steel tubes then had to be connected by welding the numerous small steel rods to the tubes. They can be left as they are and will get rusty or be painted. These metal tubes arches has become my favorite arches for roses! some examples:



Arches really are one of my favorite structures in a rosegarden. Here "Parade" roses on arches are used to divide a rosegarden into sections:


I hope you see that Heavy Metal is not total out of place in a rosegarden At least the roses do not complain! Perhaps your local rosesociety should offer some welding instructions instead of al those pruning master classes!!!


Comments (56)

  • aliska12000

    Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts and experiences with us. I love the arched trellises, and the pyramid ones could be useful, too.

    First your photos, a couple of them look like pretty decent quality to me, that one beautiful pink rose vista shot is a little blurry. You know, you can't become an expert at everything. I do encourage you to get the best camera you can afford and learn a few advanced techniques if you can find the time. I've spent 4 years on that now and learning two graphics programs, all on the web. It's very time-consuming.

    Now at my age, I'm not sure I want to take up welding, but your photos sure make it look tempting. My yard is too small for too many garden structures anyway, but I love some of your creativity and ideas.

    Now as to horticulture. Some of the smartest and best at what they do people I've known in my life never majored in it; obviously that would not hold true for certain professions. I don't mean to slam higher education, but from where I am now, a lot of it is simply a waste of time and money, you get through it and are still faced with where you are now, getting jobs and learning at least half of what you need to know doing the job; they don't prepare you for everything in school in some fields. You seem to get your clients by word-of-mouth, and the more you do, your reputation will spread and your services will be more in demand to the point that you may not be able to take on any more.

    Still, if a horticulture degree or whatever it is would beef up your resume and help obtain more clients, then go for it. At this stage of my life, I'm a results-oriented person, and I would hire you in a heartbeat over some of the "experts" around here. That's one thing I don't like about professional landscaping. They don't use plants that I would choose, then everything looks the same old same old to me; I know clients can probably ask for certain things, but you have to know what you want and most people only know what they see in garden centers or public gardens. In the latter case, they may not have an id for it and not know where/how to purchase it. Some professional landscaping, I'm sure, involves being practical and what will do well, also what they can make more money on perhaps as well as their suppliers. I tend to be drawn to gardens where people just landscape themselves, and I've visited both types and photographed them.

  • cupshaped_roses


    I recommend using a Stick Welder. It can sometimes be rented or you can buy a used one. It can handle most of the welding tasks. The pyramid Supports (heavy iron)however were welding using a Gas Welder (Carbon dioxide) and is much more expensive.

    I do not use rebars but smooth round steel (Iron) rods/sticks in various thicknesses. The Mesh Net however are made of rebar.

    Welding is not difficult, but takes some practise. And some SAFETY PRECAUTIONS. Long leather glowes. A Welding hat with shield to protect your eyes and face. Wear heavy fabric clothing and leather shoes (not plastic sneakers). Practise on scrap iron first until the result becomes satisfactory.

    The Rings I Use for the supports are some I have bought at the scrap yard, but can also be bought from some steel suppliers.

    I have never noticed any damage on roses on metal supports in vintertime (perhaps just a little vindtear from the canes scraping against the metal). I choose rosevarieties that are hardy in my zones 5-6 ( the southern part of the peninsula and the islands are zone 6) and do not winter protect them. If Roses had tongues they probably would not lick the metal!!


    Thanks! I do sell them. I do not have room for more in my small garden.


    Try these varieties of climbers and ramblers:

    Rosa Arvensis Ayrshire splendens
    Mme. Plantier
    Baltimore Belle
    Rosa Helenae "Lykkefund" or "Hybrida"
    Venusta Pendula

    They are hardy to the tips! In my experience!

    other good ones are:

    Dr. van Fleet
    De la Grifferaie
    American Pillar
    New Dawn
    Dorothy Perkins
    Gerbe Rose
    Alberic Barbier
    Long John Silver
    Erinnerung an Brod
    Constance Spry
    Paul Transon


    Wow you have lots of land there! What caused the erosion?
    and that blue plastic LOL. Well we all make mistakes and learn from them! hopefully you know about using polyetylene fiber fabric instead now. Wood henge! I like your sense of humor. I look forward meeting you.

    Jerome: that was excactly my point. Adding verticality..couldnt find the english word. Thanks! Yes sometimes we tend to focus too much on colours and various shapes of flowers and foliage.


    My photo-collection is a mess! I used pretty inexpensive point and shoot cameras. Then I bought a SLR camera in order to get better quality pictures ...that helped a lot. I used dias film so I could use the pictures when I made presentations. Or could scan them for magazine articles. later I bought a point and shoot digital 3.2 MG pixel dig camera. My old paperphotos I scan and these become blurry.
    Yes I have a lot to learn about photography and I look forward to it ... I have just bought a digital Nikon 200 Body and are looking for lenses.

    I totally agree on your views about getting more education.
    In some ways I feel it can be a waste of time. I already have a masters degree, but could not stand the work and the stress! Depressions and social anxiety followed ... gardening has been very healing. It does not feel like work even though I get physically tired. Like Foghorn said:
    Doing something you like, doing it well, and getting paid for it --- cool!
    But I have some very good careers oppportunities if I become a horticultural student. We have the largest rosenursery in northern europe 8 miles from here and I can learn a lot there (If they do not prefer to hire some underpaid unskilled labour similiar to mexicans in US..instead). Also a gargantuan rosepark is beeing prepared 20 miles north of here that is going to be the largest rosepark in the world. ( 10.000 varieties of roses and 500.000 roseplants. HUGE!!! I also need to learn some of the basic landscaping skills and tecniques. So far it has been learning by doing. But sometimes I have felt I lacked some skills and knowledge.

    I know my roses and plants and have a talent for designing gardens. I always listen carefully to what my clients want and present some options. It is important that they get the gardens they want. But they also get the experience and creativity and a lot of pratical and theoretical knowledge by hiring a garden consultant and I give them a guide about the care each plant needs. Some just need the gardens plans I make and draw and will do the work themselves. Others will do part of the work themselves and some will hire people to do everything, while they are busy tasting fine wine at some horticultural Master Class event, or flowerarrangement class. And say when they see a worm in their garden. "We need to have the garden sprayed for these horrible bugs".

  • Related Discussions

    I HAVE A large heavy mirror I want to hang. how to do it.


    Comments (10)
    Get a reliable contractor/handyperson to do this for you. Joseph and I hung a 120 LB antique window/mirror on the ceiling (if you think hanging vertical can be nerve wracking, try flush with the ceiling!), of the studio. It is just fine. We made sure that the studs were there, purchased the correct hooks and because of Joseph's expertise in matters like this, this was actually a small piece for him, we had no trouble with 2 ladders and good upper body strength and communication to accomplish our task. ANY doubts at all, please consult a contractor/handyman who has proven experience doing this. 84 LB really isn't that heavy if you know what you are doing! :) I obviously wouldn't feel comfortable lying on the floor under the window had we not secured this well. I also teach adults and children in this space, so believe me it is up there!
    ...See More

    Gutter Overflows in Heavy Rain! Help, please.


    Comments (15)
    Have you tried the Metal Roofing experts forum at ? A quick google search on "metal roof water overshoots gutter" turns up a lot of pages where the solution is basically the same as what you have installed already. Homeowners also say it doesn't always work in heavy rain. For a dream house, cultivating a zen attitude would probably be the last thing I'd want to do. If the overshoot problem happens more often than you want to tolerate (say twice a year), consider alternatives. Landscaping around the problem could turn out to be a good thing. As an extravagant response to fast water drainage off a metal roof, the lead roofs of cathedrals had stone gargoyles installed (see Washington Cathedral photos, for example). I'm not suggesting you install gargoyles because your aesthetic is probably different, but it does show that ingenuity has been applied to this problem for hundreds of years with a wide range of solutions.
    ...See More

    What to use to hang a very heavy mirror?


    Comments (4)
    Your mirror is far larger & heavier than what they're working with in the video. I wouldn't trust those plastic insert things that the screws go into. They make them in metal too. Even tho they are using 2'll not want to use those little nails either. Your mirror looks to be approx 80+lbs. I highly suggest using the wall studs! It's not going to be pretty if that thing crashes to the ground!
    ...See More

    Hanging a heavy pendant lamp


    Comments (2)
    they make heavy duty straps for this. but also the box in the ceiling needs be able to support the whole lot cable is strong, just get the right test. as to the canopy be sure it can work with the heavy duty bracket.
    ...See More
  • jbcarr

    Is the tubing used for electrical conduit too weak? I watched my father in law work with some, and he had a special bender.

  • carolezone7b

    Will you marry me? My roses need you! ;-)

    Let me take Carla's question one step further....can your creations be shipped?


  • cupshaped_roses

    jbcarr; I would think they are too weak to support a mature climbing rose in wind. I happen to know the electrical conduit tubes well since I had to bend some in order to create a net to land the fish. The tube had to be heated in hot water and bend with a bending feather inside to get the shape I wanted for the net-frame. So I really understand what you are thinking. Perhaps if the wall thickness had been a little bigger it could work. I know the tubes comes in different diameters and colours ( the dark grey or black could be interesting) but I do not know if the wall thickness of the tubes changes too with increasing overall diameters. You can try to experiment and see if it worth a shot.

    Here are the net/frames I made of the tubes:


  • anita22

    Cupshaped roses, what lovely structures. Thanks for posting.

    Sounds like you already are doing something you love, just a question of getting the piece of paper that opens doors to more opportunities and a better salary. If that's what you want, go for it!

    Two of my DH's hobbies are blacksmithing and metalworking, which includes lots of welding. So I feel compelled to mention how important it is to consult a welding manual about the thickness of the lenses used to shield one's eyes. To the best of my DH's memory, when stick welding, a minimum of a #10 lens or better should be used, and when doing inner shield (or any wire feed welding) a minimum of a #12 lens should be used. A welding/welding rod salesman will either know the minimums or have a manual to look them up in.

    Sadly, lens thickness minimums are often disregarded by professional welders because it is so much easier to see what you're doing with less-than-safe eye protection. Unfortunately, these are the guys who slowly go blind.

    Just my two cents, which I hope are useful to anyone interested.

  • cupshaped_roses

    Ahhhh Carole! That is so sweet. Considering I did not post any pictures of myself I do however suspect it is just my rusty iron supports you are after. Since I live in Europe it would be terribly expensive to ship them. Try to get a local blacksmith to help you make the supports.

    I also have to decline your marriage offer since I intend to pick a wonderful prairie rose, who I am madly in love with. Already bought a pretty big diamond to have fitted on a ring. But I may move to USA. Then I will be happy to start a production of these supports.

    I do however have more "Creations" I would like to show you. Some more ways to make and use arches. I will post them when I have found the drawings and pictures.

  • zeffyrose



  • lesmc

    I am very grateful to you for the post and lenghty words.I love your creations and so enjoyed the pictures. You will be successful with your talent and your attitude for pleasing your customers. Thank you so much. Lesley

  • rjlinva

    Cupshaped,'s amazing and inspiring. I began going vertically with rebar teepees...(many on this forum are probably sick of hearing it from me, but, it works!)

    For what it's worth, I believe a good option for those that either don't want to weld (because they don't have much to weld and don't want to invest in the equipment) or don't have the inkling, is to go to your local steel company with a design. I got my 12 rebar arches bent in less than 2 hours and the cost was VERY reasonable. I will be putting together some designs and having them build them... The major problem might be that I will want structures that may be too big to fit into the back of my pickup truck, so I might have to rent a UHAUL to get them that case, I'll be sure to have them build several things to minimize the truck rental...


  • altorama Ray

    do you grow Gerbe Rose? What do you think of it?


  • veilchen

    Wow! I for one am rooting that you move to the US! Is that where your prairie rose resides?

  • jbcarr

    Thanks for the reply- I figured as much. The time sequence of your structures was really nice. Its fun to learn new stuff- both the bad and the good that comes with "experience" (defined for me as the knowledge one tries to learn while making a lot of mistakes).

  • mad_gallica

    Unfortunately, the local gardening public is pretty much set on two things. They want their roses to repeat, and they want to buy them locally. Given that, about the only climbing rose available to them is William Baffin. Occassionally another one of the big Explorers will show up. New Dawn gets upset when it goes below -15F (about -25C), and its children are even more finicky. Personally, I don't mind once bloomers, and have several setigera hybrids. Multiflora ramblers DO NOT like my soil, and the wichuranas just haven't been hardy. Right now Baltimore Belle and Long John Silver are in the garage waiting for spring. I'm having serious second thoughts about Long John Silver, though. The 19th century Feast setigeras do well here. I've been reading things that make me think the Horvath setigera hybrids are much more hybridized and therefore much less hardy. It does look like I have no choice but to plant the thing and see for myself.

  • klimkm

    Thanks for sharing. I have been thinking about doing something like this for years. Actually, DH will be doing the welding, he has nice welding equipment and his Dad is also a welder. Someday I will put those skills to work and have them make me something for my garden.

    You are right, the ones in the garden centers around here costs many hundreds of dollars, way beyond my budget and they are not the size I need.

    Thanks for the inspiration! Hope everything works out for you.

  • altorama Ray

    Mad Gallica, which of the Feast's do you grow?
    How hardy have the Geshwind setigeras been? (i know they
    tend to b/s alot in your area)
    I am trying one of Horvaths this year, Captain Kidd.
    Have I asked you this before, have you ever tried
    Lillian Gibson? I Know someone in zone 5 who grows it
    unprotected, seems extremely hardy.


  • michelle_co

    CSR, Creations like that can only reflect what is inside their creator. They are beautiful.


  • mad_gallica

    Along the back walk are Quadra and John Davis on the arbor, and Captain Samuel Holland on a post. R. setigera, Geschwind's Orden, Queen of the Prairies, and Trier are on the split rail fence, New Dawn is on the deck, John Cabot, Applejack, some boursault, Lavender Lassie are on the (to be built) rustic screen, an unknown multiflora rambler, Raubritter, and Complicata are on cedar stumps, R. arvensis is (supposed to) climb up a large pin oak. White Cap (not hardy), Madame Plantier and Clair Matin are growing as free standing shrubs.

    This spring, Geschwind's Orden is going to be yanked for blackspot issues. It's never had hardiness problems, but just cannot keep its leaves. Steven has been of the opinion that our Queen of the Prairies is virused, and wants to replace it. It will be leaving this spring, but I don't know when, where, or how it will be replaced. The New Dawns are going to be yanked because they just can't handle the site, and will be replaced with another R. setigera. It's gotten quite shady, and setigera can bloom in the dark. Lavender Lassie will be yanked as soon as I figure out what belongs there. Hmm, maybe Raubritter. It needs to be rescued from the wilderness, and put in a good garden bed.

    Lily (oldroser) has Lilian Gibson. White Flower Farms used to have it in their display garden. That was a weird garden. There were a couple of roses that really thrived there. They sold none of them. The roses in their catalog took one look at that garden, and ran for China. Just like they would have in my garden. It was just another very graphic example that you cannot grow 'zone 5' roses in zone 5. Lilian is a nice rose, but having been part of an extended ID discussion in Portland at an old HRF convention which pretty much revolved around the idea that Lillian Gibson is a scentless Applejack, it's not one I've been real interested in. It's probably hardier, but I haven't had hardiness problems with Applejack. It's possible I should get cuttings from Lily just to have it floating around.

  • iowa_jade

    There are two Cow Colleges in the area:

    BLA Program: LR Spring 2002/NR Spring 2008
    MLA Program: LR Spring 2002/NR Spring 2008
    PhD Program
    James L. Wescoat Jr., Head
    Gary B. Kesler, Assoc. Head and Undergraduate Coordinator
    Carol Emmerling, Graduate Advisor
    Department of Landscape Architecture
    College of Fine and Applied Arts
    University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
    101 Buell Hall MC 620, 611 Taft Dr.
    Champaign, IL 61820
    Tel (217) 333-0176
    Fax (217) 244-4568

    BLA Program: LR Spring 2002/NR Spring 2008
    J. Timothy Keller, Chair
    Department of Landscape Architecture
    Iowa State University
    College of Design, Room 146
    Ames, IA 50011
    Tel (515) 294-5676
    Fax (515)294-2348

    You might E-Mail them.
    They are both in the top 15 LA schools in the US:

    There are also numerous grants and loans available. I would talk to someone in the business and get their take.

    My son is an Architectural grunt who has had his paws in a lot of interesting stuff. One of his ex girlfriends was in Landscape Architecture and she now makes good bucks desigining mega malls "green stuff."

    We have a Master Gardeners program which is free and is held about two blocks away from my home.

    It appears one does need to have both schooling and experience to be licensed. You might E-Mail them:

    I also have a talented artist friend, Jay Stratton, who makes a living desiging and making custom furniture and beautiful wood sculptures. I can't afford him but he gets by.'99_abstract_ornamental_carvings.htm
    They are a delightful couple.

    I am the last person to give advice, but I make many many many mistakes so hopefully others can learn from them.

    The erosion debacle -- well the contractor had fun playing with his bulldozer and covered some very nice black topsoil formed on the valley floor with the potters clay which is common to the area. In my wisdom I thought I would break a good sweat by digging it up and shore up the bank of our creek. I then hauled pickup loads of free horse manure with sawdust bedding, 4'cu bale of perlite, compost and a load of good quality topsoil. I tilled up everything to a very (too) fine fluffy mixture. I planted my OGR bands that I had nursed through the summer and put some plastic edging below the plants and watered well.

    Ordinarily, if we would have had one of our normal frozen tundra winters everything would have been fine. Or had I just mixed the stuff by hand it wouldn't have been so full of air. With our warmer winter and nasty gully washers, the fluff got washed down the drain. Thank goodness the new housing market was still in full stride so the topsoil man had plenty more topsoil to sell cheap.

    Sorry to ramble so.


  • riku

    Cupshaped roses,

    Most appreciated you would take the time and share your growth in learning to make better trellis / arbors.

    Unfortunately in my zone about the only rose that could use a robust trellis / arbor so far is White Star of Finland that has managed to mangle the cheap 6 foot 1/4 inch store bought rod trellis and grows about 4 feet above them ... such a pity as I have two welding machines - both stick - could not justify a wire unit. Which type do you use ? ... stick or wire ... with stick do you use 7018 or 6010 rod do - European designation will be different I assume ... how about low or high cellulose stick ? What tool do you use to bend ... a bending bar and yoke ?

    By the way hows the pickled herring and yellow sauce these days ... once spent a terrific evening in the local Danish club and remembered very little the morning after except the fluid potatoe derivative, pickled herring and that yellow sauce.


  • lesdvs9

    Cupshaped_roses, your creations are not just functional but beautiful before you add the rose:) I'm another who not only has a smaller yard and I want to stick to mini climbers to maximize my space and I need narrower supports to climb them up on and the best available are cost prohibitive. I have a dumb question, climbers are heavy and I've never grown them against anything but a fence in the past. How do you stake these metal frames so they don't fall over, I just said the word stake but what kind of stakes? And how deep do you sink them?

    I also think you should go as far as you want to go, I wouldn't want to sit back even 10 or 20 years from now and say I wish I had done....You have the talent and the immagination and a gift, if you have to work I've always maintained it should be at something you enjoy if you're able to.

  • jerome

    Hey there cupshaped_roses, I sent you an e-mail through the GardenWeb. Hope it gets to you without a hitch. You are amazing, and not only do your creations look beautiful, but so does the surrounding countryside. If that's Denmark, it sure is gorgeous.


  • cupshaped_roses

    Thanks for all the compliments! I hope you will try to make some of these metal structures and use them in your gardens.

    I was just writing a long message to reply to all of you, when my computer froze and I had to reboot. It sure is hard to write in english, especially when trying to describe something technical! It takes me so long. Meanwhile I have gotten a terrible migraine headache, and need some rest before writing more about "mental support structures" :-)

    I just wanted to show you these stuctures too:

    I have a small garden and I had a larch tree in my front yard. Knowing how vigorous and hardy Rosa Arvensis Ayrshire Splendens is I wanted to use it. I cut the crown away and the side branches and left the 16 feet tall stub. On top of it I placed a home made umbrella trellis. Every june I have this 16-18 feet tall cascading "rosetree" with thousands of blooms (followed bye the blue flowers of Clematis Viticella "polish spirit":


    I also wanted to tell you about Rebar mesh Arches (Selfsupporting if using the heavy diameter mesh) and supported by posts. Here is a drawing of these:


    Metal tube arches can also be created without any need for welding! assembling steel tubes. Various pieces of steel tubes are fitted together using connectors. Anybody can do this! The top part is bend into shape and cut into pieces and assembled with connectors and hammered together: Here is a drawing (And a picture of these arches):



    Arches can also be made bending 2 steel plates (25 feet long, 3 inch wide and 3mm thickness) in the desired shape and screwed together with woodblocks in between the 2 plates every feet, forming a very sturdy construction. The spacing created by the woodblocks in between the 2 plates makes training the roses very easy as the canes are just twisted around the arches and trough the holes. they look like this:


    I will get back to you and answer questions when I feel better. I hate migraines!

  • carolezone7b

    :::Ahhhh Carole! That is so sweet. Considering I did not post any pictures of myself I do however suspect it is just my rusty iron supports you are after. Since I live in Europe it would be terribly expensive to ship them. Try to get a local blacksmith to help you make the supports. ::::

    I knew eventually the truth would prevail....but I just love what you've done with your roses.

    Last fall I did visit a few local blacksmiths looking for something to do with my roses. All they had to offer were gates and such, not even a decent trellis. I gave up but now I think maybe I need to go back and visit again. Perhaps if I brought some of your pictures we could get somewhere. Would you mind terribly? I thought I'd better ask first.

    I do hope you feel better soon. Migraines can be so miserable.


  • michelle_co

    I really like the last photo. Those could be easily made to look just like horse shoes, using the woodblocks to resemble the nail holes in the shoes. They would make really cool arches for my garden, which is next to my horse corrals. :-)

  • altorama Ray

    Mad Gallica,
    How does Raubritter do for you as far as hardiness and
    disease? That's one I've always been interested in, Jim W.
    says it does very well for him.


    I don't understand how you made the ones in the last
    photo-what do you mean by metal plates?
    The illustrations you provided for the others are


  • mad_gallica

    Alida, Raubritter has been one of our anti-spectacular mistakes. Operating on the principle that hardy once-bloomers are pretty much able to take care of themselves, it went into the wilderness. Unlike garden bed roses, which get the entire bed as a rootrun, regular feeding and pruning, wilderness roses get a relatively small planting hole, and feeding and pruning after everthing else is done. Most roses that get put out there don't mind that kind of neglect, (Napoleonic roses deserve little else, IMHO) but Raubritter has seriously underperformed. I like it well enough, and have heard enough good things about it that I won't call it a dud until it's had a chance under better conditions. However, I'm not in the mood to make any new beds, and the current ones are crammed to the gills as far as roses go, so something will have to leave for that to happen.

  • cupshaped_roses

    Robert and all:

    I never get tired of seeing how other find solutions to improving their rose gardens. I think using the materials that are available and affordable and works is most important. Many here in Europe use bamboo for making the small tripods in order to support taller rosebushes. I find the repar teepes more aesthetically pleasing, because the are more anonymous when they rust. Both structures however have one problem. They are too tall and the upper parts stick up over the rosebushes. I do not like that very much. That is why I prefer the cylindrical supports instead. I can custom make them so they fit in the diameter and height to the rose I want to train/support. And yes they can be made by rebar in different diameters.

    I understand welding will put some off from making these structures, but some have the skill and will to do what it takes to get what they want.

    Getting the rings for the cylindrical structures might be an obstacle to some. They can be hard to find. But again if one has access to the right equipment they are not that difficult to make from rebar, bend into a circle and welded together. Or narrow steel plates cut into strips and formed into circles and weld together. I have used both.

    About bending metal for Arches:

    Riku asked me what I used for bending the tubes. I did not know the instruments he mentioned. Had to look them up. I did not know the name of the machine (In English) my blacksmith friend have. I have learned it is called a Roller Bender in English. I bet Roberts Rebar arches was bent using a machine like this. Very few will have access to a roller bender. If you want to create arches like the one in my original post my best suggestion is that you do like Robert did: Determine the dimensions of the arch or arches you want to create. (Height + width and remember to add 2 feet on each side for the parts that go into the ground). These steel tubes I use are very long and it takes a roller bender to have them bent uniformly.
    Robert had them made by a steel company; other might get help from a blacksmith to have the rebar or steel tube arches bent. Few people have access to Roller benders and need the number of arches that I need for my clients gardens. The Advantage is that I get arches in the shape that fit exactly to the place I want them ...I do not want to put up with the small garden center arches. Having something custom made is more satisfactory than having to have to buy what is available. I do not want one of the standard metal or wooden/vinyl arches I have seen available on the market that cost $500-1200. But I will gladly go the extra mile to design and custom make the arches I need for my clients gardens. I get exactly what I want, not standard products everybody have to buy.

    Finding solutions that works is what designing is all about for me. Another way of creating arches for an entrance to a garden can be made like this combining heavy pole posts and arches ( it does not require rebar or steel tubes that are very long (perhaps 16-20 feet. Rebar could be an option for shaping this arch, like Robert told. But welding will be required:



    About Welding:

    Stick welders are not that difficult to operate or expensive for that matter. But one needs to use the proper protection gear. Like Anita22 mentioned the shade of the vision shield has to be correct (11 or 12 for stick welding).

    Riku the sticks I use have this numbers on them E-6010/ E-6015 and for tougher welds E-7010 They come in 2, 2,5 and 3 mm ( I have no idea what the same diameters into in inches ( I really wonder when the metric system will be implemented in English speaking countries all scientific and technical schools use it).
    I prefer the low cellulose coated sticks since they produce finer weld deposits with less slag but I guess I am getting too technical now for the Antique Roses forum).

    Hey! That "Yellow sauce" is still popular with pickled herrings for Christmas and Easter lunches.
    I really like those Herrings/ as long as they are herb pickled (dill, pepper and carnations) with a good wine vinegar and has low sugar content. Excellent source of Omega-3 fatty acids. It really is one of our popular national dishes. (but not everyone will like it!).

    Sorry you cannot grow ramblers in your zone, but I am really impressed with the roses you do growmany are not supposed to be hardy in your zone.


    Securing the cylindrical supports: On 6 feet supports I just press the lower (1 foot) part of the metal sticks into the ground. On 8 feet tall supports the lower part are made 1,5 feet long and pressed into the soil, and I sometimes stake them with alu tent poles on the lower ring.. The 12-15 feet rose-towers are secured with concrete. Same with arches, depending on the size and place (wind exposure) the feet are secured 1-2 feet down. The big rebar mesh arbors are secured with contrete.

    mad_gallica. It really sounds like you live in a very cold exposed zone 5. I think one of the differences about our areas is that our urban areas are so cultivated has tall trees and plenty of asphalt and houses that create a warmer microclimate for the roses. Also the blackspot here is not so aggressive that it eats little children.


    Thanks a lot for the information about the education possibilities in the area. Not sure I will move until I am done with all the possibilities and projects I have here. About horticultural schools and roses though I tend to agree with Aliska12000 I visited the Horticultural college in Copenhagen and their Rose garden. I spoke to a gardener there and told that 6 of the signs naming the varieties were misplaced (Pretty easy to tell the difference between Duchesse de Montebello and Duc de Guiche, Oiellet flamand and Isphahan, and Super star and Fragrant cloud. And I came up with some suggestions for training the climbers better. I even wrote them a letter. The professor replied that I did not know what I was talking about. I guess it has been a long time since he has actually set foot in a garden! LOL.


    I hope you liked the pictures of Gerbe rose and my suggestions for using it, that I emailed you.. As to the last metal arch design in my last message: It is getting way too technical and probably bores people to death reading more about metal in rose gardens. Michelle did however get the idea of using the metal plates!

    Carole and all:

    Do use my ideas and pictures for creating metal structures for your roses whether you have the skills and tools to make these yourself or have a blacksmith or steel company assist you. I hope all of you have been inspired.

    It might also be a good ideas for rose societies to make workshops so people can get their hands on working with this. That would be refreshing! If I move to US I would gladly tour the country and show how to make these structures and my design ideas about creating verticality in rosegardens whether they are made by wood or metal. At least I speak English well, but writing is difficult when English is not my first language. Oh and I will be working on a website and be better at taking dig photos. So I can illustrate my ideas better.

  • carla17

    I wish someone would offer a structure workshop, I would certainly go provided location wasn't too far.
    Sorry about your migraines Cup!


  • lesdvs9

    Cupshaped_roses-I think from your responses your thread is regarded as anything but boring:) Thanks for my answer. My particular problem are growing very heavy climbers, though they're minis, they're huge and I have had a hard time in the past keeping them contained.

    I found a very well built sturdy 6' pillar that would work well on one of the smaller climbers for half price with an additional 30% off. Then when they tacked on handling charges and shipping I might as well have been paying full price which I can't afford at this time. I'm still eyeing and saving my money for an umbrella trellis we were all talking about late last summer and you showed again yours in this thread and the same thing will happen in buying this, the handling and shipping on it will be prohibitive. I showed my husband your design and he's going to attempt one for me, he used to weld when he was young and work with metal. I've got two climbers that need a solution before spring and I want to plant a couple more in the spring. Your thread was very timely for me and very interesting, what a gift. My headaches and migraines are so bad that what I take for them I burn myself on the stove accidentally, I'd never pick up a torch on purpose:)

    Thanks again and good luck with what you decide to do.

  • jim_w_ny

    Very interesting discussion. Being a do-it-yourselfer I'm apt to take up some of this in the future. However I have a large pergola, 12 x 24 made on top of an old foundation from a farm outbuilding I took down a couple of years ago. And otherwise I have many climbers besides in the pergola against the sides of the house or other buildings that are handy for tying ramblers/climbers.

    No as to hardiness, I find although I'm in the same zone as MG, probably a little colder, there are numerous candidates. On my pergola for example I have Illusion, Ilse Krohn Superior, Dortmund, Tradition '95 (shrub), Rosarium Uetersen, Westerland, Lavender Lassie (shrub), Dr. W. Van Fleet (reverted or wasn't New Dawn in the first place), Roberta Bondar, Ascherrmittwoch and Rhode Island Red. Along the garage/greenhouse wall I have Baltimore Belle, Alchymist (2), New Dawn, Fourth of July, Goldener Olypm, Leverkusen, Manita, Antike '89, Flammentanz and Breeze Hill. Along the house wall I have American Pillar, Antike '89 and Robusta, tall shrubs. Amongst my rose beds I have 2 Sympathie's. And probably some others I 've neglected.

    But I need to get to staking some of my tall shrubs like Elmshorn that by the end of summer are spreading pretty wide.

  • roselover_nj

    You are so talented! Absolutely beautiful work! I must agree with you that quality arbors and rose supports are very difficult to find and then very expensive!
    How can someone from the US order from you? Shipping would be too expensive? Anyway, your designs are so inspiring!
    Let us know when your web site is up!

  • awomanwhois

    You and Monet are on the same page. Your work is beautiful and I cannot help commenting. In Giverny I stood in Monet's garden and inhaled wonder. What completely stood out were the structural supports he used. He brought the roses up into the air. You felt like you were in the middle of a giant bouquet.

    He also did these great umbrella looking structures for climbing roses that seemed a step up from a pillar in their effectiveness.

    I have some pic's but I need to figure out how to post them.

    I usually pop onto this forum around Jan/Feb when I am dreaming of what roses to plant this year. I love all the advice and great ideas. Yours are very expanding to my though process, because as long as we are sending more roses into the air, we have more room for others on the ground : >)


  • cupshaped_roses


    Since you like Kordes roses so much you might want to check out
    the new Kordes climbers "Laguna" and "Jasmina" on the Kordes Website. I hope they will become avaible soon in the US market.

    Roselover_nj: thank you for the compliments. Shipping large items like these from Europe to US and to their destination in the US is way too expensive due to the weight and size of these things. Perhaps when I move to the US I will set up a production of these structures. But Again shipment will be costly even within the US.

    Leslie: Sorry to hear you got bad migraine headaches too. I am only thankful that it is not that often I get the severe ones where I have to take some strong painkillers. And here is a scetch of the structure you want later:


    I am so impressed that you actually know that Monet designed the umbrella tuteurs or trellises. (I will send you an email telling you how to post pictures here on this forum).Yes they can be seen in his garden in Giverny: Here is a drawing of his original Giverny tuteurs. They are really not that hard to make. I am considering making these myself. I think they are the ones Leslie talked about:


  • mysteryrose

    Jim (and Cup): Laguna is a fine rose, very healthy, vigorous and FRAGRANT. Mine came from Palatine Roses. I predict great popularity for this rose when it becoes more readily available.

  • williamcartwright

    I so want to see Cupshaped's structures, as I missed this thread previously and am in the planning stage for more structures.

    They are not linking now (on my computer) if this the case for others?


  • bodiCA

    Hi Bill, I am eager to see these also but the links open to my own account not Cupshaped's photos.

  • explorer7585

    I like your idea about he rose garden, and all the heavy duty construction. I would like something like that but more decorative for my ranch home. I have been looking at some custom metal art online and I'm really impressed with this Website's gallery. It's link is included.

    Here is a link that might be useful: custom metal art gallery

  • ceterum

    Niels, I cannot open the links you provided. If I click on it, it takes me to my Photobucket album. Is there a way around it? If someone figured it out, please, let me know!

  • ronda_in_carolina

    same here....I want to see!!

  • cupshaped_roses

    I have removed the pictures from photo-bucket. I got too many emails asking me way too many technical questions and inquiries from professionals who asked if they could use my designs. Also quite a few asked if they could buy some of the structures and have them sipped to America(Imagine the cost of having a 90 pounds arches shipped!!! Then I saw that some even used my pictures on their websites! Then someone complained that I was "Advertizing my products here on GW ... So I decided to take them down. I don´t mind ordinary rose-people getting inspiration about how they can create affordable metal structures, which was my intentions. But I did not like the accusations of soliciting products ... And Hey I live in Europe. Today I have a blacksmith do my designs, since I am busy making garden design plans for my clients. (ooops I did it again! ...soliciting my services and products. I bet I soon gets banned from GW.

  • carla17

    Neils, had to say I love the post title. I remember your wonderful designs. Pictures of your work again please.


  • buford

    Neils, what a shame. It's true that you get punished for trying to do something nice. I hope you put up the pictures again, I didn't get a chance to see them.

  • ceterum

    Darn, I really wanted to see them! I need to figure out fast how to make a sturdy structure for Papi Delbard. The flimsy Monet trellis from J&P broke into pieces when we got some wind - we didn't get any tornadoes or strong winds and still that structure is broken - in the front yard, in the most visible spot, needless to say.

  • cemeteryrose

    Niels - I am so sorry that I didn't get a chance to see these - and that you got hassled about posting them, when all you were doing was helping us out.

    I constantly look for inexpensive ways to support the roses in the Sacramento cemetery. I have a good friend who welds for me - and another volunteer's dad is willing to build things, too - designs are what we need.

  • zeffyrose

    Neils-----I'm sorry about this----I never did get to see your structures. It is a shame that the few have to ruin it for the rest of us.

  • morrisnoor

    Neils, I'm really sad. I like metal supports for plants and I would like to see your structures!

  • sandy808

    Neils, I didn't get the chance to see your pictures, as I was ill all through January. I can't believe someone would accuse you of soliciting business here. I am in need of some ideas for inexpensive, (boy, do I need inexpensive at this point!) yet attractive structures to put some climbers on. I have a Gartendirektor Otto Linne that is going to have to be moved and grown on some type of structure. Would you consider e-mailing me with some ideas? I am not in this professionally, so there is no fear that I would steal your ideas for profit.


  • ogroser

    I'd love to see the structures that go with this wonderful thread, but not having used photobucket before, I don't know how to find Cupshaped Roses' pictures after I am logged in. Thanks for enabling!. Best, Nick

  • explorer7585

    I wasn't able to see anything except photobucket stuff. Here is a gallery that gives good examples too.

    Here is a link that might be useful: Torchcraft

Need help with an existing Houzz order? Call 1-800-368-4268