Your shopping cart is empty.

I dislike climbers

5 days ago

Is it just me who does not like to work with climbers ? I find them scary when not in bloom , I mean winters..anybody else like me?

Comments (53)

  • Kristine LeGault 8a pnw

    That's good to know Sheila , much less intimidating.

  • nanadollZ7 SWIdaho

    Oh, Sheila, you are a climber grower after my own heart. Let 'em rip, and whack back later when necessary. Climbers do look pretty scroungy in the winter, I think, but not particularly scary. My problem right now is that at age 73, I no longer want to climb up on step ladders to do the whacking. I had my son in law do a little of that the other day when the tree people came to work on our trees, and Colette was shooting up canes into a tree. Not sure how I'm going to solve my dilemma, though.....Growing old--yuck. Diane

  • nanadollZ7 SWIdaho

    She's ready to pull that old arbor down, and it has cattle fence posts sunk into the ground several feet to hold the arbor in place. That took a sledge hammer, and a whole lot of muscle (not mine). Diane

  • bart_2015

    LOL, Sheila! That's like me,only now I'm paying the price,being forced to invent supports in order to get things under control a bit. There are places where I can't pass through, and things have just gotten to be too wild...

  • HalloBlondie (zone5a) Ontario, Canada
    I dislike them, simply out of jealousy that I can't have them in my climate!

    They are beautiful when the growing conditions are right.
  • oursteelers 8B PNW

    Mine are all young so not scary yet but man do I wish for them to look like Diane’s!!!

  • jc_7a_MiddleTN

    I'm glad to know some of you just let them run wild, because that's my plan.

    I don't want to be looking at an empty arbor/trellis/structure for however long it takes them to cover it, so I'm just letting them all do their thing.

    I think the only one that will get any support early is a New Dawn I want to grow over a very large but poorly located crape myrtle.

  • lkayetwvz5

    Oh what I would do and am still trying to get climbers back! I have all these structures I build 25 years ago for the climbers I had then but nothing will climb on any of them now!

    Nana...I am so envious of your Colette! Mine (was labeled Climbing Colette from Weeks I believe) makes it through every winter but never gets any bigger than about 2 1/2' tall and maybe gives me one or two flowers a season. I used to hate pruning out dead wood on New Dawn and Alchymist. Those thorns will shred your arms to pieces! I went to the dentist one day back then the day after pruning Alchymist and the dentist just stared at my arms and after a few moments asked "Do you have cats?"

  • mariannese

    I can't imagine my garden without climbers and ramblers. I have 27 of them in my half acre. But because of my Swedish climate most of them do not grow tall enough to be scary, The thorniest ramblers may be a little frightening but I don't train them, just push them in place from below. Lykkefund is a very sweet and docile, thornless helenae rambler.

  • jc_7a_MiddleTN

    mariannese, i am trying to copy you by planting a bunch of ramblers and climbers near trees. Hope it turns out looking like yours!

  • Kristine LeGault 8a pnw

    Diane, you crack me up. I totally get the whole aging thing when it comes to climbing ladders. I pulled out the ladder at work yesterday to pull a huge bag of coffee off of a shelve and had 3 people run to spot me. "Look out, old woman on a ladder "

    I think that is a lot of my fear is how will I prune and train something that could end up as a gynormous thorny beast. That is why I am starting with Quicksilver, hopefully, I can beat that one into submission.

    But, I so envy those gardens that are full of climbers and drapers. Duane, your Colette is so glorious, but then, everything that you grow is so beautiful.

  • nanadollZ7 SWIdaho

    Amen, Kristine. I'm getting a little more unsteady, and I'm using an abundance of caution in doing climber pruning. I thought about having a granddaughter spot me, but they are little pixies and I'm a tall fairly big Nana. I'd crush them on the way down--a terrible thought. I will be bringing Quick Silver home, too around early May. It better be a short climber, plus I don't know where I'm going to put the thing. Thank you for your comment. If I only could have delphiniums like you have. One reason I picked Colette was she wasn't New Dawn (which I had just banished from my garden), and Colette is supposed to be fairly short. I think her thorns are about as bad as New Dawn's.

    Ikaye, get your goatskin gauntlets on and prepare to do battle with a worthy adversary--New Dawn. I'm sorry Colette has been a runt for you, and thank you for your nice comment. I thought Colette was good in colder climates. She's one of my cold hardiest roses, it seems, but I'm in a so called warmer zone than you. Nobody around here thinks we are zone 7, and we were zone 6 for decades. I would love to have some of your structures, and I hope you are able to fill them up before too long. Diane

  • vaporvac

    I love climbers, but so far mine only grow on fences, balustrades and soon, a 6' brick wall. Oh yeah, also on a garage wall, but those two are still small. They are easy to prune and care for when planted like this. My plans for an arbor are put off for another year I think, so your ideas here will help me decide which are best. While I like the idea of low-thorn, they do need actual tying, whereas my thorny devils just sort of attach themselves to the structure and each other! Most of mine are still babies in pots or waiting for their third year leap. Diane, have you ever tried the pole loppers? I use those a lot for my tall bushes. My old wooden one is heavy, but the new fiberglass one is much lighter weight. It telescopes to well over maybe 15'-20'. I'd be thrilled to have a rose climb that tall!

  • nanadollZ7 SWIdaho

    Vapor, I've had pole loppers for a number of years. I bought them for my son in law, and so far he is the only one to use them. I guess I'd better learn how. Thanks for reminding me about the things. Right now, using them would be against my surgeon's orders, I think. I agree about the thorny devils--they are easier to "train". Diane

  • Seeingreen

    I love climbers I just wish I had larger structures to grow them on :)

  • dianela7bnorthal

    I love climbers, but I do agree they can be very intimidating. After seeing all the beautiful climbers here like Diane's Colette and Lisa's Mel's heritage I got a few and they originally were tiny and cute. Two years later I am starting to find out they will be a lot of work to keep in check. Mel's heritage had to be moved to a cedar tree where it might takeover the world, training and pruning Raspberry Cream T was scary business because I am afraid of heights (just a bit), I might need to get some of those pole loppers very soon. Having said that, I still LOVE them and I would like to have every tree and every external house wall covered in roses if possible.

  • sultry_jasmine_nights (Florida 9a)

    At least Raspberry Cream Twirl is pretty much thornless! I went out one day looking to see if she had thorns and took pictures. I didn't find any. I dont know if she is advertised as thornless or if, maybe, she has a few once in awhile or something but more people should grow her.

  • sultry_jasmine_nights (Florida 9a)

    Diane, is your gorgeous Colette own root, or grafted? Do you have one or two on that arch?

    Seeing Green, who is that beautiful rose in your photo?

    I love climbers too! Half the roses I grow are climbers. Some are wanna-be climbers here. My Poseidon sported into a climber but I'm not mad about it at all lol!

  • dianela7bnorthal

    Sultry you are correct. Raspberry itself is a wonderful rose to work with. She does have a few very well spaced out thorns on some of the lower thicker canes that are very unoffensive. I would certainly consider it as a thornless rose. I think I have been singing her praises since it was a first year plant in my garden and do hope more people try her. She started as a one gallon from heirloom and bloomed her first year, then bloomed and re-bloomed her second year while managing to grow 9- 10 feet on my arch, what a rewarding rose to grow. I have great hopes for it this year (3rd), and will probably spam all these threads with her blooms =)

  • sultry_jasmine_nights (Florida 9a)

    I got mine from Heirloom as well. Yes,she is a fast grower and good bloomer here. Also a frog- favorite lol. The blooms are often quartered once they open all the way. I only have 2 striped roses. RCT and Peach Swirl. Frogs are especially crazy for both of them. Maybe its the food names lol.


    I just now realized there is a frog in one of the upper right hand roses :0

    This one was kinda big to hide there lol

    Mote typical sized frog

    This guy is waiting for the last petal to fall, I guess, before he hops to the next flower lol

  • John (PNW zone 8)
    If you want to see how beautiful climbing roses can be in winter, check out the intricate pruning and training photos that this amazing gardener at Asthall Manor shares on her Instagram page:.
  • vaporvac

    Wow! . And I'm worried about getting my little space pruned and set straight for spring! I'd love to see more pics in flower. The canes look like sculptures. Now I'm thinking I need something like that going over my garage, but would need to find a climber vigorous enough to cover it. Maybe if I get another MAC. I'm trying with Phyllis Bide and Florentina, but don't believe either are monsters

  • sultry_jasmine_nights (Florida 9a)

    Wow those are works of art! I have MAC and she is a house eater! I love her ♡

  • nanadollZ7 SWIdaho

    Sultry, love those froggies tucked into every petal and nook. To answer your questions, there is one Colette on the arbor, and she is grafted on Dr Huey. She took off fast from the start, and bloomed the same spring she was planted, though obviously was a lot smaller than the 2018 photo shows. I love your Raspberry Swirl. Do you grow Peach Swirl, too? I remember Cori Ann's PS. It's not a climber, is it? Diane

  • sultry_jasmine_nights (Florida 9a)

    Thank Diane! I need to get a Colette! Peach Swirl is more of a large upright shrub. She could be grown as sort if a small climber though in warm zones. I think Cori Ann moved hers to a taller fence and was growing it as a short climber after noting how large she got. Mine doesn't really need any support. I've been cutting back the really long canes. She is a superb bloomer with HUGE fluffy flowers.

  • nanadollZ7 SWIdaho

    Sultry, Peach Swirl is gorgeous. Diane

  • Perma n’ Posies/9A FL

    Thank you, John for the link—-what an amazing array of rose sculptures!

    Sultry, your Swirls are both just gorgeous! (BTW, I showed my DH the pics of your frogs, and they helped me convince him we need a water element...so thank you!!) :-)

  • FrozeBudd_z4

    HalloBlondie ...

    "I dislike them, simply out of jealousy that I can't have them in my climate!"

    I was going to write the very same thing, it's such a tough climate here and only a few climbing rose are capable of doing well, though only if papered and coddled and then to be struck down in extra hard winters, I give up!

  • sultry_jasmine_nights (Florida 9a)

    perma, Lol! Just b sure to use mosquito dunks in summer if u have still water.

  • HalloBlondie (zone5a) Ontario, Canada
    @frozebud - I'm switching over to clematis for climbers this year. Maybe some honeysuckle too! Just doing research right now. I long to have some climbing greenery with a bit of colour. They would be much easier to maintain too!
  • FrozeBudd_z4

    HalloBlondie, this is what 'John Davis' can do even here in far north when we have our "normal" cold winters! But, there's been such dramatic extremes that he's now been reduced to a former shadow of himself. As for clematis, I've grown them since I was a teenager, totally loved them and even had imported several times from the UK and US .... but, somewhere along the way, root knot nematodes found their way here and well, basically pretty much all my clematis succumb to this destructive root destroying pest. Though, on a bright note, while doing my research, I stumbled across a very effective deterrent companion plant ... and wouldn't you know, by chance, I did have such a plant snuggled up with one of my clematis plants ... and, indeed, that clematis had remained completely healthy and vigorous! Later, when digging up that clematis, the roots proved to be 100% clean and free of nematodes! What is that highly effective companion plant ... it's asparagus! So, now it's time to get back to doing a bit of clematis shopping and preparing myself to be eating more asparagus than ever, lol.

  • HalloBlondie (zone5a) Ontario, Canada
    @frozebud - It's nice to see pictures of these hardy climbers. I was not aware of the possibility of nematode damage to clematis. Great another pest to worry about. Where are you located?
  • FrozeBudd_z4

    I'm located in central Alberta, a climate of extreme roller coaster rides! Though, summers are generally very pleasant and seldom muggy and humid, dry heat is a wonderful thing!

    Here's a photo from the net of moderate root knot nematode damage on clematis, believe me things can get much worse than this and I've had plants die rather quickly from a severe infestation :(

  • Perma n’ Posies/9A FL

    I think FL has to be root-knot nematode central—-I had no idea you had them in Canada! I’m surprised they survive your winters. They really like my fig trees, so I’ve been planting with crab meal to encourage the bacteria that attacks them. That and lots of OM plus heavy mulch.

  • dianela7bnorthal

    sultry_jasmin your Raspberry Cream is gorgeous and I love those beautiful nice frogs. It is great to see them having such a good time in your garden.

  • sultry_jasmine_nights (Florida 9a)

    Perma, I wonder if that's what happened to my nice LSU Purple fig tree? It did great for about 6 yrs then suddenly declined and died. Good thing I took lots of cuttings. I have another large one out in the front but The Mermaid (rose) is currently trying to strangle the life out of it, so now I have to move it.

    Thanks dianela :) RCT is fast growing on its own roots. I think the frogs love being up high on some of the climbing roses.

  • FrozeBudd_z4

    Perma, previously, I had hoped those lumps and bumps on my clematis roots were simply harmless or possibly something along the lines of how legumes fix nitrogen ... though, in reality I had suspected otherwise. Years back, I must have grown and trialed 70 different large flowered clematis varieties, though I now basically have nothing other than a few struggling plants, At least the asparagus can provide for an effective preventive measure and I can again resume building up a bit of a clematis collection. Thankfully, I haven't noticed any nematode damage on any other susceptible plants such as tomatoes and peppers.

  • toolbelt68

    Here is my 2 cents on Climbers:

    Personally I think roses that are called climbers should be called ‘long cane roses’. They don’t climb, they just grow long canes that by chance my lay against a structure that allows them to go upward. If you want them to ‘climb’, you tie them up against your structure. Plants that climb are called vines.

    I suggest twine as they first start out then switch to wire. I use single strand #22 black house wire. A spool from Home Depot should last you years! Don’t prune anything except the dead canes. Just let them grow upward. Form a column of canes using the twine, making sure the column is secured to the structure. Once they go up and over the top of your structure then switch to the wire to keep them in place. Otherwise a good wind storm will rip them out and you’ll have a ‘climber’ laying on the ground. Simple as that. PS. I have 60+/- Zeffies that are called climbers and not one of them has climbed anywhere!…. lol

    You may want to check out the 'Cut and Hold Pruners' from Wildflower Seed and Tool co. Not cheap but you don’t have to climb step ladders when pruning……

  • Lilyfinch z7 mid tn

    I love this thread so much but feel bad the original poster had no idea we would spend days trying to convince them otherwise. Lol they probably didn’t realize we would just try to fix their climbing issue , not just agree with them! Come back original poster! We just want to grow roses with you :)

  • sultry_jasmine_nights (Florida 9a)

    I think the Mermaid actually climbs..she digs her 'hooks' into anything she can get and up she goes! She could probably hook herself into a concrete wall. Barbed wire has nothing on her. I put a half round cattle hay bale feeder around her to try to keep her in. Im gonna have to get the other half on soon.

  • R pnwz8a

    Yes Lily, I am rather convinced and looking for climbers to start with ..lol.. and trellis and space to put them in ground .. and I am here .. I was away for a few days .. busy getting more roses and ordering and setting up a new raised bed for my veggies ;)

  • summersrhythm_z6a

    Lol, what an interesting thread. From cost accounting point of view, you got more blooms from climbers ramblers for your $$ ( cost per unit/bloom). :-)

    rbains5 thanked summersrhythm_z6a
  • Kristine LeGault 8a pnw

    I am actually feeling better about trying my Quicksilver on an arbor.

    Ok, thoughts.

    The arbor is 7 ft tall. Quicksilver is 7 ft tall but Im hoping for at least another foot so that it will start to go over the top.

    Ok. White arbor, lavender rose. On the other side of the arbor I am not planting a climber and I may not plant a rose but if I do, here are my choices that are already ordered or here

    Charles Renne Macintosh

    Lavender Veranda

    Plum Perfect

    The Fawn

    Any or none of the above ?

    Under the arch will be a bird bath.

    Maybe Quicksilver is to short for an arbor and needs a trellis instead

  • dianela7bnorthal

    Ohhhhhh I love this idea. All your choices for the other side are very good. lavender verandas color will be in the same spectrum as quick silver which will be very harmonious. I have one and the color is lovely. On the other hand a bit of pink with the rich blooms of CRM would look amazing and the fawn is such a generous little rose. My fawn blooms a lot more than my lavender veranda here, but I have had it longer so it might not stay that way.

    You are making this very difficult =p by having such great choices.

    I think depending on how much space you have I would do quick silver with plum perfect on other side to repeat the lavender. Then the fawn in front. Whatever you do I am sure it will be wonderful and I will be looking forward to seeing how it turns out. The fawn can of course be tucked in anywhere (I Love this little rose). Depending oh how much you want the other side covered maybe CRM will be a better option since I expect the Austin’s can get larger than plum perfect, but I am not sure.

  • nanadollZ7 SWIdaho

    Kristine, I'm getting a Quick Silver, too, but I won't pick mine up from Edwards locally til the first week in May. This is a five gallon plant that I expect to be blooming, so the take off will be fast. I still have time to acquire a support, but I think I'll use a lattice/trellis, and squeeze her in somewhere. I hoping she isn't over 6-7 feet tall max, and I don't want to use a lattice any taller than 6 feet. Quick Silver is own root, and I'm not happy about that, so she might be slower and smaller than described. In your zone, QS will probably be about as large as the description, or larger. She may cover the arbor, but you might need a short clematis to meet her coming up from the other side of the arbor. I can't wait to see how your rose does. Good luck. Your plans sound lovely. Diane

  • nanadollZ7 SWIdaho

    Summers, my larger roses seem to produce more blooms than any climbers I've grown. They bloom for a longer period and repeat better. I guess it depends on the specific roses you are comparing. No rose out produces blooms compared to my grafted Julia Child roses. Diane

  • Kristine LeGault 8a pnw

    I am trying to find a shorter arbor so that Quicksilver at least reaches the top center. It would look dorkey if it just made it up one side.

    Dianela, I have sevetal options to work with. There is also white Pet in the mix and 3 Desdamona.

    Now I just have to clear a whole bunch of weeds to get it planted

  • sultry_jasmine_nights (Florida 9a)

    I have 3 QS. Two are OR and one is grafted. The two OR are actually doing well. They arent slow and I got mine from band size. Diane, I think your QS OR will do well for you, especially since you will be starting from a 5 gal size.

  • Kristine LeGault 8a pnw

    Sultry. How tall are your QS ?

Need help with an existing Houzz order? Call 1-800-368-4268 (Mon-Sun).