clemfandango

Roses in front of roses

I have long dreamed of a wall of climbing roses on the south west facing wall of my small garden. Things seem to be shaping up nicely and I am thinking about placing potted shrub roses in the space between the climbers. I have two concerns 1) will the potted roses create too much shade for the climbers 2) will this be just too many roses?


Below are pics with pots and without for reference. Interested to know what folks think.

mattschedler's ideas · More Info


mattschedler's ideas · More Info


Comments (36)

  • PRO
    Patricia Colwell Consulting

    I have never found roses in pots do well except maybe miniature roses. Why not just plant them in the ground where you planning the pots.

  • Moses, Western PA., zone 5/6, USA

    What are the climber 's names?

    I have 3 climbers: Lady Ashe, Quicksilver, and Climbing Pink Don Juan, growing on a 20'+ length of 4' fence, and they are nearly almost too closely planted, at about 8-9 feet apart!

    Moses

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  • Vaporvac Z6-OhioRiverValley

    That's great to know Moses! Now I just need to get quicksilver! :-)

  • flowersaremusic z5 Eastern WA

    Take a look at some of the Japanese rose gardens. They are packed in every available space. If you are prone to fungal disease in your area (hot and humid), packed in wouldn't be the best option, but I don't think two pots would pose a problem. If they eventually seem too close, move them farther away from the climbers.

    It sounds like a beautiful plan. Maybe keep the potted roses to shorter varieties like Gurss an Aachen and Bolero.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=43Y0CwuX2vw

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xvftO6vlieQ

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3BUemW9VB_8

    Most of us can't achieve this kind of rose heaven, but these gardens are always inspirational to me.

  • ac91z6

    I think it will depend on which climbers you have - the ones Moses lists are pretty hardy, and if they aren't loosing cane length to winter they can get pretty big. Others are more moderate sized, and would never meet if you planted them 8 feet apart.

    They look nicely fanned out on your trellis wire, and they look to be a pretty good size! How old are they?

    Roses can work in pots but it depends on the cultivar you have; some roses stay compact and some want to get big. Rose class is no guide here - some floribundas or miniatures (usually just refers to flower size, not plant size!) want to be jolly green giants, some HTs top out at a moderate 3 1/2 ft. You'll also have to prune the roots every few years, and add fresh dirt/potting soil every so often. They'll need more regular watering and fertilizing, being in a container.

    Hopefully someone with more experience can chime in about the shade. The wall is south facing which helps, but I think you're right to consider that it might be a problem. How far are the pots from the base of the climbers?

    A different concern is how the potted roses will make it through your winter - 6b in Brooklyn NY is probably warmer than my 6b in northern MO, but it's still z6. If you can't overwinter the pots in an unheated garage or shed where they roots won't get a hard freeze, you'll have to get roses that are proven hardy to zone 4(!) for them to have a chance at surviving the winter outside.

    Moses, I bet that fence is a beautiful sight when they're all in bloom! Please share some pics with us this spring/summer!

  • Vaporvac Z6-OhioRiverValley

    Regarding question number two I would ask 'Can you really have too many roses?' LOL! If you think so, you've definitely come to the wrong forum! :-)

  • Moses, Western PA., zone 5/6, USA

    The Lady Ashe is own root, and about 8 years old now. it actually has a trunk between 3-4" in diameter, and spreads 6' in each direction. Climbing Pink Don Juan is a much smaller climber, this year is its fourth season starting. I estimate it will not extend wider than its current 7-8', 3-4 feet in each, just fill in more. The Quicksilver is a big one, starting its 3rd. year, it has already spread to 8', and looks like it will easily reach 12' across.


    Quicksilver is bullet proof for black spot, no spraying needed. It is a quick repeater, exceptional for a young climber, or for a climber in general.


    Lady Ashe is a climbing hybrid tea, with 2'+ laterals. CPDJ is a climbing floribunda, short laterals and cluster blooms. Both get black spot here and require spraying. These two are quite fragrant, Quicksilver, less so, but still present.


    Moses

  • suezbell

    Something you might consider doing is adding a treated post centered between each existing post and adding a bracket to each of them for hanging potted plants and/or wind chimes and/or bird houses and/or bird feeders and/or other decorations appropriate to the season. Posts can also hold solar lights.


    Another way to add posts for these uses is to stand the post in a heavy base intended for a large patio/beach umbrella or you could use a wide Christmas tree stand or create a stand for a square post with four short 2"x4" boards -- the taller the post the longer the boards for the base would need to be.


    With free standing posts, you need to "balance the load" -- approximately the same weight on each of two opposing sides.


    Do you have a plain concrete bird bath in your back yard or patio?


    Ditto someone the request of else: please do post "after' pics of your roses -- when they're in bloom.

  • flowersaremusic z5 Eastern WA

    OT - Moses, do you use long handled pruners and/or a ladder for those tall climbers? Or, do you just let them be? Some roses dislike being pruned, but I think that's mostly OGRs. I can still reach Quicksilver, but I'm planting Lady Ashe this year. I'm sure I'll need your advice to prune both of those in years to come.

  • K S 8b Seattle

    Matt, you have come to the wrong place if you want someone to tell you that it is "too many roses." ;) I think it will look great. If the fence gets a lot of sun you are good to go. I second the question as to whether or not the roses will survive in pots over the winter -- best just plant the shrubs in the ground in front of the climbers.

  • suncoastflowers

    I don't understand the phrase "too many roses".

    If disease isn't an issue I say the more the merrier!

  • dianela7bnorthal

    lol I have to agree with every other person here =). There could never be too many roses. I love your fence and your climbers look very nicely trained. I would choose smaller roses for the pots or just plant them in the ground where the pots are.


    Moses I can't wait to see your roses this year. Based on your advise I planted 5 quicksilver this year on a long fence that divides my property with the neighbors (intermingled with some Rose of Sharon that were already there). They are very small, but look incredible with the most gorgeous foliage and one has a tiny bud. Thank you very much for sharing your experiences with this rose.


    Vapor =), your post echoed my thoughts exactly lol. You really need to get Quicksilver. I planted my little ones in January own root from heirloom and one already has a tiny bud.

  • matt 6bbrookynny

    Oh wow! Thanks for all these tremendous responses.


    Just to give some more info, there are 4 roses each planted last year. They are Graham Thomas, Tess Duberville, Claire Austin, and the wedgewood rose. I liked the idea of a real mix of color. The plants are all 3 feet apart which is closer than what the internet would tell you and I was concerned about. I went to the rose test center in Portland this summer and cornered one of the folks there and they didn't seem too concerned and so far so good as far as healthy growth, I was also concerned about cases crossing, but looking at roses gardens online and and instagram the established ones are all criss crossed and overlapping so im not losing too much sleep.


    Honestly, I only have a bit of room and am trying to pack in as much as I can. As for disease I haven't had too much of an issue. I can fight the blackspot off until about the middle of august but by then its just too humid and no amount of spacing or air flow will stop it.


    I like the roses in pots because I can move them around and rearrange things to create paths and such and I also think it looks cute, especially as the pots weather. I have not had issues with roses freezing to death outside, out yard is protected from a lot of wind and even though we are in zone 6 we don't get a lot of the deep cold. I also use rose collars and fill them with cedar much to cover them.


    Anyway, thanks so much for everyones helpful advice. I can't tell you how much I appreciate it.

  • Moses, Western PA., zone 5/6, USA

    Matt,

    It's important to know what varieties your climbers are. If you supply that information your questions will be easier to answer.

    What I was trying to say in my first response was that I think you have spaced your climbers too closely. Pruning them to keep them from growing into each other will be a never-ending task. Also, unless your climbers are amongst the very few that are black spot proof/highly resistant, like Quicksilver, their crowded state and reduced air circulation because of the solid fence blocking flow-through air movement, will eventually make black spot a major issue.

    If a climber spreads to 12 feet across at its mature state, 6 feet from the rose's center in each direction, its neighboring, same variety climber, should be planted 12 feet away. Its end growth will just touch the end growth of its neighbor. If the neighbor, being a different variety, possibly has a smaller mature-state spread, it can be planted closer, all dependant on how far outward from its crown that its outermost tip will reach.

    It's all about the mature-state spread in feet concerning climbers. Climbers are a very different kind of rose bush. In colder climates, they do not wimp out like a Hybrid Tea type bushes can because of winter damage keeping the HT always within a smaller mature size. Most climbs are as tough as nails, and frequently exceed the expected maximum dimensions at maturity, even in colder zones, very much unlike almost any other class of roses.

    Also, Climbers are rather slow, deceptively slow, in making growth during their first years. Thereafter they make incredible size strides.

    It could be OK to have outermost growth from one climber growing into its neighbor for about a foot or so, If they are planted a little bit too closely. However, having climbers planted on three foot or less centers, as they appear to be in your photo, looks like major problems ahead.

    Moses

  • Moses, Western PA., zone 5/6, USA

    Flowers,

    I'm able to access the climbers from my neighbor's property. So I can get up very close to work the climbers. No climbing needed growing on a 4' fence, fortunately!

    You picked two good ones, Quicksilver and Lady Ashe. For me, Quicksilver is bullet proof regarding black spot. Lady Ashe is a black spotter, but very responsive to every two week sprays.

    Lady Ashe works best on a low fence where it's upward facing blooms on strong, long laterals (2-3' for me), can be looked at easily. I would not recommend Lady Ashe for a walk under pagoda or trellis where its upward facing blooms on long hybrid tea type stems would put the blooms high up, and you would be essentially looking up at them.

    Quicksilver is essentially a climbing floribunda....short laterals, cluster bloomers, but the flowers are huge and petal packed.

    Moses

  • flowersaremusic z5 Eastern WA

    Thank you so much, Moses. Good neighbors are a blessing, indeed. I had planned Lady Ashe for an arbor, but knowing that her blooms face upward, I can put her on the fence instead. I've had one Quicksilver for 4 years and another one for 3 years. I think it's the crown jewel in Kordes' collection. So far, mine are both still very reachable because I'm training them along the top of a picket fence - not easy because those canes have a mind of their own. Too dry for fungal diseases here, so no spraying necessary.

  • Moses, Western PA., zone 5/6, USA

    Matt,

    Your garden will be magnificent, small but powerful. I live in a very old part of Pittsburgh, where houses are packed closely like sardines, very cosy, with small gardens, similar to your neighborhood. With mostly older homeowners and professional renters, it is extremely quiet out back for the amount of bustle the street in front has.

    My upper garden is 20' x 20'. A 3' walk goes through it. The rose bed, 8' x 18' is to one side, with bushes from the walk to the fence. The opposite 8' x 18' bed is of winter hardy cacti, and similarly constituted plants. I pray for rain for The roses, and pray it DOESN'T rain for the cacti!

    The lower garden, 20' x 22', is a repurposed two car, cement paved car pad, six steps down from the upper garden. I don't drive anymore, so put the car pad to work, where I grow my potted fig trees, a recent activity.

    Along the back of my home on the outside kitchen wall I grow my grape vines on a large lattice attached to the wall. There's an 8' x 20' patio where I keep a small flock of pigeons in a little loft. The turtle tub is also on the patio.

    The entire outside area is 20' x 50'. So, you see, Matt, a lot of fun, happy, and enriching activities can occur in a very small space.

    Jose's

  • Moses, Western PA., zone 5/6, USA

    Dianela,

    I have to get up to speed on my technology skills. I have yet to figure out how to take cyber photos and yet alone post them on the forum. Maybe this year!

    Moses

  • Vaporvac Z6-OhioRiverValley

    Of your climbers, I only grow Tess and consider it a dainty climber. It can experience some die-back so I think you're safe with spacing on that one.

  • nippstress - zone 5 Nebraska

    I agree with Vaporvac that none of the Austins you list will be an exuberant climber and you won't have the troubles with your spacing that you might with other climbing roses. I have all my climbers planted in a shorter spacing than you describe and they do fine, as long as there is enough space for their roots to spread out. Like you I really want color so I'm fine if they intermingle above the fence.

    I grow three of the four Austins you mention and in my zone 5b yard they're actually pretty small roses. I've had Tess for about 3 years in a regular spot and she struggles to get to 4' by the end of the season. Graham Thomas is in a protected virtual zone 6 spot and he's even smaller. Claire Austin didn't survive in a typical zone 5 spot so I'm replanting her in a more protected spot. You're a zone warmer so that makes a ton of difference, and they're not likely to die back to the ground like they do for me. You already have more growth early in the season on your climbers than I get all summer. Still none of them are likely to be monsters for you.

    For roses in pots, you want to pick varieties that are hardy to a zone colder than yours to allow for the extra freeze that they'll get when above ground. There are plenty of small roses that would do fine in pots that stay in the 3-4' range and are hardy to zone 5. If you want to stay with Austins, Tamora and Pretty Jessica both stay small in most any zone and they would be soft colors that play nicely with the others. Bolero is a tough and long blooming white rose that looks a lot like the Austins and it does well in pots too.

    I don't grow roses in pots since I'm not reliable at keeping them watered enough but not too much. One thing I think you might consider though is looking into a bit larger pots if you're going to keep them there long-term. You need to have at least as much room for the roots to spread out as you have top growth for the rose, so you need a larger pot for roses than you might for other perennials. Check into the threads about growing roses in pots on the Roses Forum for ideas of other pot-friendly roses and pot sizes.

    In Brooklyn on the East Coast, you're in blackspot country so do plan on giving a little air circulation room between your pots and the climbers. You've done an nice job training them into a fan along your fence, so the canes aren't crowded together so far. With a small garden you won't have as much demand on the air circulation as you might in a larger crowded garden, but I'd expect some regular blackspot in your region. People growing roses learn their own tolerance of blackspot and it sounds like you've found yours. Roses that want to blackspot will, and Austins are likely to be a frequent blackspot candidate, and there's only so much you can do to minimize the effect. If it's at a level you can live with go for it. I have tons of roses as densely packed as I can and I don't spray for blackspot, just tolerate it. I have the luxury of a drier climate than yours but I still get plenty of blackspot and I just ignore it.

    Have fun!

    Cynthia

  • flowersaremusic z5 Eastern WA

    Moses, I loved getting a glimpse of your yard and gardens. It sounds like a full time job to me. I love the diversity and that you grow things you can eat as well. I'm surprised it's warm and dry enough for the cacti, and tropical enough for the figs. I am totally impressed at what you've accomplished. I've always admired you, but now, I do so even more.

  • Moses, Western PA., zone 5/6, USA

    Flowers,

    I also think Kordes has 'hit one out of the park,' with Quicksilver. It is obsessed with growing and blooming.

    I wish Chris, the old Kordes rep. in the USA, still posted here, so that I could finally heap praises on a Kordes rose. I have been pretty hard, but sincerely truthful, in my past evaluations of the many other Kordes roses I tried that failed for me, with which she seemed to take personally, and responded unnecessarily belligerently.

    Moses

  • Moses, Western PA., zone 5/6, USA

    Matt,

    Those varieties are not really climbers, so you are safe with the distances you spaced them. You are growing them fanned out alongside the fence as a rose screen, an excellent idea!

    Sorry for my misunderstanding.

    I believe your potted roses can go right into the ground just where you situated your pots....easier to care for, and roses always grow better in-ground than in pots.

    Moses

  • Moses, Western PA., zone 5/6, USA

    Matt,

    You can always, 'take to the bank,' any rose culture information our, "Nipstress," Cynthia, shares. She knows her stuff.

    Moses

  • sharon2079

    flowersaremusic..... I just love those videos.... and hate them too.... because I WANT THOSE...... call me Veruca Salt - I want it now,,, but yet I know there is NO WAY I can obtain it...... it feels like I spray then I weed then I spray again.... over and over.....


  • suezbell

    The only way you have "too many roses" is if you cannot reach some of them to maintain them ... to feed them and keep weeds from growing up around them and even then, it is not how many but where they roses are located.

  • flowersaremusic z5 Eastern WA

    Sharon, I know the feeling well. I look at those gardens and dream and tell myself this will be the year, then I come back to reality. We do what we can.

  • Moses, Western PA., zone 5/6, USA

    Flowers,

    Thanks for the kind words. Your timing is perfect..needed some encouragement during these trying days!

    Moses

  • nippstress - zone 5 Nebraska

    You're very kind Moses, but I actually think your advice is more regionally appropriate for Matt since you're closer to the east coast. One of the beauties of this rose community online is that we can seek out advice from people near to our region, even as we learn from people in different regions. Even a zone or half a zone can make a huge difference, such as your exuberant Quicksilver and mine that I keep anxiously watching to see recover from the winter just barely each year so far.

    Matt, I do agree with Moses that there are a lot of benefits of putting your potted planned roses into the ground, and mine wouldn't survive long in pots. Plenty of people do grow them in pots though and it's a way to cheat and have more roses when you don't really have space for more. Because as everyone else has said, there's not such thing as "too many roses" in our world...
    Cynthia

  • partim

    I'm no rose expert but I do know that roses don't like to have their roots crowded by other plants, including other roses. I think that planting those in the ground will put their roots too close to the climbers.

    I love the rose forum, and this posts reminds me of my visit to the David Austin gardens in Shropshire in June 2018 at the height of the blooms. It was incredible! Check out some of the youtube videos for a treat!

  • matt 6bbrookynny

    Thanks so much again for everyones advice. I went ahead with the roses in pots. Below are pics of how it turned out as well as the garden as a whole for sense of how it all fits in and how my potted roses looked last year. Thanks again!

    mattschedler's ideas · More Info



    mattschedler's ideas · More Info


    mattschedler's ideas · More Info


    mattschedler's ideas · More Info


  • partim

    Beautiful!!

  • summersrhythm_z6a

    It looks beautiful! Do you have space to winter those potted roses? I store my potted roses and rose trees in insulated garages and unheated basement during the winter months.

  • matt 6bbrookynny

    I don’t have space to overwinter them, I use rose collars that I then fill with cedar mulch and that has worked really well. Where I am doesn’t get the deep cold that some other places do and so far everything has done fine.

  • flowersaremusic z5 Eastern WA

    What a beautiful oasis!

  • nippstress - zone 5 Nebraska

    You have built a garden paradise and made the most of your small yard! You obviously have a great sense of how to grow your roses and other plants well and they are rewarding you with beauty! I bet your neighbors are peeking over your fence wistfully all the time envying you all that beauty, but glad to share it when they can. Just lovely!

    Cynthia

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