Guest Author - Michelle Ullman
Many gardeners are wary of climbing roses, fearing that they require complex pruning techniques or are difficult to grow. The reality is climbing roses are no harder to grow than any other rose, and there are many outstanding varieties waiting to add a magnificent touch to your trellis, arbor, arch or gazebo. While there are hundreds of climbing roses available, the following four are all disease-resistant, perform well throughout most gardening zones, and produce an abundance of flowers throughout the growing season.
Climbing White Iceberg
White Iceberg is a wonderful rose, very hardy and resistant to mildew, blackspot and rust. Iceberg's well-deserved reputation for ease and abundant pure white flowers has made it a favorite of malls, parks and other public places. The climbing Iceberg combines that healthy, disease-resistant, floriferous beauty with long canes that reach 12 to 15 feet in length. Use garden tape to fasten the canes to your trellis or other support, training the canes into a gently fanning shape for the best display. Climbing Iceberg stands up to extreme heat, has long-lasting flowers and a mild scent.
Introduced in 2007, Candy Land has quickly established itself as a healthy, vigorous grower reaching 12 to 15 feet in height. The blossoms are an unusual, variegated deep rosy pink and creamy white, with uneven stripes and blotches covering the petals. The very center of each blossom is soft yellow. Candy Land is very disease-resistant and produces clusters of flowers from spring through fall. Remove faded blooms to encourage even better flowering.
An improved version of the classic favorite Joseph's Coat, the new climber Jacob's Robe has the same striking mix of pink, salmon, yellow and cream on each flower, but adds the benefit of excellent disease-resistance, bushier foliage, stronger growth and more flowers. Train the 10- to 12-foot-long canes in an outward, near-horizontal pattern, and your reward will be even more flowers. The clusters of blossoms last a long time displayed in a vase, and have a soft, spicy scent.
Climbing Lemon Meringue
Frilly, heavily petaled flowers in a golden yellow practically glow on the beautiful climber Lemon Meringue. Healthy, disease-resistant canes reach 10 to 12 feet long in mild climates. The blooms are a deeper yellow in cool weather, fading to a softer lemon yellow during the heat of summer. Lemon Meringue is highly fragrant, with a spicy, heady aroma and produces flushes of flowers from spring through fall. Clip off faded blossoms, and Lemon Meringue will flower even more.
Itís hard to match the romance of a climbing rose spilling over your fence, arbor or garden arch. Position a bench underneath, and you have the perfect spot to sit with a cup of tea, admiring the beauty of your flowers.