By training a fabulous, fragrant climbing or rambling rose up a wall or or fence, you can convert a dull, even unsightly area into one of the most stunning features in your garden. It draws the eye up from the ground, providing colour and blooms at eye level. Similarly, placing a rose behind a border on a wall or fence will increase the impact and visual depth of the bed.

Planting near a wall or fence

Plant the rose 20 cm away from the wall your hole should be 40 cm in diameter with the rose in the centre. Place the rose in the middle of the area you would like it to cover, fanning the stems out either side. For fences, avoid planting against the post due to the concrete in the ground. 

When covering a large area, space the roses out by the same distance as their mature height.

how to plant a bare root climbing rose

supporting and training a rose on a wall or fence

Place the lowest straining wire 60 cm from the ground, repeating every 30-45 cm up the wall or fence, up to the mature height of the rose. The span of the straining wires should cover the width you want the rose to fill.  Use vine eyes every 1.5 m along the length to hold the wire in place and stop if from sagging. Alternatively, support using a trellis attached to the wall and tie-in directly onto the trellis. 

As the rose grows, encourage side shoots by fanning out the stems left and right into the available space, tying-in as you go, aiming to create, good, even coverage.

One of the best places to grow a climber is on a wall, particularly the walls of a house. Roses always look best when closest to where we live. The formality of architecture contrasts beautifully with the natural growth of the roses. A wall also has the effect of drawing roses to a much greater height than they would grow elsewhere. This is particularly advantageous in the case of shorter growing roses, such as David Austin’s English Climbers. Most climbers will thrive on a sunny south or west facing wall, although some varieties will flourish on a shady north-facing wall.