Summer Roses and Structures That Support Them

Regal roses…
The flower queen of the garden with hundreds of varieties
and a pedigree dating back 35 million years to the
oldest rose fossils, structures to support them came about
as an off-shoot to growing fruits and vegetables
in ancient times.

Today these structures continue to add support
but also their beauty and no where is this
so true as in the rose garden…

The rose  is the quintessential flower of any formal or cottage garden and as such we want to showcase these beauties
in the best way possible.
We do this with a variety of structural supports such as large
arbors as seen in the photograph above.


I shot this massive four-hoop arbor at the Biltmore rose gardens
last fall and went inside it to “measure” as best I could
how big each of these really are.
Each arbor was approximately 8′ wide by 8 – 10′ tall and
each was wired to its neighbor, four in all.
Impressionist painter Oscar-Claude Monet made these arbors famous through his paintings and gardeners have been
applauding their supporting roles in the garden ever since.

Often climbing roses need some support as they do not cling to walls and structures like other climbing vines do as they bear
only spines and no winding tendrils.
Summertime is a good time to access your garden’s needs
to see where a new support might be needed to hold up our
beloved roses and climbing vines.
Creating a plan to restructure the garden by adding a pergola here or an arbor there will give your garden added height and added
beauty in addition to offering roses the support they need.

A lovely backyard pergola or patio cover ~ photo taken at my friends Cindy and Bob Ellis’ garden.


Pergolas or patio covers are usually beamed open ceiling structures often with lattice or shade cloth on top to help filter the sun.
They can be free-standing structures but are often built against a house or building for extra support in the high winds.

Pergolas are perfect for tying-in monster climbing rose canes
as they are built to take the weight of canes as they mature.
Wisteria is another climber that especially needs a solid structure
to support the future weight of its canes as it tends to collapse arbors and other supports that are too light to carry
its eventual weight.

Trellises and Towers

Trellises are smaller light-weight structures often made from
wood, wrought iron, aluminum or woven caning from
bamboo or tree saplings.
They are perfect for leaning up against walls in a garden
and growing smaller roses up against their frames
to add interest and light support.

I love small towers too as they can be added into a large rose pot
to create a mini arbor.
This type of trellis was really popular during the Victorian and Edwardian era when tea roses and climbing roses with smaller
4′ – 6′ canes were first introduced with their
repeat flowering abilities.

Other supports

PVC pipes connected together to create towers are great for their ability to be strong supports for roses tall vegetables and small trees.  Small 1″ x 2″ boxes nailed or screwed together are make great light-weight square support structures in the garden.

Sometimes even a series of eye bolts screwed into a cement garden
wall and strung with wire or jute twine horizontally across from eyelet to eyelet can create a lovely support to espalier a rose bush
and especially fruit trees.

In a small garden espalier trees against a wall gives the small garden height but also allows the gardener to have a tree
that otherwise wouldn’t fit in a small space.
Espalier takes specific branches of a tree and runs them horizontally tied in along wires much like grapes are
out in the field.

Here is a young tree at Magnolia Market formed into an espalier showing many limbs removed.
The branches that won’t fit into the espalier are removed
and only those that grow in the preferred direction
are kept ~ I’ve seen photographs of trees also run on
the diagonal and they look spectacular and elegant
when a number of small trees are set out
along a wall!

Here is a small arbor made from young saplings wound
around each other and tied with jute in the center.
A company sells these to Chip and Joanna Gaines
to use in their gardens in Waco, Texas.

Here is another one of the large arbors at Biltmore Estate.
When these roses are blooming in summer and the
days heat up I can imagine that walking under these
arbors would be a scent-filled cooling delight!
Lovely roses at dusk…

One or two rose bushes were planted around each of the arbors’ “corners” which I found very interesting.
I imagine that is to get the fullness needed to make the
arbor the most beautiful when in bloom.
Plus the intertwining rose canes create a criss-cross support
as they are twined together overhead from one side
to the opposite.

Some of the David Austin roses blooming madly in the early cool October evening.
Just a few last rose blooms as this post closes…
So if you haven’t tried adding some structures to your
garden then consider these ideas.
Who knows ~ your garden might be the
next Giverny!

Sharing with
Dishing It and Digging It
Thursday Favorite Things
Feathered Nest Friday
Sweet Inspiration

à bientôt,

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