Standing tall in my back garden is a large crab apple tree that I disdain but for one attribute: it is the best climbing tree around. I'm not talking about for my children, rather for my gorgeous, fragrant climbing rose. I am probably committing some horrible gardening offense by letting the rose take over. I can't help but let the refined rose take on its wild side; that's what I love about climbing roses. Here are seven of our favorite varieties to consider.
My bias is for light-colored climbers—whites and light pinks. What's yours? Share your favorite varieties in the comments below.
If you want a vigorous, scented pink climber, consider Eden; it's $12.95 from Brushwood Nursery.
Above: The prolific pink grower in my garden is the New Dawn Climbing Rose. A fragrant climbing classic that is the forerunner of the modern climbing rose; $19.95 at David Austin Roses. Image via Flickr.
Above: For a similar variety without the wicked thorns, consider the Renae Climbing Rose; $18.50 at Rose Sales Online.
Above: A tough climbing rose that can survive many climates (even the San Francisco fog), the Mme. Alfred Carriere Climbing Rose has very fragrant white informal-shaped blooms. Available for $21.95 from David Austin Roses. Photograph by Janet Hall.
Above: The nearly thornless Zephirine Drouhin Climbing Rose is Michelle's favorite and offers fragrant old-fashioned blooms in a bright cerise pink; $16.95 at Edmund's Roses. Photograph via Suzy Bales' Garden.
Above: The fragrant Kew Rambler offers single apple blossom-like blooms; $27.95 at David Austin. Photograph by Janet Hall.
Above: The romantic French Sombreuil Climbing Rose has an abundance of petals arranged in the form of flat, quartered rosettes; $21.95 at Dave Austin Roses. Photograph via the Huntington Botanical Gardens.
Above: I love the delicate small foliage and blossoms of the Ballerina Climbing Rose. Good for hedging, it is available for $15.37 at Jackson and Perkins. Photograph by Janet Hall.
Above: A guidebook to climbing roses that thrive in North America (and tips to care for them), Climbing Roses by Stephen Scanniello and Tania Bayard is available used from $3.93 through Amazon.
For more of our favorite garden roses, see:
- 10 Easy Pieces: Best Fragrant Garden Roses.
- Design Sleuth: 7 Sources for Brooklyn's Best Roses.
- DIY: Braided Rose Pillars.
- A Rose for All Regions: 5 Best Roses to Plant in the Northeast, in Texas, and in Northern California.
- Bread and Roses: Sarah Owens at Home in Brooklyn.