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 $14.95 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; $19.95 at Rogue Valley Roses.
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 $19.95 from David Austin Roses. Image by Janet Hall.
Above: The nearly thornless Zepherine Drouhin Climbing Rose is Michelle's favorite and offers fragrant old-fashioned blooms in a bright cerise pink; $16.50 at Edmund's Roses. Image via Suzy Bales' Garden.
Above: The fragrant Kew Rambler offers single apple blossom-like blooms; $17.50 at Heirloom Roses. Image by Janet Hall.
Above: The romantic French Sombreuil Climbing Rose has an abundance of petals arranged in the form of flat, quartered rosettes; $19.95 at Dave Austin Roses. Image 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 $11.97 at Wayside Gardens. Image 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 from $27.17 through Amazon.
An abundance of rose petals? Consider putting them to use with Maria's recipe for Rose Petal Honey.