ISSUE 15  |  Spring Projects

The 7 Best Climbing Roses for Your Garden

April 19, 2015 12:45 PM

BY Janet Hall

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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.  

Above: Roses climb a wall at the amazing Italian Renaissance gardens at the Villa d’Este in Tivoli. Photograph via Flickr.

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: