ISSUE 15  |  Spring Projects

The 7 Best Climbing Roses for Your Garden

April 19, 2015 12:45 PM

BY Janet Hall

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.


stoop roses red and pink

Above: Photograph by Erin Boyle.

If you want a vigorous, scented pink climber, consider Eden; it’s $15.95 from Brushwood Nursery.

New Dawn

new dawn at salt timber, gardenista

Above: Photograph by Justine Hand.

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; $25.95 at David Austin Roses.



Above: For a similar variety without the wicked thorns, consider the Renae Climbing Rose; $18.67 at Rose Sales Online.

Mme. Alfred Carriere


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 $25.95 from David Austin Roses.  Photograph by Janet Hall.

Zephirine Drouhin


Above: The nearly thornless Zephirine Drouhin Climbing Rose is Michelle’s favorite and offers fragrant old-fashioned blooms in a bright cerise pink; $25.95 at Edmund’s Roses. Photograph by Erin Boyle.

Kew Rambler


Above: The fragrant Kew Rambler offers single apple blossom-like blooms; $27.95 at David Austin. Photograph by Janet Hall.




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.


For more of our favorite garden roses, see: