Support Your Roses
Teach your roses to climb toward success with strong supports.
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1. Select an appropriate prop for the plant. Choose supports made of materials that suit the style of your home and landscape. A wood arbor or fence paired with loose plantings lends a relaxed feel to a garden, for instance, while wrought-iron structures and tidy patterns create a more formal feel. Paint an obelisk a funky electric blue, and let a yellow rose scoot up its legs for an artful look. Paint that same obelisk white, combine it with a white picket fence, and drape both with pink roses for a cottage garden.
2. Let a rose meander its way up a spring-flowering shrub or fruit tree. Plant the rose on a windward side of its host, at least 3 feet away from the trunk, so it will climb in search of sun. Excellent tree climbers include 'Paul's Himalayan Musk Rambler,' 'Mermaid,' and 'Blaze.'
3. Be imaginative when considering supports for your roses. You'll find lots of ready-made structures in all kinds of materials -- from steel or aluminum to plastic or bamboo -- at garden centers and building supply stores and through mail-order catalogs. Or look for less pricey items around your house, such as a corner of iron railing, a rattan headboard, or an old ladder.
4. Twist and coax long canes of roses to intermingle and form natural arches with little, if any, support. Just plant them on opposite sides of a path or stairway with a tall upright for each rose and a wire stretched between the poles.