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Suggestions for Climbing/Rambling Rose on California Central Coast?

Deborah (Z10 Coastal CA)
2 years ago
last modified: 2 years ago


I know a few folks have recently asked about climbers -- I'm asking, too! I made a huge hole and have put in a sort-of retaining wall on a slope just to make a home for a huge rose that I hope will bloom its fool head off and create some privacy between the neighbors down slope and me. We don't have fences in my neighborhood, and it's not near a structure. Theoretically, I could put in some t-posts and string some wire to make a structure upon which to train laterals, but frankly I'd rather just have one big exuberant rose that is happy to spread, grow upright, and eventually kind of spill down the slope.

The most important thing is that the rose is healthy, since I have a sort of tough-love approach to roses and don't want to deal with spray regimens. Plus, I try to do everything organically. The only "spraying" I do is after pruning I do the dormant oil & the copper spray (used to use sulfur, but now that's not allowed? still don't know why...). Anyway -- Austins and Meillands seem to do well for me, but Kordes not so much. I think I'd love an own-root in that space, but am not attached to that idea.

I had initially settled on a Polka rose from Heirloom, but there was a snafu with that order, so now have to decide if I re-order Polka (own-root), or buy Polka locally (almost certainly grafted), or switch to a new rose altogether. I don't think I want an orange or orange-y rose. I do like fragrance. I do appreciate the flower shape of a lovely hybrid tea, but I think I really swoon over the more old fashioned blooms I see on so many Austins and the "romanticas." Nearby is a pink climber , High Hopes, and an old heirloom, Grandmother's Hat. But the GH is young, so could be moved if necessary. I also have an Albrighton Rambler nearby, that is young yet. I'd love a thornless, but that's not required. I just want a super healthy, exuberant, vigorous rose that will grow quickly and bloom constantly. No, I don't want a once-bloomer. I bought a velchenblau for that!

I live on the central coast between Los Angeles and San Francisco. We can get a lot of cool, overcast days b/c of the marine layer, but we can also get hot sun and sundowner and Santa Ana winds in late summer and into fall. We have clay, alkaline soil. This will be on a slope, with a bit of retaining wall to help keep the water from just running straight down hill. There are oak trees nearby, but I won't want to train a rose into the tree canopy b/c we have to be very aware of "fire ladders" living where we do. In this photo the rose would be toward the left - past the end of the path just beyond the big oak on the left.

Thanks for your good advice!

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