Training a very large Rambling Rose over an arch then onto a fence - HELP!

Joined
Jun 29, 2022
Messages
684
Reaction score
203
Location
Ayrshire
Hardiness Zone
9b
Country
United Kingdom
I have drainage ditch running down one side of my garden so can't plant anything against the fence. My solution is to create an arch that goes from a flower bed and arches towards the fence. The idea being that the rose will grow up arch (4 foot wide, and spanning a 5 foot gap) and then branch to run along the fence in both directions.

The rose in question is Bobbie James and it grows to around 25 feet long. So - 12 feet or so taken up to get over the arch, and then 10 feet or so in each direction along the fence. I want it sitting on top of the fence and tumbling down. I had planned to run a wire along the top of the fence and tie the rose to that. Do I simply take half the canes one way and half the other - and tie them all to a single wire?

I can't find any information about how to train a rambling rose up an arch in this way - plenty of info on an arch alone, but nothing on how to divert it onto a fence. My concern is that if I don't do it right all the flowering will happen on the fence and none on the arch!

I guess for starters it would help if I understood how a rambling rose grows/flowers. My understanding is that it'll flower on old wood? Is that last years new growth only, or ALL old wood?

I've read that new canes come up from the base every year - are you supposed to cut out the old wood every year and replace it with new canes?

Should I tie the canes in straight up the arch - I've read that you should try and get them going horizontally to encourage more flowers?

I realize this is a long winded question, but any tips, hints or nuggets of info that'll help me get on the right track would be hugely appreciated.
 
Joined
Feb 13, 2021
Messages
3,433
Reaction score
2,146
Country
United Kingdom
It should flower on last year's growth. I would put the wire along the fence below the top, the rose will grow side shoots up over the top and also have some protection. Make the arch fairly sturdy, they don't like flimsy structures. You are right about horizontal encouraging flowering, but a rambler will only flower once anyway, a climber would give you a longer flowering season, but with larger and fewer flowers. How about mixing it with something else to extend the season, a honeysuckle or a clematis for example?
 
Joined
Jun 29, 2022
Messages
684
Reaction score
203
Location
Ayrshire
Hardiness Zone
9b
Country
United Kingdom
Thanks for the reply.

So I run the wire along the top and each year new shoots will grow and it'll flower on those shoots the following year? That makes sense but there's still something I'm not grasping.

What stops it from becoming a big tangle of previous years growth with no flowers? I've read that you don't need to prune a rambling rose, but in my case should I prune off the flowering shoots after flowering time so there's space for new shoots to grow? Or would you cut out old stems completely and train newer canes/stems along the top of the fence every so often?

The Rose is Bobbie James and as it happens I have planted a clematis right beside it - I think it's called 'abundance' - a group three that you hard prune each year. I figured that would keep it simpler for me!
 
Joined
Feb 13, 2021
Messages
3,433
Reaction score
2,146
Country
United Kingdom
Agreed, right back to ground level with the oldest stems that are tangling things up and won't flower, about a third each year once it is established. the clematis sounds nice, good mix.
 

Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments. After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.

Ask a Question

Members online

No members online now.

Forum statistics

Threads
26,734
Messages
257,888
Members
13,314
Latest member
PlntFnNan

Latest Threads

Top