Climbing roses provide a colorful accent that can be trained onto trellises, around windows and doors or along eaves. The old-fashioned blooms have new life with today's modern hardscapes and landscape structures. Roses need at least six hours of sunlight a day, and the Texas climate provides that in spades. Climbers can flower just in spring, or flower repeatedly, giving a color show well into fall.
Old Garden Roses
Roses in older gardens are often cultivars that don't exist anymore. They can be found creeping over walls and fences or even in cemeteries with no one to care for them. These climbers are being preserved through cuttings and reintroduced into cultivation. Schulenburg Apricot, Katy Road Pink and Highway 290 Pink Buttons are examples of some of the old garden roses. Old roses, which are any variety produced before 1867, are resistant to many common rose problems and can be trained as an espalier or trellis form. Lady Banks grows 20-foot-tall canes, and Cecile Brunner is not far behind with 15- to 20-foot canes. Either would be excellent choices for their old-fashioned pastel blooms and hardy climbing nature.
A lot of new cultivars were introduced in the 1950s. One of these, Climbing Pinkie, is an 8-foot-tall bush with semi-double pink flowers. The canes are thornless and the blooms carry a light fragrance. Don Juan Is a citrus-scented red rose that blooms fully even in the worst Texas heat. For vigor you can't beat Dortmund, a 1955 introduction. It can grow up to 30 feet tall and bears deep red flowers with a white center and bright yellow stamen. The roses have overlapping petals that give the blooms a frilled appearance. The thorns on this bush deserve respect as they are large and sharp.
Earth Kind is a designation from Texas A&M University that rates roses for their health, environmental friendliness and tolerance to Texas' extreme climate. Sea Foam is a moderate climber that only gets 3 feet tall and then cascades downward. None of the roses in the Earth Kind program have been treated with any chemicals or even fertilized. New Dawn was the first rose to be patented in the U.S. it is a fast climber that can grow to 20 feet tall, sporting white flowers with pink centers. Reve 'd Or is another vigorous species climber. The Earth Kind rose designation is now being used in other states to categorize rose bushes for responsible growers.