I love climbing roses.  They soften harsh edges of buildings, happily trail along fences and even ramble into trees.  Stand underneath them and look up at the sun through their petals to discover a new way to enjoy the beauty of their translucent petals.

We all know of the traditional fences, trellis and the like to grow them on, but I know someone who has found an unusual source for structures to climb roses on.  And by doing so adds unique beauty to his garden at a bargain price!

Cliff Orent is the owner of the mail order nursery EuroDesert Roses.  His garden above Palm Springs contains a jaw-dropping collection of wonderful roses – many of them climbers.  Limited only by his imagination, Cliff has found a unique source for whimsical and inexpensive structures.

Scrap metal.

Check your local phone book for welding companies and make a few calls or just stop by if there are one or more nearby, and ask to speak with the owner. Cliff discovered welding companies usually have odd pieces sitting around that have minor flaws or were rejected by the purchaser for whatever reason, and the owner will more often than not be delighted to get pieces that have basically become scrap metal out of the way at prices that are a fraction of what they'd normally cost.  Take them home and apply a few coats of spray paint and you'll likely end up with gems that add enormously to the overall impact of your garden.
Not sure how you'd use scrap metal in the garden? Only your imagination limits the number of potential uses for these materials, and I hope that by seeing the types of pieces Cliff found and how he’s used them, you'll be inspired to think of your own needs and interests and explore local sources near you. But one very important tip be sure to anchor these structures into the ground with cement. Otherwise, both the structure and the rose can be blown over by a strong gust of wind!

In my latest Newsletter I've put together a list of roses available from Cliff that you can easily grow on scrap metal structures.  Click Here to be taken to the newsletter.

We've also prepared a video for you on how to pillar a rose and there is a link in the newsletter to that as well!

Happy Roseing

To read the complete article, join now!

With FGplus, you'll get exclusive:

  • Articles – Exclusive articles for more advanced gardeners.
  • Videos – Join our editors on their behind-the-scenes journeys.
  • Digital Library – Gain access to our digital library of special issues.
  • Need help? Our Ask-the-Expert contributors will answer your questions.