Roses Are Plants Too!

Scrap Metal: An Unconventional and Untapped Source of Garden Art and Structures

Brightly painted structures reach for the sky in Cliff Orent’s EuroDesert Roses Display Garden.
Photo/Illustration: Cliff Orent
Newly laid out rose beds will have tremendous vertical interest once the roses clamber over the structures.
Photo/Illustration: Cliff Orent
By using these types of structures you can plant climbers closely together.
Photo/Illustration: Cliff Orent


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

View Comments


  1. valleygardener 11/03/2010

    My relative uses an old decorative metal bar security window covering to be the trellis for her climbing rose in New Mexico. It looks great amongst the waterwise shrubbery.
    Wonderful idea, thanks for putting it out into mist of ideas.

Log in or create an account to post a comment.

Related Articles

The Latest