Help - Climbing roses - San Francisco

Washington, DC

First time poster - thanks in advance for your help.

I'm looking for climbing roses for walls next to a garage in San Francisco (east facing, morning sun) that will grow at least 12 feet. I'm told Sally Holmes does well but I would prefer more of a David Austin, old English type rose in light pink or maybe apricot.Would any of these work? - Cecile Brunner, Eden Climber, Awakening, Reve dÓr, or Cl. Lady Hillingdon? Others?

Alba, TX(Zone 8a)

Welcome to the forum!

I have a few Austin climbers. I love Janet (a pink w/some appricot overtones) although I'm not sure that is available as a climber any more. I am growing it as a climber and it is doing well. I love Teasing Georgia as well, but it may not be right for you as it can get as wide as it is high and has THORNS. I've been told that it's nickname is Taming Georgia. I have Generous Garnders, and lovely pink. I have Abraham D'Arby, very healthy and pretty blooms.

I do not have Crown Princess Margareta but I have been told by a friend on the west coast that it does very well there. Constance Spry is a classic climber, but not generally repeating. That is OK for some and not OK for others.

Washington, DC

Thank you so much for these ideas. I'll check them out on HelpMeFind.

Alba, TX(Zone 8a)

Oh, I forgot to mention Wedgwood Rose Climbing.

I think it is gorgeous!

Oakland, CA(Zone 9b)

San Francisco?? Where in SF?

A few neighborhoods get good weather, but the majority have varying degrees of fog. Average temps are in the 60's, meaning Austin roses may not work well. Generally roses over 40 petals are not recommended for coastal CA. There's not enough heat for them to open.

You also need considerable mildew resistance. Unlike the inland areas, humidity in most parts of SF averages over 70% all year long.

One of the most reliable sources for varieties that grow well in our Mediterranean climate is the local chapter of the Rose Society. Google it and you'll get a list. I don't recall if you can refine the search with zipcode, but when I was searching for recommended varieties, that's the site I found most helpful. HTH!

Alba, TX(Zone 8a)

Ohhhhh, I did not realize that as I always imagine California to be lovely (like in the Brady Bunch shows). Duh me.

Hmmm, that is a whole other kettle of fish, isn't it. Well, we have very high humidity here in NE Texas, but blazing hot sun to go with it. Never the less, I have seen some gorgeous rose gardens here, even in Houston--which I think might be the humidity capital of the US. And photos of a private rose garden in San Francisco. He does seem to get some sun, has chosen his roses carefully and his garden is gorgeous. I do not believe this particular person is still here on Dave's, but he used to post all the time.

Checking with the local rose society is a great suggestion. There must also be local public gardens with some roses. Those are always good as one can see what the rose looks like at various times of the year. I'm not so sure about a pink or white Austin now as those tend to be the ones that ball. I have a friend who grows Crown Princess Margareta in Seattle and she raves about it. Would those climates be similar?

Alternately, I have Agatha Christie (the Kordes climber). Very healthy and happy to bloom as long as it gets its monthy fertilizing. The petals of the bloom are thick if you see what I mean and I have yet to see this one ball in any of the weathers we've had so far. We did have quite a cool and rainy spring and Agatha was one of my first to bloom. Kordes roses are usually pretty tough as the breeder often focuses on roses for places like highway medians in Europe. Do you think that would be a better fit? I'm kind of a fan of climbers and ramblers, so I want to see folks try a few here and there as they seem to be out of favor right now. Of course the right rose for the right climate is a must ☺!

Please forgive me if I've misled you, dcsb. I did not do so intentionally.

Washington, DC

Thank you for all this information. I live in Washington, DC (hot and humid) where I grow David Austin roses but am not familiar with the challenges of growing roses in SanFran where my son and family live (Cow Hollow I believe). I had not considered the relationship of cool weather/no. of petals or contacting the local rose society but will do so. All good information. Thanks!

Long Beach, CA(Zone 10a)

I'm about 1/8 of a mile from the ocean and Austin roses do not do well for me here at all...for the reasons explained above. Growing decent roses in a fog prone area like SF (and here) can be challenging, for sure. Floribunda's work best for me (brilliantly so) and Hybrid Tea's are a complete disaster...too fussy, disease prone, and too much work.

Here are the climbers I have that do very well and don't mind our overcast weather and are very disease resistant...95% of the time. Most of these only get about 6 hours of direct sun and do just fine.
These are all floribundas:

Dream Weaver: coral/pink
Pinata: red/orange/yellow blend
Lemon Meringue: Yellow
Dublin Bay: Deep red
Polka: Peach
Westerland: Orange
Climbing (white) Iceberg
Colette: Peachy Pink (not sue if it's actually a floribunda or not...)

Cecile Brunner: ( Polyantha ), blooms year round...almost, anyway !
Lady Banks: yellow

Excellenz Von Schubert: Lavender/Lilac very fragrant

Sunrise: Starts out orangey, goes pinkish and yellow, very fragrant and FAST grower.
REALLY fast. Blooms in clusters or as single blooms.

Some of the rose purists here may not cotton to this idea, but I've tried it and it works: The Meidiland ground cover roses can be trained as climbers. I have 2 of them and they take to training on arbors or trellises very well.

Depending on the weather, some of my supposedly disease resistant ones will get rust on occasion, but I don't think ANY rose is ever immune to every disease. I've found that keeping them airy and not too dense reduces the disease factor enormously in this damp cool climate. Our summer heat can slow them down a bit but overall these do extremely well here. Roses are a trial and error adventure.

Alba, TX(Zone 8a)

JasperDale, rose purists???? Any rose that works is a good rose in my book! Meidiland is such a good suggestion. Some of my very first roses were Meidiland. They are great! One of the reasons why I kind of don't see why we don't use those instead of so many Knockouts so often. And they are great to mix in with the Austins as they tend to stay lower and cover bare knees. Oh, and I have Sunrise here in NE TX, an excellent rose! A lot of humidity here, heat, more rain than you would think Texas would get. And we do get fog in the mornings, especially in winter and spring. It is kind of cool watching the fog roll up from the Sabine river with the coyotes hunting at the leading edge at sunrise. They use it for cover. Very eerie listening to the coyotes call to each other once they catch something.

Have you looked at the Morden series? I had several in my Chicago area garden and found them to be very durable. Not a climber, so off topic, but Morden Blush was my favorite. It seemed to really take the cold, rainy springs in Chicago and thrive w/no black spot, balling, or mildew and just kept on blooming.

Washington, DC

Thank you JasperDale for your comments and suggestions. I have passed them on to our daughter-in-law. Are any of your climbers planted in large pots/planters?

Long Beach, CA(Zone 10a)

No, all my roses are planted in the ground. I had a few miniatures in containers once, but that's all. Not a big advocate of roses in containers. Just MHO.

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