Therefore, as soon as I had a few in my garden, I started to work on making them bushy, so they would be full of beautiful blossoms, like a cascade over my fence. You won't believe it, but it's a special technique for that, which I've learned and now I want to share it with you.
Some Mistakes I Made
A gardener friend gave me a few climbing rose cuttings and I planted them, using the usual method of the plastic bottles. The first year they grew three feet (1 meter) high and had only a few flowers. I had to tie up the bending branches, but since I didn't know how, I just put a cord around them, to hold them together. I didn't know much about caring for a climbing rose and never bothered to search for information because I thought that I could take care of them in the same way as I did for the other roses. That's why I cut them back in the fall -not as much as I usually do, yet I trimmed them. That winter was a hard one with lots of snow and deep freeze. In the spring, most of the climbing rose branches were dry where they had frozen, so I had to trim them back again. But, naturally, they grew back even more than in their first year.
Searching For Information Was Essential
That's when I started to pay attention to our neighbors' beautiful red climbing roses, which they have at the gate. I noticed that they were tying them up from the ground, so all the branches were held together, but also tied to the wall. I also noticed that they didn't trim them back and I decided to do the same. I tied the branches together to my iron fence as well as I could. And I couldn't do it so well, because my roses were planted farther from the fence and not so close as the neighbors'. But I did my best and that's how I left them through their second winter.
Because I usually like to do things thoroughly, I searched for more information online and found out how to take care of the climbing roses so they would bloom more, which is why I wanted a climbing rose in my garden in the first place. They say that the climbing rose shouldn't be let to grow straight with just a main central cane, which would grow too thick and all smaller side branches would just bloom at the top. Those specialists showed how a climbing rose's young branches should be trained almost horizontally on each side of the main trunk from their second year, so that not one of them can grow too thick. This is done for encouraging side shoots growth, from each of the horizontal branch's nodes. Thus, from each new small twig will appear new blooms. And that's what I needed to do with my climbing rose.
Proper Care Did Its Magic
In the following spring, there weren't so many dry, dead branches because they were all tied up together, which made them more protected against freezing. Yet, some tips were dry and had to be trimmed. In the fall, when the branches were long enough, I bent each of them and tied them to the iron bars of my fence, with a few plastic strips.
Yes, guilty as charged. I am using plastic strips as they are very good for tying up the rose branches to the fence - I promise to think of something else to use! Although, using cord strips and even wire is very difficult, because of the gloves I wear to protect my hands from the rose thorns. My climbing roses are so thorny that I couldn't handle them without my special leather gloves - which probably would have been more useful if they would still have the left thumb which eaten by miss Minnie, when she was a teenager and liked to steal and chew anything she found on the ground - my mistake! That's how I figured out what special tastes she has, because besides my very expensive leather gloves, she also stole and thoroughly chewed our plumber's pliers, for which my husband paid a fortune for- or so he said, otherwise why would he leave them careless on the ground?
So, I tied the rose branches up to the fence and even though there were more of them than the previous year, it was easier as the older branches were already oriented and tied to the fence properly. After I finished, I looked at my work and I was very content. Yet not as ecstatic as I was going to be the following year, when my climbing roses bloomed and there was that long awaited blossom cascade! My hard work was finally paying off!