Here in the Rose City, nearly every fence installation will at some point be adorned with roses. Portland’s abundant rain, negligible wind and relatively mild climate make it the perfect place to grow roses. And, with June being National Rose Month, now is the perfect time to plant new roses.
Fences make great backdrops for roses. Gardeners in Portland can tell you that different fencing materials offer different pros and cons as far as roses are concerned. Below, we analyze each type of Pacific Northwest fencing material according to how well it showcases roses and supports their growth.
Aluminum Fences and Roses
Wrought iron or aluminum fences provide protection for roses while still allowing good air circulation. Roses become diseased when the area around their base is stagnant. Aluminum fences also allow good maintenance access and basic protection. This fencing material does not interfere with the roses’ growth.
As far as aesthetics are concerned, roses look lovely when paired with ornamental aluminum fencing. This is a timeless combination that is especially popular for upright hybrid tea roses, with their huge showy blossoms and vertical growing habit. Grandiflora roses, which are similar to hybrids but feature clusters of blossoms, also do well with an aluminum fence design. Climbing roses may be pruned to grow in cascades along aluminum or wrought iron fences.
Wood Fences and Roses
Roses can certainly be placed against a wood fence, but if your wood fence design is solid (like a privacy fence), pay special attention to the base of the roses – they crave good circulation as mentioned above, so the area right around the base should be kept free of weeds and other plants. Basically, bare dirt is best right around the bottom of each rose.
Regular pruning will also be required to prevent the rose from growing into the fence, which will foster fence rot.
If you’d like to grow climbing roses on a privacy-style wood fence, screw supports into fence posts – only the posts are strong enough to support climbing rose canes. Wood picket fences naturally offer plenty of support for climbing roses. Miniature roses are especially stunning when planted in front of a wood fence.
Vinyl Fences and Roses
As with wood fences, when growing roses near a vinyl fence, you must be sure to leave enough space for air circulation and plant growth – about 2 or 3 feet between the fence line and the bush. Remember, you’ll also want to leave access room to clean the fence. Likewise, the experienced homeowner understands the importance of regular pruning in order to protect his or her vinyl fence installation. Avoid allowing the rose to grow into your fence.
Climbing roses cannot grow up a vinyl fence installation unless a trellis support is added. Miniature roses, floribundas and hybrid teas do well when grown along a vinyl fence. Look for a rose with an upright habit and a color that will pop against your vinyl fence installation. For a classic, stunning match, try pairing the deep red “Mr. Lincoln” hybrid tea rose with a white lattice-top vinyl fence.
Chain Link Fences and Roses
The last of our fencing materials is chain link, which happens to be an exceptional match for all kinds of roses. Chain link is both supportive enough for climbing roses and open enough to provide good air circulation. Roses definitely beautify any stretch of chain link fence material. To allow enough room for the sprawling canes, plant climbing roses close to the fence, with 6-7 feet between specimens. You will need to tie the canes to the fence in order to train them to blossom in the right direction.