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Planting a rose in the patio


I'm determined to grow a climbing rose but the only place I can possibly grow it is in/on the back patio where it can grow up the back of the house.... Currently the patio is a sea of block paving, bricks about 2" deep. My cunning plan is to remove a rectangle about 2' x3' right next to the house, dig out what's there, put in lots of manure / compost, plant my bare root rose (I'm thinking Tess of the Dubervilles) and pray... The back of the house faces west and it's a very sheltered spot.  

My questions; does the rose stand any chance of survival? Will the roots lift the many remaining bricks? I understand roses have long, shallow roots? The bricks are just sat on a sand base with a loose sand mortar - they're not cemented into position, so it's all pretty porous - one thing I'm not worried about it is it dying of thirst. Our soil is clay though.... 

Your thoughts appreciated! I'm not planning on telling my other half this plan (I'll plant it when he's out!)

Thanks in advance for your thoughts


  • IamweedyIamweedy Posts: 1,364

    No plant like a rose would do much  good near to a house wall. The roots  need plenty of room and some decent deep soil .You would be better off with a decent size patio pot to suit a reasonably compact rose .

    'You must have some bread with it me duck!'

  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 29,099

    I agree.  Buy the biggest container you can or make one form timber lined with polythene to protect the wood.   Roses are hungry, thirsty plants which like a deep root run so give them 75 cms of depth if possible and use best John Innes 3 compost.   Mulch the soil with slate chippings or pebbles to help retain moisture.

    Make sure you feed the plant generously every spring with slow release rose or tomato fertiliser and water regularly.  Occasional liquid feeds of rose or tomato fertiliser between March and end June will boost flowering capacity.

    Vendée - 20kms from Atlantic coast.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • pbffpbff Posts: 433

    Excellent advice from Iamweedy and Obelixx.

    Nothing more to add except to say that, if it's a David Austin climber that you'd like, then the following are highly recommended for container-growing:

    'The Pilgrim' (soft yellow)

    'Teasing Georgia' (rich yellow)

    'Graham Thomas, Clg.' (rich yellow)

    'Crown Princess Margareta, Clg.' (apricot-orange)

    'A Shropshire Lad' (peach-pink)

    'The Generous Gardener' (pale pink)

    'Claire Austin, Clg.' (creamy white)

    'Teasing Georgia' and 'The Generous Gardener' are really lovely roses, but of course, that's just my opinion!

    All the best


    Last edited: 08 December 2016 14:57:03

  • MarlorenaMarlorena Posts: 7,831

    I'm afraid I'm going to have to disagree with the advice you've received so far.   It's perfectly alright to do what you plan to do, the rose will be fine and it is what I would do myself and no need to worry about it interfering with your paving.  I wouldn't bother with a container unless there was no other option.

    The way I would do it would be to remove some bricks - 2' x 3' is not necessary, it could be less than that, about 1 foot square, so minimising the disruption,  digging deep well below the brick line so the point of graft on the rose is about 2 or 3 inches below the surface.   I would top dress with some gravel of a colour which blends in with your brickwork so that the gravel is also just below the surface line.   I would feed only with a rose fertilizer 3 times a year, March, June and early August, by removing some gravel and forking it in.   No need to manure or massively alter your clay soil.  

    You might like to view this link to see how they do it in a French village called 'Chedigny', in the Loire region of France, where they have a rose festival every year, and you will see how the roses have been planted originally in very small holes in the pathways next to walls. The whole village is full of roses. Once you've got it planted, just leave it do its own thing, although some support of wires will be needed against the wall.   Best wishes,... it really isn't difficult, and there's no need to fuss too much or worry unduly over it. 

    East Anglia, England
  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 29,099

    You will have to decide which option you prefer but the quality of soil next to a house wall will not be good enough to feed a rose that is expected to grow strongly and repeat flower.   Nor will the amount of water it receives in the rain shadow of the house be enough.  In my experience, (25 yrs living over here) older French and Belgian country house and farm building didn't go in for deep foundations so the soil at the base is better.

    Feeding after mid July leads to soft, sappy growth which doesn't have time to harden before the frosts come and damage it in autumn and winter in the UK climate  Chedigny is generally warmer and not frosty.

    Last edited: 08 December 2016 16:09:07

    Vendée - 20kms from Atlantic coast.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • MarlorenaMarlorena Posts: 7,831

    Well, I've never known that to be a great issue personally, unless you live in the very far north/north east of the country, or very high ground, it isn't worth worrying about.  It promotes later blooming into late Autumn, which I enjoy.   I also think your other fears are unfounded, but up to the member what they do..

    East Anglia, England
  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 29,099

    Depends on where they live and how exposed they are.  In my experience, David Austin roses can be fussy.  I had to rescue several from the borders in my Belgian garden and grow them on in pots with winter protection for a few years before they thrived.   Worth it though for the perfume and flowers.

    Last edited: 08 December 2016 17:27:53

    Vendée - 20kms from Atlantic coast.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • Dave MorganDave Morgan Posts: 3,123

    Rosie Bee, I'm also going to disagree with the initial advice. I've done exactly the same over the years and as long as you dig out what's under the block paving (which is usually laid on sand only), then there's no reason why not. Dig it out to a depth of 2 ft though and use fresh garden soil (I know you said clay) and plenty of the manure. If you're buying a David Austin, if it's bare root, they take a few years to really get going so some tlc with rootgrow, bonemeal, spring and midsummer feeds along with 2 gallons weekly for six months WILL see it establish well. Once in the roots will find their own way and more than likely straight out and down away from the wall. Just plant it a foot away from the wall and angle it in towards the wall, this will help training, and get your training framework in place just after planting. As it's west facing the prevailing wind and rain we get in the UK should mean it gets all it needs, however water in dry spells.

  • LoanaLoana Posts: 427

    Hi rosie bee, i have just bought crown princess margareta for a new arch i have put in. I did consider growing in a pot and i asked the question of david austin roses and they said pot needed to be at least 2feet by 2feet by 2feet deep, you may feel more confident if you use a container? I have clay too but have decided to plant in the ground. I bought rambling rector from them earlier this year and planted it against an old apple tree and he has done really well, lovely quality plants, hope it works out ?

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