Patio Climbing Roses

This month, we move on from novel colours in roses (although will come back to that at some stage) and look at some of the different types of roses that can be grown in our gardens.

One type of rose that has become popular in the last 20 years has been the patio climber. These roses have the smaller blooms like the patio roses, with all their other attributes in proportion as well. Many are smaller growers so are ideal for small gardens where a larger climber may be too big. There are some patio climbers whoever that do grow full size so take care when selecting varieties.

Patio climbing roses are nothing new; they have been around since the 1950’s. Many of the early varieties were produced by Ralph Moore from California, known around the world as the Father of the Modern Miniature Rose. Many of these are not seen any more in New Zealand with the exception of ‘Little Girl’ Other American Breeders also created early Patio climbers including Ernest Williams of Texas with ‘Golden Song’ and Ed Sima of Washington State with ‘Jeanne Lajoie’. ‘Jeanne Lajoie’ is still widely grown in New Zealand today and is a fantastic rose to grow with masses of pale pink blooms.

Most of the introductions of the last 20 or so years have come from English rose breeder Chris Warner who has had much success with his roses in rose trials here in New Zealand. Chris’s line of Patio climbers mostly descends from an un-named orange climbing seedling of his crossed both ways with the Harkness miniature ‘Anna Ford’. He has also taken the Patio climber type one step further and created Patio Ramblers, again combining the small blooming of patio climbers with the lax growth of rambling roses.

There have been other breeders like Gareth Fryer of England with the dark red ‘Dusky Dancer’, Harkness also of England with the apricot ‘Indian Summer’  and Poulsen of Denmark with the soft orange ‘Patio Princess’ have a presence but the Warner Patio climbers have made their mark on the rose scene in New Zealand and in other parts of the world.

Some of the Warner Patio climbers sold in New Zealand are:

Baby Rambler 1‘Baby Rambler’ (pictured left) – a patio rambler with masses of small soft pink blooms in clusters. Moderately vigorous and very healthy.

‘Gilt Edged’  – a bicolour with blooms of bright yellow edged red. Vigourous, well foliaged plant. Certificate of Merit, NZRS Trials 1998.

Good as Gold IMG_6825‘Good as Gold’  (pictured right) -as the name suggests, this is a golden yellow patio climber. Dark green foliage, medium grower. Gold Star of the South Pacific, NZRS Trials 1996.

‘Laura Ford’ – an earlier Warner introduction with yellow blooms, flushed pink on the tips. Prolific flowering variety.


Love Knot 1‘Love Knot’ (pictured left) – a true red Patio climber with small, well formed blooms of rich red.

‘Patio Charm’ – Soft apricot blooms on a vigorous, healthy, well foliaged plant. Certificate of Merit, NZRS Trials 1995.

‘Patio Honey’ – another Patio Rambler with masses of honey coloured blooms with some fragrance. Gold Star of the South Pacific and Novelty Award, NZRS Trials 1995.

‘Patio Queen’ – Salmon pink blooms in clusters, very healthy plant with glossy medium green – bronze foliage.

Sugar Plum 1‘Sugar Plum’ (pictured right) – Magenta purple blooms are a feature of the vigourous growing variet.  Some scent. Good, healthy variety. Certificate of Merit, NZRS Trials 1999.

Taffeta‘Taffeta’ (pictured left) – Probably the most fragrant Patio Climber with larger quartered blooms of creamy white with a good scent. Moderate vigour. Gold Star of the South Pacific and Fragrance Award 1998.

Tapestry - Copy‘Tapestry’ (pictured right) – a smaller growing variety with red blooms with a yellow reverse to the petals. Free flowering. Certificate of Mert, NZRS Trials 2005.

Warm Welcome 445 (3)‘Warm Welcome’ (pictured left) – an earlier Warner introduction with masses of bright orange single blooms, stunning in full flower. Dark foliage compliments the blooms. Novelty Award winner, NZRS Rose Trials 1994.

If you are looking for a climbing rose but don’t want a large grower, then consider one of the above roses which will reward you with lots of smaller blooms over the season.



In the rose garden for September:

  • Apply fertiliser at the recommended rates this month. Apply away from the crown of roses and water in well for best results.
  • Apply mulch to your roses. There is a vast range of materials around to use. Keep mulch away from the crowns and for the likes of bark, make sure it is well composted before use.
  • Keep an eye on new growth coming away and cut back any stems that the buds fail to come away.

By Hayden Foulds. Read more here.