A Tale of a Climbing Rose & Its Tower…

Hello! Some of you may be wondering where I have been. Due to a family bereavement, I have not had chance to blog much as of late and not much gardening has been done either. I’ve done bits and pieces here and there, but mostly it’s been a case of tending and watering. Only just the past Sunday did I get out in the garden properly again. But I have lots of updates to tell you all about that were overdue before life took over recently and that I didn’t get time to blog about. So, here goes…

One job I needed to tackle on Sunday was in The Rose Garden. I had planted a climbing rose in among the shrub roses awhile ago when I extended the flower bed and I had not erected any kind of support for it. To be honest, I was undecided on what support to use because I wanted something wooden to blend in nicely with all the other wood we have used in the garden for the trellis etc, but the obelisks that I had seen were too expensive for my liking at around £40-50, which I thought was too much to spend on that one feature. I am someone who likes to learn to make and to do things myself too, so the obvious choice was to make one of course! All in all, the final obelisk came in at under £15. Here is what is looked like at the end all painted up:

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What do you think? I later bought a post cap and ball for the top (which topped the expense up slightly to under £15) which I want to attach this weekend if I get chance. I think that will finish it off nicely. It seems the sun came out especially for the photo : ) Now this rose can grow to its heart content up this obelisk this Summer. I think the obelisk adds great structure to this area of the garden and it will be a year round structure when the roses lose their leaves come Winter. Don’t mind all the compacted bare soil around it, I have plans for planting in that area and to also add a pathway of some kind for access to tying in the rose etc.

It was incredibly easy to make this obelisk. All I did was purchase three dahlia stakes from a local hardware store for about £2.50 a stake. I then hammered them at a slight angle into the ground about 20 or 30cm deep and then tied them together at the top to form a pyramid shape:

I ended up moving the stakes slightly further away from the rose after this to give it more space as it grows.

Now, my initial idea with this obelisk at this stage was to use three of these extending fan trellis supports, but once I opened up one of the trellis fan supports and stretched it between two stakes, I realised it was going to be too tightly crossed to allow the rose to not only fit in and around it as it grows (it was acting more like a cage!), but it also concealed the rose too much. So I turned to plan B, which ended up being cheaper because I didn’t need to use the fan trellises after all.

All I did was use up old pieces of wood we had in the garden and drilled them into each stake. I started from the bottom to help secure the stakes in place and to brace them from moving as much as I was working on it. I overhung each piece on the sides to allow myself enough excess to cut it off neatly. As I say, I was really just winging it and seeing how it looked. I ended up using a hand saw which I lined up against each stake to mitre the pieces of wood to match neatly with the edges of the stakes:

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Easy! This was how it looked before painting. I liked the natural wood, but chose to paint it to match the trellis and archway so it all related to each other. I think the white helps to draw the eye to it as a focal point also. The white paint colour is called ‘Soft Jasmine’ by Cuprinol and the soft blue colour you can see on the trellis is ‘Coastal Mist’. I love these two colour combinations together. I left the rose tied to its original support canes whilst I painted the obelisk to minimise the amount of paint splashes on its leaves.

Some of you may have noticed the spot of the difference with the photos! Aside from the obelisk changing, the pathway was also being put in by Mr. Meadow on Sunday. I will put a blog post up about that soon. It’s looking great and it is so good to get rid of the grass pathways bit by bit; I hate cutting grass! Our cats were also bringing in lots of muddy paw prints when it had been raining outside too, so I won’t miss it.

Anyway, that’s all for today. I have lots of other things to tell you all about. I expect lots is happening in all your gardens like mine too, so stay tuned. Happy gardening : )

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Written by Bethany Wright at The English Meadow

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