Roses forum→Spacing question

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Tuscany, Italy
bart2018
Jan 14, 2021 9:30 AM CST
How much space should I leave between a climbing rose and a bush rose? I'd like to put Ebb Tide at the feet of Quicksilver; how much space should there be between the two plants?
Name: Porkpal
Richmond, TX
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porkpal
Jan 14, 2021 2:44 PM CST
I am not familiar with those two roses. Someone who knows their habits should be along shortly to answer your question.
Porkpal
Name: seil
St Clair Shores, MI (Zone 6a)
Roses Garden Photography Region: Michigan
Image
seilMI
Jan 14, 2021 6:17 PM CST
The normal rule of thumb is 3 ft. on center. However, David Austin recommends for grouping roses to go 18 inches on center. So I think you could go for that and be safe.
Name: Arturo Tarak
Bariloche, Rio Negro, Argentin (Zone 8a)
Roses Dahlias Irises Plant Lover: Loves 'em all!
hampartsum
Jan 14, 2021 7:08 PM CST
If I understand correctly, the purpose of placing Ebb Tide at the feet of Quicksilver is to hide the bare canes of the latter. Actually, I'm contending with the spacing question these days and have come to the conviction that by following general trends I'm doing the wrong thing . Bushes, including climbers can grow much closer than recommended. By keeping a tight foliage canopy cover provided by close growing roses, there's much less competition opportunities for weeds to peek through. Also there's better use of scarce humidity specially in your dry mediterranean summers, which we share. Whatever humidity is available should go to your roses rather than something else.
Then there's the air circulation myth going around...something that never sounded substantial in my outdoor conditions. I know that I have too much of it.! Sighing! Of course this doesn't apply to my indoor greenhouse conditions, where humidity levels really jump high if I don't ventilate. So, I'm now placing my bushes as close as 60 cm ( 2 ft aprox), or even closer depending of which direction I measure. So Seil's suggestion of planting 18" far from each center is very reasonable. Then you could allow growth for each, sideways ,allowing for more room of each side of the pair. Plant growth does not necessarily need to follow a circular shape. It can become ovoid or even flattened out ( i.e. espaliered), fan shaped. It all depends of what you are trying to generate and achieve.
Arturo
Tuscany, Italy
bart2018
Jan 15, 2021 5:54 AM CST
Thank you all so much. Arturo,what you write rings so true for me, too. The place I'm planning on putting them is on a slope,too, at the top of my hill-garden, so air circulation shouldn't be a problem at all. My idea is, in fact, to espallier Quicksilver at the top of the slope,and then put ET below it; i.e.,lower down on the slope.
People seem to automatically think that in a warm climate all plants always grow larger than they do in colder climates, but that just isn't true. SOME certainly do. I got this rambler called Louis Mon Ami from a nursery in the Netherlands,which stated that it grows to be 3-4 meters tall,and that you could "use it like a clematis". HA! mine is a total monster,more than double that size,sprawling all over, wishing it had a house to eat. But less vigourous roses are a totally different story; I think they suffer from the excessive heat and drought of the summer, so here, instead of "winter die-back", we get "summer die-back". So the spacing question is not easily answered.
Name: Arturo Tarak
Bariloche, Rio Negro, Argentin (Zone 8a)
Roses Dahlias Irises Plant Lover: Loves 'em all!
hampartsum
Jan 15, 2021 9:30 AM CST
bart, actually what I try to share is that roses behave differently according to :
1. LOCATION. ( climate, topography, soil, hydrology, and distance for plant sources)
2. The gardener ( its knowledge, experience, work abilities, skills etc.)
3. The rose itself ( its genetics and its hybrid history)

Most of my failures ( of which I have quite a few...to those gone roses from which I learnt so much and therefore I'm so grateful to them... *Blush* ) are due to not trusting myself in my direct observations rather than following general instructions. This is applied to spacing, pruning, spraying/not spraying, watering, feeding and so on. That is in every aspect of rose culture.
I do hope other readers realize this and start to develop their personal criteria rather than just follow the crowd... Crossing Fingers! They'll surely make half the mistakes I did... Green Grin!
Arturo
Tuscany, Italy
bart2018
Jan 17, 2021 4:45 AM CST
Yes, Arturo, I totally agree with you; gardening is NOT an exact science, and there just is no "right" way to do things; every situation is so different. Almost all of the advice one reads on Internet is geared to people with suburban gardens that have at least fairly decent soil and access to abundant running water. Instead in my garden I had to literally start from scratch, there is no running water and it's far from my home,too,so I definitely have to personalize!
Name: aka Annie
WA-rural 8a to (Zone 7b)
Sandsock
Jan 17, 2021 10:52 AM CST
Arturo...I have to jump in here,,,I agree, going with your gut and observations is really wise, because, there seems to be fads for everything, including spacing! There is the US builder's landscape that is plants dotted in mulched beds, but just enough so it looks "done." Or the English garden look with things crammed in next to each other (which, seems to be where I get to even if I try to space things out.) So I wonder if David Austin is going for the English Garden look of lush and full...where US roses are using the rose garden exhibition spacing? One lady in a deserty climate plants her roses pretty close because she doesn't deal with humidity...but I do, so too tight of spacing will keep my roses too wet from dew then I get black spot, mildew, etc.
Name: Arturo Tarak
Bariloche, Rio Negro, Argentin (Zone 8a)
Roses Dahlias Irises Plant Lover: Loves 'em all!
hampartsum
Jan 17, 2021 11:43 AM CST
Well, Annie, if you live in the wet north Pacific coastal area, I would not place my roses close to each other. I would even consider intermingling them with other garden plants so that each bush is quite spaced out from others of the same sort. I live closer to a desert climate than a humid one. I do have some black spot, but I never water overhead ( I've been told locally not to, because it does induce BS). Whilst, Powdery mildew, is associated with dry weather. These past weeks I'm experiencing some PM in some bushes. I might have to spray if it gets worse... Sighing! So each garden is unique and each of us has to discover which of the general opinions hold true in one's own yard, and which are the result of questioning them and reaching to an alternative that is best suited.
I want however to make a caveat. Those general opinions/suggestions/instructions weren't developed out of ignorance. The scope to which they are aplicable were simply much narrower than what contemporary gardeners worldwide are now contending. At present we can choose a wider array of growing alternatives than before. Also Internet with its expanding resources helps amazingly and also allows gardeners move ahead and leave behind stereotypes. I guess this is what NGA is all about!
Arturo
Name: seil
St Clair Shores, MI (Zone 6a)
Roses Garden Photography Region: Michigan
Image
seilMI
Jan 17, 2021 5:17 PM CST
David Austins recommendation of 18 inches is for making a center piece planting of three bushes of the same variety. That way you maximize the impact and bloom. However, if you can plant three of the same variety at 18 inches apart it should work just as well for spacing a shrub in front of a climber. You would still get air circulation but the plants would also grow together somewhat to hide any bare canes on the climber.
Tuscany, Italy
bart2018
Jan 18, 2021 4:43 AM CST
O, thank you all so much. I love it when a post of mine turns into a discussion, with different people putting in their "2 cents"; at bottom that is the entire reason for posting a question on the forum! I do it not to get "the right answer"; I do it to hear other people's ideas and experiences,which to me is a way of collecting data that stimulates my thinking and helps me to come to my own decision.
Seil, I, too. thought of that , so it's re-assuring to hear that it does make sense to a fellow gardener. Often I think of the long pergola-walk in Rose Barni's show garden. There, they have these large climbers spaced 2 to each pillar, with only about 1 foot of space between them BUT... the pillars themselves are pretty wide apart. Sad to say, I don't remember how far (2 or 3 meters). Flanking this walk is the central garden filled with HT's and floribundas, but again, I don't know how much space there is exactly between this area and the pergola. I wanted to go there in person this fall to pick up my order , but was prevented by Covid restrictions and fear,( for the bottom line is the more one isolates oneself the better). Hopefully the day will come soon when it won't be necessary to be so careful, and then I hope to go out there with a pad of paper, a pen, and a measuring tape, to get a precise idea. Of course, it still won't be definitive, because their garden is all on flat land, whereas mine is all sloping, but still...
Name: Arturo Tarak
Bariloche, Rio Negro, Argentin (Zone 8a)
Roses Dahlias Irises Plant Lover: Loves 'em all!
hampartsum
Jan 18, 2021 8:26 AM CST
Actually two plants of the same kind could grow right next together! It depends on the gardener to provide the needs of food and water for the two, as if it were a large single bush. I'm hesitant to jump onto another accepted myth: competition. The latter starts only when the least available resource becomes a limiting factor...if there's enough water, light and food for both specimens then there's no competition. If you have a climbing grafted bush and also a low bush next to it, their roots might eventually intermingle....so what?....as long as there's enough nutrients in the soil for both. With present chemical fertilizer alternatives, even with generous ammounts of manure and compost ( like three inches of these piled up regularly on top) I doubt that your bushes growing together will ever suffer then from nutrient competition. Your watering needs is a different issue. Some people upturn bottles with small holes in their caps as alternatives to a drip system. I can only guess how much, but perhaps two bottles a day of 2.25 lts fizz bottles could serve that purpose. I have a colleague from our ag school who lives in warm/hot Salta and his very large property rural was beyond installing a drip system. He had his roses, irises, and daylillies watered thus. My 2 cents in helping you out in your present conditions.... Smiling
Arturo
Name: seil
St Clair Shores, MI (Zone 6a)
Roses Garden Photography Region: Michigan
Image
seilMI
Jan 18, 2021 12:53 PM CST
I totally agree with you, Arturo! When people buy the little grocery store minis that are several sticks in one pot they always think they have to separate them. I thought so too for a while. However, I always lost several plants in trying to separate them because there was no way to disentangle the roots without damaging some. Now I plant the entire pot as one plant and have had much greater success! The plants just grow as all one plant with no problems at all. Also, when many of the OGRs begin to sucker, as some do, (my Apothecary Rose comes to mind) you end up with several plants all planted together and they do fine. And I've seen many gorgeous pictures of huge roses growing through enormous trees! And although I've never been successful at it, there are thousands of clematis growing away with beautiful roses as their trellises. If both plants are getting their needs fulfilled there is no competition!
Name: Arturo Tarak
Bariloche, Rio Negro, Argentin (Zone 8a)
Roses Dahlias Irises Plant Lover: Loves 'em all!
hampartsum
Jan 18, 2021 5:26 PM CST
I'm delighted , seil, that you reached to the same conclusion. I honestly think that we all have to develop the path of independent thinking when it comes to roses....(actually to everything in life as well Smiling ) and debunk myths that are taken as truths. Most of these myths arise from a true fact that was applicable to a particular situation and lazy further readers didn't do the job of sorting it out. I do hope that this forum helps others to get alert with that kind of mental attitude.
Arturo

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