Let me share some advice about growing roses in a cold climate – we frequently incur severe frost here at Clonbinane and I’ll share this recent email inquiry which might assist you if you live in a cold area:

Hello Diana, I’m in the process of looking for some climbing or rambling roses to cover an arbour I have in my back yard.  It is rather large, measuring 8m long x 1.5m wide x 2m high running north south (if that make sense). 
I live just outside Ballarat so the weather is rather freezing in the winter and very hot and dry in the summer – I know, everyone says it isn’t hot in Ballarat ever, but that’s not quite true.  The last 4 summers have just about killed off every plant in my garden that’s not drought or heat tolerant so I’m almost starting from scratch again.  It’s heartbreaking really but that’s life as most gardeners know.
Anyway, back to the roses.  I have had very little experience with roses before so I’m looking for something that will be tough (against me and survivability), fragrant, vigorous, tall to cover the arbour and colourful.  Not a lot to ask but I hope you can help me with some recommendations please.  I’m not sure if they’re suitable or not, but I love the Pierre de Ronsard (pink/white), the Jasmina, Crown Princess Margareta and Claire Austin (white) but I don’t know if they would grow large enough to cover the arbour together.  Any suggestions would be appreciated please.
Many thanks for your help”
My response:

Hello Deb … thank you for your enquiry … first question?  Do you rely on tank water for your garden?  Do you mulch your garden well?  Do you use seaweed solution ever? 
Your climate is no different to ours here but we do have town water and irrigate the garden as necessary, we mulch heavily with pea straw and use seaweed solution and fertilizer/compost to enrich our soil!
I cannot believe that you could be so disillusioned by losing plants continually.  Roses are very tough and I can recommend some beauties which will cover your arch but they MUST have all of the above to survive!!!  A rose should have at least 20 litres of water per plant, delivered at the same time each week during hot weather … not a splash of water delivered every day over the whole week – no, once a week a deep soak and they will survive and flower beautifully!
The roses I recommend you plant on the arbour are:  LAMARQUE, ALBERTINE, PINKIE, CLB., SYMPATHIE, PIERRE DE RONSARD, CREPUSCULE, MME. ALFRED CARRIERE, to name but a few!  I would recommend at least three plants each side and diligent management of watering, mulch, seaweed YEAR ROUND and you will have a magnificent display … let’s talk more .. cheers

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