Peanut Butter and Jelly, Romeo and Juliet, Pen and Paper, some things just belong together. That is how you might think of rose bushes and clematis vines. Both are gorgeous in flower, and impart a romantic presence to a garden. Their complementary forms create privacy as they clothe walls and fences which help support their display during the height of summer.

With the many hardy, good quality [read disease resistant and shapely habit] rose choices, and the wide selection of clematis varieties, it is easy to create a corner with blooms, fragrance, and good looks as long as you have a sunny spot that gets 5-6 hours of sun.

A trellis is ideal, but a fence, or a support made of screw hooks and wire can support the tendrils of the clematis vines or climbing roses. Design your own grid and attach the eye hooks or follow the simple directions given, here. Plant the clematis at the base and train up to the first level of the support. Use twist ties to loosely attach your vines, and underplant with shrub roses.. Both roses and clematis appreciate a mulch at their feet, which holds in moisture and keeps down weeds or competing plants. Both clematis and roses love rich soil, so keep adding organic matter and feed well during the growing season.

rose on trellis

Glorious rose on a large trellis

Hardy Roses to choose from:

  • New Dawn-pinkish white
  • Mary Rose -pure pink
  • ‘The Fairy’ Polyantha -light pink
  • Golden Wings -pale gold
  • Ballerina (Hybrid Musk) -pink
  • Rugosa Roses, Hansa -magenta pink, Therese Bugnet-pure pink, Blanc Double de Coubert -white

jackmani blooms
One of my first vines was Jackmani Superba, but this is the common Jackmani clematis. Very fine plant

Clematis vines to partner with your roses::

  • Nelly Moser -pink
  • Marie Boisselot -white
  • Henryi -white
  • Jackmani -royal purple
  • Niobe -maroon red
  • Barbara Jackman -blue + magenta
  • Bees Jubilee – pink
  • General Sikorski -lavender blue

Those are just suggestions- there are myriad choices in both roses and clematis, but those are plants that will look good in the landscape and not be too overwhelming in growth. Although it must be noted that ‘New Dawn’ rose, and ‘Jackmani’ clematis can be strong growers. Any of the species clematis might be too much for a smaller space. Autumn clematis and C. montana need lots of room, while choices such as ‘Nelly Moser’ and the ‘Mary Rose’ are polite garden partners.

Fairy Garden Journal
Highly Recommended Books

good review by the Canadian Rose Society

Garden Structures

Growing Roses
Clematis in Gardens
A Garden Plan
Roses In Gardens