Rosa ‘New Dawn’ (photo © Howard Rice)

While a climbing rose is easy to define – one that grows to a height of between, say, 2m/6ft and 10m/30ft – it is not easy to define which specific varieties are climbers and which are not as it is dependent on climate and position where it is growing. Warmer climates and the backing of a warm wall will encourage stronger growth.

In general they have large flowers, stiff growth, repeat flower and are not too vigorous. But there are many exceptions that prove this very general rule. Most of the early climbers came from sports of Hybrid Teas (like Mrs Sam McGredy and Etoile de Hollande), although other groups such as Floribunda, Rambler, Bourbon, Tea and China have contributed too.

They are an immensely valuable group of plants able to grow up and adorn a very wide range of structures be they walls, fences, obelisks, pergolas or pillars