Build a Custom Rose Wall Trellis
Do you know those weeks where it feels like there is too much to do so you feel frozen? Well, over-planning and analysis paralysis are how I typically react to busy times. Thankfully, I’ve found that focusing on one, doable task helps me feel a little better. For instance, this week I chose to finally build a support for one of my new climbing roses. Specifically, I built my first ever rose wall trellis to grow a climbing rose around a kitchen window.
You might remember that I added a few new roses this Spring to my growing collection (if you didn’t know, I have an obsession with David Austin Roses). One of these new roses was a pink climbing rose, ‘Mary Delaney’, to train around our kitchen window. Currently, ‘Mary Delaney’ is drooping to the ground—completely unsupported. Honestly, I’m lucky none of the branches have broken in the wind thus far. Seriously. The best time to have constructed this rose wall trellis would have been this Spring when we planted the rose. The next best time is NOW.
Growing a Climbing Rose on a Wall
There are some choices to make if you plan to grow a rose against a flat wall. What building material is the wall made of? How big will your rose get? Do you want to see your trellis or have it blend in? For my situation, I am growing a climbing rose on a north facing stucco wall of our home. From the very beginning I knew I wanted to avoid drilling holes in the stucco if I could. Additionally, I knew I wanted this rose wall trellis to blend in and be almost invisible during the dormant season. That reminds me, don’t forget that the rose canes will be bare during the Winter and will show whatever trellis or structure you’ve got on the wall.
While I’ve trained climbing roses to grow on arbors and pillars and arches, I’ve never trained a rose to grow on a wall. Therefore, while I’m familiar with the growth cycle and general guidelines for growing climbing roses, this will be a new experience for me. I guess this also serves a disclaimer if you’re curious about building the same trellis.
A Custom Wall Trellis for Roses
Friends, I’ve really tried to make things easier for myself recently. So hear me out: I REALLY REALLY needed a trellis option that I could just buy and install. I didn’t have time for a really involved build or unique design. I don’t have the skill to drill into stucco (plus I didn’t want to do that anyway), I’m not a woodworker, and am pretty terrible at building things. Thankfully, I stumbled on this custom wall trellis kit online that not only is pretty low-risk to tryout, but also totally customizable. When I say “low-risk” I mean that the cost is under $50 and, if it didn’t work, there wouldn’t be any major damage to the structure of our home. Essentially, compared to some of the pricier trellis options out there, this is a good place to start.
This simple custom wall trellis kit comes with anchor caps, wire, plant tape, and silicone glue. Obviously, I can’t attest to the sturdiness of the glue and the caps over time, but so far so good. So, here’s how I installed this diy wall trellis for a climbing rose:
How to Layout Your Wall Trellis Design
Before starting this project I took some quick “before” shots and measurements (and some video for my installation tutorial on YouTube). Next, I used some graph paper and drew a small-scale model of the area. For example, I made each square on the grid equal to 6 inches, and tried to envision how the trellis would look around the kitchen window. Not gonna lie, I really wanted to just “eyeball” the whole thing, but I knew Sam would have none of that. In our YouTube video, you can see how well my “eyechrometer” did at the next step anyway (hint: it’s quite hilarious).
Next, using the design on graph paper, I took some chalk and made dots on the wall to show where I wanted to adhere the anchor caps. My best friend during this process was a yardstick. It was the perfect tool for laying out my design on the wall. Also, the great part about using chalk is that it rubs right off with a damp cloth.
Once you’re happy with the layout of your chalk points, it’s time to glue the caps to the stucco wall!
Glue the Anchor Caps to the Wall
Before I continue, let me just say that I literally followed the instructions on the kit. So, make sure to read them thoroughly.
Because I was concerned that the chalk might interfere with the ability of the silicone to adhere to the wall, I made sure to have a damp cloth handy to wipe away the chalk while installing the anchors for this wall trellis. Originally, I thought it would go faster if Sam filled a cap with glue and handed it to me, but it turns out that handing them off between two people was actually annoying and difficult. Therefore, I held a cap, Sam filled it with glue, and I would wipe the chalk and stick down the anchor cap. And yes, you could absolutely do this alone but we were trying to expedite the process because the list of home “to-dos” this weekend was massive.
As a friendly reminder, make sure you decide which direction or orientation you want the loops to be (the wire loops are on the anchor caps). For this specific project, we made all the loops stand vertically.
Once glued down, the silicone glue needs at least 24 hours to dry and cure. According to reviews, this was extremely important! Due to our schedules, we waited even more than 24 hours until moving onto the next step.
Painting Your Wall Trellis
As I mentioned, my goal was for this rose wall trellis to blend into the stucco—basically be invisible! After curing for more than 24 hours, I had a decision to make. Did I want to paint the anchors now? Or did I want to wait and paint everything in the end?
Eventually, I settled on painting my anchor caps first before installing the wire. I was a little worried the wire would make it more difficult to reach the caps with a paintbrush like I wanted. In hindsight, I’m not sure it made a difference to paint the anchors before adding wire. If you watch my install video, the whole thing was easier to paint than I expected!
Finally, it was time to add wire and make the shape of the trellis!
Add the Wires for Your Climbing Rose Wall Trellis
The custom wall trellis kit comes with some thin gauge wire to string between the anchor caps. Being somewhat impatient, I tried to find a way to string the wire without having to cut it too many times. On the other hand, I wasn’t okay sacrificing durability and stability for the sake of speed.
In the end, I’m really happy with the way we strung the wire for this rose wall trellis. We decided to string the wire in a triangle shape pattern—secured to two anchor points (at the beginning and end), but passing through three anchor points along the way. All in all, the most important thing to keep in mind while adding wire to this wall trellis, is to not let the wire get super kinked, bent, or twisted while pulling it from the spool. Go slowly, it will pay off.
To attach the wire to an anchor point, we simply poked it through the loop hole and and bent it back over itself. From there, wind the wire around itself to tie it off. You’ll need a pair of wire cutters to cut the wire.
The Final Touches on This Custom Rose Trellis
I should mention that safety glasses are a smart choice for this project. Anything with wires and rose canes whipping around should really be taken seriously (we had a couple close calls, so don’t make my mistake!). After finally getting the wire strung where we needed it, I went back and painted over the wires using our house paint. Additionally, I did my best to not paint the stucco (because the paint on the home is older and faded and it might not match perfectly). You guys, I’m thrilled with how our custom rose wall trellis turned out!!!!! What do you think? It’s so perfect for this wall, and it blends in just like I imagined.
Lastly, when it comes to training climbing roses, it’s important to understand how they grow. From main canes to laterals, there are ways to train climbers to encourage more blooms. Essentially, you want to train main canes at an angle or horizonatally to encourage laterals to grow off of the stem (more laterals = more blooms). Unfortunately, I don’t have a tutorial for this right now and this specific blogpost is really about building this rose wall trellis. There are rose growers, like David Austin, that have some helpful tips and diagrams for training roses online. Also, roses are very forgiving, so don’t be too hard on yourself.
To secure the climbing rose canes to our new custom wall trellis I simply used the flexible tie that came with the kit. There are other ways to secure canes, but I’m happy trying this product out and can report back later.
Thanks for joining me for this garden project! I can’t wait to see this rose climbing around our kitchen window. It’s only been one season thus far and it’s already creating that cottage-y whimsical vibe I’m obsessed with!