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Perfumed Arches

Making full use of available building space and beautifying your home surroundings is an architectural essential. Take for example, the passageways between a house and the boundary wall, house and garage and even the entrance gate, where all too often there is nothing but bare concrete.

And yet, it need not be this way. With a little – or a lot – of artistic imagination, these spaces can be transformed into stunning – even perfumed if you make the right selection – arches of roses, which in season, will be an absolute knockout. 

Such archways, constructed out of hard wood, bamboo or delicate wrought iron, can be added after the construction work has been completed or be included in the original layout. With careful planning, these arches can be an integral part of the overall landscaping effect.

One of the beauties of rose arches – or free standing arbours if you prefer – is that they provide a visually interesting feature which also offers a reasonable degree of shade; climbing and rambling roses are perfectly at home when cultivated in large clay pots or other suitable containers. Good drainage is of extreme importance, and these features should connect directly to either a covered or open drain, which in turn should lead to the garden itself, so that any run-off water, or rainwater, does not go to waste.

Climbing roses climb straight up before flopping over, and are ideal to cover the arch/arbour sides. Rambling roses ramble all over the place, so they must be fastened and trained to grow where you want them. Unlike rose bushes, they need little, or preferably no pruning other than the removal of dead/diseased wood.

Climbing and rambling roses should be available in the nurseries right now as bare-rooted plants, while some nurseries stock them all year round as pot-grown plants. With prices ranging from Rs 150 upwards, climbing/rambling roses are an excellent investment.

– B Khan

First published in the ADBUZZZZ Section of The DAWN National Weekend Advertiser on February 9, 2014.