Climbing roses can ad a lot of beauty to a long wall.

Roses can be more than just pretty flowering shrubs or climbers. We always think of using cut roses to decorate our homes with flowers, placing them on tables inside and out.

However, roses can perform other jobs in your landscape, too. I have used roses in pots as a focal point; as a screen to block more unsightly items; as a grouping in the front yard to shout out to passers-by that gardeners live here; and as a tall plant to break up a long wall, as you can see above.

When choosing roses to use for any of these purposes, keep in mind common design rules. Use complementary colors together, and colors that work well with your décor choices inside and out. If your home uses desert colors (sage greens, browns, tans, soft yellows), your palette choices can be pretty broad. But if you have deep hues of red-oranges, browns, purples or burgundies, you will want to stay within the shades of these colors—adding red, apricot and yellow, perhaps, but staying away from pink and lavender.

For your cut-flower roses, hybrid teas and grandifloras are your best bet. With blooms grown on long stems, either singly or in clusters, they lend themselves to arranging in vases.

Floribundas have flowers in large clusters with more than one bloom on stems at any one time. These roses typically provide massive colorful, long-lasting garden displays and can bloom continually. These also can serve as a hedge or single plantings.

Climbing roses work well for screening and for breaking up a long run of a wall. Since you do not cut climbers all the way back when you do your January prune, you will not lose much of the “bush.”

Miniature roses, such as the roses in the whiskey barrels below, make great close-up focal points on your patio or at your eastern-facing front entry. They are fun, smile-producing plants that welcome you and your guests home each day. They are easy to care for, too!

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Marylee Pangman is the founder and former owner of The Contained Gardener in Tucson, Ariz. She has become known as the Desert’s Potted Garden Expert. Marylee is available for digital consultations, and you can email her with comments and questions at, and follow the Potted Desert on Facebook.