There is something very special about a garden house, especially one covered in some form of rambling or climbing rose. I am not quite sure why, but my thoughts have been turning to climbing roses for a while now. I keep thinking about the possibility of growing one on the front porch, over the garage door or around the roof outside our bedroom window. I am not sure what color to type this rose would be, but I keep returning to this thought every time I see another rose online, in print or in the Chelsea Garden Show coverage.

This photo from the turn of the last century shows that roses have always been one way to dress up a structure or somewhat ugly corner of the garden. As I write this, it reminds me of yet another place where a climber might be useful — around my own garden shed. Hmmm…who would have thought that such old pictures could get us thinking about our gardens so much? 

What are your favorite climbers or ramblers? Give me some hints to help me move forward with this project!

["The Dunes," Frank Bestow Wiborg house, Highway Behind the Pond, East Hampton, New York. (LOC)

“The Dunes,” Frank Bestow Wiborg house, Highway Behind the Pond, East Hampton, New York. Garden house door

[ca. 1915]

1 photograph : glass lantern slide, hand-colored ; 3.25 x 4 in.

Site History. House Architecture: Grosvenor Atterbury, 1895. Landscape: Adleine Sherman (Mrs. Frank Bestow) Wiborg. Other: The house was on 600 acres between Hook Pond and the Atlantic Ocean. Today: House and garden not extant.
Photographed when Frances Benjamin Johnston and Mattie Edwards Hewitt worked together.
Title, date, and subject information provided by Sam Watters, 2011.
Forms part of: Garden and historic house lecture series in the Frances Benjamin Johnston Collection (Library of Congress).

Rights Info: No known restrictions on publication.

Repository: Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, Washington, D.C. 20540 USA,

Higher resolution image is available (Persistent URL):

Call Number: LC-J717-X99- 50

A bit more information on “The Dunes” and the Wiborg family from Wikipedia…

Sara Sherman Wiborg (November 7, 1883 – October 10, 1975) was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, into the wealthy Wiborg family. Her father, manufacturing chemist and owner of his own printing ink and varnish company Frank Bestow Wiborg, was a self-made millionaire by the age of 40, and her mother was a member of the noted Sherman family, daughter of Hoyt Sherman, and niece to Civil War General William Tecumseh Sherman. Raised in Cincinnati, her family moved to Germany for several years when she was a teenager, so her father could concentrate on the European expansion of his company. The Wiborg family was easily accepted into the high society community of 20th century Europe. While in Europe, Sara and her sisters Hoytie and Olga sang together at high-class assemblies. Upon returning to the United States, the Wiborgs spent most of their time in New York City and, later, East Hampton, where they built the 30-room mansion “The Dunes” on 600 acres just west of the Maidstone Club in 1912. It was the largest estate in East Hampton up to that time. Wiborg Beach in East Hampton is named for them.[2]” –

Previously in Garden History: