The Golden Gate Experiment

In March of 2013 I received several shrubs of ‘Golden Gate’ a beautiful yellow climbing rose to try in my garden from Certified Roses. From Kordes, Germany, this rose is known to be very hardy and disease resistant as well as producing a multitude of fragrant yellow blooms.

As I was potting them up I thought I would conduct an experiment. I would give a shrub of this rose to a friend who has never grown roses and let him plant, water and fertilize and see how the rose progresses over time.  No sprays or chemicals to be used. Only organic fertilizer.  When I gave the rose to my friend Mike, he looked at the bare root plant and said “i’ll give it a try”.

This spring, I began getting texts from Mike with photos of this rose and its progress.
Mike it seems is quite a woodcrafter. He built a trellis for the rose to climb upon and the photos below not only showcase his handy work as a trellis builder, but you can also see the amazing results you can achieve without chemicals when you plant the right rose in the right spot.


Golden Gate – Kordes – KORgolgat


Large open blooms of Mike’s ‘Golden Gate’ climbing rose


A profusion of fragrant blooms from Golden Gate Climbing Rose from Kordes, Germany

IMG_2188 IMG_8167

Received this photo this week. Now that the flush of blooms as faded, the rose has gone to work to produce more canes for the next round of buds and blooms

The photos were taken from May till mid July and as you can see, no disease on this rose at all to speak of.  Our own shrubs of Golden Gate has done equally as well, winning us “Best Climbing Rose” at the Birmingham Rose Show this year. Now I just have to convince Mike to plow up more of that green grass and plant some other awesome roses!!!!!

*Photo Credit: Michael Atkinson


About Chris VanCleave - America's Favorite Rose Gardener

Christopher R. VanCleave – America’s Favorite Rose Gardener Nicknamed "The Redneck Rosarian”, Chris VanCleave is passionate about gardening and growing roses. He is an active member of the Birmingham chapter of the American Rose Society, serving two terms as President. In 2007, he created the Rose Chat Podcast which has reached over a half a million listeners with news and information on growing on growing the world’s most beloved flower, the rose. He was a contributor to the 2015 Southern Living Gardening Book, has appeared on P. Allen Smith’s Garden Home television show and was featured in the June 2015 issue of Southern Living Magazine. Locally, Chris serves as Chairman of the Helena Alabama Beautification Board where he has spearheaded efforts to create a sustainable landscape in one of the top one hundred places to live in the United States. His writing is seen at and on his popular website;, where he chronicles his gardening adventures and explores an intrinsic mix of life, faith and gardening. An agent of change with over 20 years’ experience in process innovation, Mr. VanCleave is leading the charge to reinvigorate horticultural societies and helping them to reach their full potential in the social media age.
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9 Responses to The Golden Gate Experiment

  1. Mark Shipp says:

    Wow, Chris …. and Mike, that is! When and how will the rest of the world be able to obtain this rose? Good climbers are a must, and I have a perfect spot for this one.


  2. roberta4949 says:

    I have a golden gate, it is growing like crazy but no blooms do they bloom on old wood? otherwise I think I might have lost the graft, I don’t believe it is grafted and the canes are growing on the old wood from last year. so not sure what to make of it, I had one bloom on it last year so I know it is golden gate. any ideas?


  3. Chris, should climbers be planted on fences? Somebody told me no. I have a picket fence around my potting shed and would love to plant a rose to scramble all over it. Any recommendations?


  4. It is a very striking shade of yellow….beautiful


  5. Bernice says:

    Beautiful pictures!


  6. Susan Fox says:

    Hi Chris,
    This rose looks like a clone of my ‘Golden Showers’ that I left behind in Texas and this is what Help Me Find says about ‘Golden Showers’
    “56 favorite votes.
    Average rating: GOOD+.
    Medium yellow Large-Flowered Climber.
    Registration name: Golden Showers
    Bred by Dr. Walter E. Lammerts (United States, 1956).
    Introduced in United States by Germain’s (Germain Seed & Plant Co.) in 1956 as ‘Golden Showers’.
    Climber, Large-Flowered Climber.
    Yellow. Licorice, tea fragrance. 20 to 30 petals. Average diameter 6″. Large bloom form. Blooms in flushes throughout the season.
    Height of 10′ to 14′ (305 to 425 cm). Width of up to 6′ (up to 185 cm).
    USDA zone 3b through 10b. Shade tolerant. Disease susceptibility: very disease resistant. Can be pruned to maintain a shorter habit.
    Germany – Patent No: 39 620 033
    United States – Patent No: PP 1,557 VIEW USPTO PATENT
    Charlotte Armstrong × Captain Thomas (Large Flowered Climber, Thomas, 1935)
    Red filaments” I
    What do you think about this???? I don’t see the parentage listed….
    Your friend,
    Susan Fox


  7. smallyg says:

    Thank you for your unbiased information. I am looking to purchase one but I am never sure if they will look as good for me as they do at the rose test garden. Wonderful pictures also.


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