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Rose Swags

For Outdoor Use

Rose Swag.jpg

Rope swags between posts for training climbing plants

Rope type and properties.

The choice is between synthetic polypropylene or, man made fibre ropes sisal and manilla.

Sisal or manilla:(Sisal available in 18mm / Manilla available in 24mm)

Both come from the leaves of plants and are chemically the same as wood. Generally sisal is creamy white to yellow in colour whilst manilla is a darker colour and seems to perform better outside.


The rope absorbs moisture and shrinks as it becomes wet. Like all plant material it can be attacked by fungus and bacteria which will cause it to discolour, rot and weaken.This can be substantially prevented by giving the rope a wood preservative treatment prior to fixing it in place. This treatment needs to be thorough though because, unlike a fence say, further treatments cannot be applied once the rope is covered by plant growth!

Despite these obvious disadvantages such ropes do fit well into a garden because of their natural colour and appearance.


Ropes made from this material are chemically inert and do not absorb moisture. In consequence they do not shrink when wet and neither are they attacked by fungus or bacteria.

Over time they are gradually degraded by the UV component in sunlight and become brittle and weakened. However this is a relatively slow process particularly in ropes of 24mm (approx 1”) diameter and should not be a major concern.

24mm Polyhemp is ideal in this instance. Although more expensive than either Sisal or Manilla it benefits from having the properties of a synthetic material combined with the attractiveness of its’ ‘natural’ look.

Choice of diameter:

We recommend using either 18mm or 24mm (approx 1”)diameter rope.It is sufficiently chunky to be in scale with the supporting posts and of sufficient strength to carry any likely weight of plant growth with enough left over to give it a long life.

Some people advocate even thicker rope but in our experience this can be very difficult to tension to remove the sag or drape between the posts.


A simple and effective method is to attach the rope to the top of each supporting post using galvanised nails or long staples.  When using sisal or manilla it is good idea to wet the rope before fixing so that it is put up whilst shrunk.  Polypropylene does not require this treatment.

Call our Head Office on, 01969 667487, for further information.

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