Shrub roses in the mixed border

(17 Posts)
Kr1stina Thu 03-Nov-16 19:03:15

I have a few gaps in my borders and want to try roses but I'm not sure how to get them to blend well with other plants. The only roses I grow at the moment are the small groudcover ones ( which are very easy and still flowering well in early November ) and and climbers ( some of them still have a few flowers too ) .

I think I'm still traumatised by the hybrid tea island beds of my childhood .

I DONT want a rose bed with some under planting to hide their ugly legs.

I DONT want a plant that shouts " hey everyone I'm a rose, look at me " . I just want it to play nicely with all the other plants. Is this too much to ask ?

So NOT like these in the photo, which looks to me like a bush with some random plants dotted around it

Kr1stina Thu 03-Nov-16 19:05:36

More like this

" yes I'm a rose but I'm not showing off about it "

shovetheholly Thu 03-Nov-16 20:57:08

What about this?

Kr1stina Thu 03-Nov-16 22:26:40

Oh I like the one with the foxgloves and nepeta , as they both do well for me! The spikes seem to work with the round flowers of the roses.

So maybe it's about form < ponders >

shovetheholly Fri 04-Nov-16 08:47:58

I am looking at the pictures you like, and they all share a density of planting, at mid height (for a perennial border) around the roses. I wonder if this is just a matter of letting plants grow around them? I think classic rose gardens might avoid this because of issues with disease and air circulation - but if you choose the right companion plants, you may be able to minimise this (or simply replace the roses more frequently?)

I think verticals can be amazing when mixed with rounded 'lollipop' style flowers like roses or poppies etc. Beth Chatto is a master at it - the garden at Harlow Carr also has lots of the spiked veronicas, actaeas etc. amongst rudbeckias, heleniums etc. One of the things I'd love to get better at myself is planting with contrasting textures, because I am starting to realise that it is actually as important (if not more important) than colour - and it's just not something I have paid enough attention to!

Sosidges Fri 04-Nov-16 09:14:04

I am glad you started this thread. I have some roses to move to a bed and was wondering the same. I have two bush roses and was thinking of putting my bush clematis and Hibiscus in with them. It love the idea of tall spiky things to give height without overcrowding or over shadowing them.

The roses are white and cerise pink. I am considering putting those silver grey hebes with the pink edges in too. Any thoughts?

prettywhiteguitar Fri 04-Nov-16 09:17:38

I have brookside geraniums, nepeta and also delphs around mine

prettywhiteguitar Fri 04-Nov-16 09:18:15

Lambs ears too and lavender, silver Hebe sounds good

shovetheholly Fri 04-Nov-16 13:03:07

This article is interesting on companion plants for roses for disease and pest control: www.heirloomroses.com/info/care/how-to/companion-planting-with-roses/ Geraniums and alliums are two of the things suggested!

prettywhiteguitar Fri 04-Nov-16 13:57:52

That's a great article shovetheholly

Kr1stina Fri 04-Nov-16 15:38:48

Sosidges - is that Hebe Red Edge ? I have several of them and they grow into a nice big dome. The red bit is brighter in the winter .

I wonder if this roses and hibiscus might be too similar , in form and in the flower? Do you need something more delicate, perhaps some herbaceous perennials ?

Just a thought

Sosidges Fri 04-Nov-16 16:13:16

You could be right. I dont want it to look a mishmash . Fortunately most of the plants have been dug up and are in pots, so once the bed is ready I could put the pots in place on the bed and possibly not plant till spring.

The Hibiscus is just a baby so might get lost among established roses.

Kr1stina Fri 04-Nov-16 18:53:18

Maybe they would be ok as long as you have something more delicate in between . Like a geranium that would wind its way around ( not the clumpy kind ) or grasses . Because the hebe and the roses will be quite solid . Unless you like a very neat and formal look .

Sosidges Fri 04-Nov-16 18:58:00

Nothing neat about me or the garden. Rampant and wild more like. That's the garden, not me😀

bikerlou Fri 04-Nov-16 19:01:46

Have a look at the David Austin range. There is a rose to suit any position and they all smell fantastic. i have mixed borders full of them and they look amazing.

Sosidges Fri 04-Nov-16 19:13:44

What plants have you mixed with yours bikerlou?

Kr1stina Fri 04-Nov-16 19:19:39

Lou - I'm looking for some roses that have a long season in bloom. Can you tell me whichever David Austin roses are still flowering in your garden right now ?

And if you fancy posting some photos that would be even better grin

And grin at wild and rampant

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