PLANTS TO MIX WITH ROSES

Considering that it is July, the weather has been rather cool, but that means it's been a good week for gardening. It's not too hot and not too windy and not too wet.  What have I been up to, I hear you ask with bated breath?  And will there be photos?  

I'm afraid I have to disappoint you there, as nicely weeded soil and plants that are wilting in despair at being moved do not good blog posts make.  So I will instead post the latest from the Rose Garden, with the focus on plants that mix well with roses.

1. Blue

Campanula lactiflora 'Prichard's Variety' and Veronica longifolia 'Blue Shades' are in the foreground in this shot across the Rose Garden.  Adam Frost once told me blue is a 'get out of jail free card' in garden design as it will mix successfully with anything. Since most old roses are in shades of pink and white, blue helps to enliven the mix.


2. 'Red' Phlox

You may recall me moaning mentioning some red Phlox in the long border that was rather too pink.  I've moved some to this border in the Rose Garden where it's mixed with Geranium 'Ann Folkard' and Heuchera 'Green Spice'.  They are all plants relocated here as a bit of an experiment in dark pinks and reds.  There are mainly dark red roses in this border to continue the colour theme.


3. Penstemon

I grew a batch of Penstemon from seed quite a few years ago.  They are pretty, but lacked much impact in the border.  I took a load (technical term) of cuttings last autumn and most of them grew, so I've lots more of these plants.  I've planted them out in drifts of the same colour and fingers crossed they may make a better display.

I'll let you know how they get on.


4. Rosa Margaret Merril

This is a pretty off white rose, sometimes very pale pink, with a good scent.  I have a lot of them in the Rose Garden, where they fill the central circle and are under planted with Geranium Elke.  I chose Elke 1) because I like the flowers and 2) because it seems to be fairly low growing and won't shade out the lower stems of the roses like the Alchemilla Mollis that was here.






5. An New View 

I usually walk around the garden to take my photos, and have my favourite view points and compositions.  Today I sat on a bench instead and found a different view of the Rose Garden where it meets the gravel sitting out area.   

The bright red rose in the foreground is planted with Lavender 'Munstead' and prostrate Juniper of some kind which was one of the garden's original inhabitants.


6. Clematis 'Purpurea Plena Elegens'

This clematis has taken an absolute age to get going.  Admittedly I did have to move it early on and cut it back when it was still not established and therefore it's my fault and not that of the plant.  We've also cut some stuff back and given it loads more light.  It was introduced in the 16th century and I can see why they would have liked it.  Doesn't  it reminds you of the pleated and puffed sleeves of a Shakespearean costume?  






I seemed to use up my Six quite quickly this week.  I hope you enjoyed them.  Next week, will be the tenth anniversary of us moving here.  I'm hoping I can find some early photos of the garden to do some kind of before and after.  I accept that the person most interested in this will probably be me, so take this as an advance warning!

More Six on Saturdays can be found on The Propagator where you will find blogs by other keen gardeners from around the World.







Comments

  1. I have the same clematis as you which was planted only this spring and obviously I have significantly fewer flowers than yours. It gives me an idea (even if the growth is slow) of how it will thrive.
    My penstemons (I've got 2 : red and pink) planted 3 years ago, grow back year after year by chance without dying. I just cut down the stems of dead flowers.

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    1. Some of the penstemons survive, but they seem to grow quite slowly. I'm not sure if I cut them back too hard and nearly kill them or don't cut them back enough to stimulate new growth.

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  2. Your comment re photography rings so very true. I find I fall into a routine of views, almost a Stations of the Cross procession around the garden and have found it wonderful when somebody visits and takes photographs for they will invariably take different views and I will see the garden with different eyes, different perspective. Nonetheless, you have plenty of wonderful views - and I include the gorgeous penstemons and who wouldn't want a load of them!

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  3. I could mention how wonderful your garden looks, what a great selection of plants or your nice photography, but instead I will say "you know Adam Frost?!!!!"

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    1. Well I've chatted to him, but I wouldn't claim to know him. He's a lovely chap.

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  4. What's your trick to starting penstemon from seed? I've tried more than once, more than twice! The only success I had was when I threw seeds into the bed and ignored them. I love penstemon. I do have success dividing one of mine, and even rooting broken pieces.

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    Replies
    1. I don't think there was a trick, I must have been lucky. They would have been spring sown into garden centre multipurpose compost in seed trays. Started off on a kitchen windowsill and then moved to an unheated greenhouse.

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  5. I didn't have an inkling of the long pedigree of flore pleno. I love it even more!

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    1. I'm always drawn to descriptions of historic plants. I love the idea of a garden of 'sweet herbs' and Tudor knots.

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    2. I am falling in love with the Marjorams. My poor roses are suffering from lack of light as the plants around are growing too large. A redesign is being stewed over, plants will have to be moved!

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  6. Your rose garden looks wonderful. I'll have to remember that blue and purple planting tip. I have Margaret Merril - she's just about to have a second flush of flowers. Nice arch too.

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  7. Looking forward to the before and after shots soon. You have some beautiful borders with a lovely selection of plants. I enjoyed Adam Frost's Gardeners' World programmes. Knowledgeable as all the "modern " presenters are, he is the nearest to the delightful Geoff Hamilton of yesteryear.

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    1. You probably know that Adam used to work for Geoff Hamilton, so that may be why they have so much in common.

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  8. penstemons are such willing propagatees, rude not to really. i love your blue photo, i must get some campanula. oh wait, i'm well ahead of the game, i have some seed i need to sow at some point...

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