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RE: Newbie rose garden bed vs. non-bed design question (Follow-Up #9)

posted by: shellfleur on 08.13.2007 at 08:44 am in Roses Forum

Kristin, the rose bed you are creating sounds very much like one I put in just this year. Last fall, I removed all the grass from the area...about the same dimensions as your garden. I would definitely recommend getting rid of the grass entirely. In my experience, if you leave any part of it, you will regret it. Grass (even when turned upside down) always seems to find a way to survive and then you end up weeding way more than you would like.

What I did with this bed after removing the grass was to turn the soil over while mixing in manure and organic material like rotted leaves, old grass clippings, etc. Then, I planned out where I was going to put the various roses. I actually dug the deep holes in the fall, backfilling with more organic matter and manure. Then I stuck tall bamboo stakes in the middle of the space to mark where a rose would be all ready to plant. I finished off the bed in the fall with a 3 inch layer of mulch to bring the earthworms.

In the spring, when my roses arrived, I just popped them into the already prepared holes. I also planted a lot of companion perennials like lavender, daylilies, hardy geraniums, lilies, foxgloves, a peony, a butterfly bush, etc. I added lots of the annual blue lobelia for added interest and constant color. Then I mulched around everything with a dark organic mulch to help retain moisture.

I am very pleased with my new garden bed. I added a cobalt blue birdbath in the center and everything has grown in beautifully. The roses are still fairly small but growing nicely. The perennials and annuals filled in an it looks lush and colorful. A new bed doesn't have to look spare, even in its first year.

Good luck with your new garden. Enjoy! Shelley

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clipped on: 12.30.2007 at 11:15 pm    last updated on: 12.30.2007 at 11:15 pm

RE: Companion plant Fragrant Cloud (Follow-Up #8)

posted by: peachiekean on 12.29.2007 at 10:46 pm in Roses Forum

Since I have a lot of apricot and yellow and other warm colors including Fragrant Cloud, I plant Salvia Coral Nymph in between and also use a very similar geranium to HoovB's, altho I can't remember its exact name. I just tore out some white bacopa (now called sutera). It likes a bit more shade than my rose garden can provide. But its pure white flowers are nice with roses.
I like the idea of fireworks surrounding the rose bushes. The salvias need very little water and I shear them back when they start crowding the roses. They attract lots of finches and hummingbirds. Gaura is another plant similar to the salvia in the fountain-type way it grows. Other whites that work well are pentas and shasta daisies. Foxgloves, calla lilies, nemesias, over time I've tried and enjoyed them all. Thyme also looks good under the roses and it comes in whites, pinks and blues. Hope this gives you something to consider.
Mary

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clipped on: 12.30.2007 at 09:48 am    last updated on: 12.30.2007 at 09:48 am

RE: Companion plant Fragrant Cloud (Follow-Up #7)

posted by: judith5bmontreal on 12.29.2007 at 10:19 pm in Roses Forum

Eden, Rozanne blooms far more than any other geranium I have grown so far, especially Johnson's blue, and does fine in full sun. It also spreads out quite a bit, just the long mounding stems, not the actual plant. So far (three years) it hasn't invaded the roses' space. I plant it about 1-1/2 to 2 feet from the roses, but by summer there is no bare ground showing. It's low enough not to interfere with the air circulation, and once I mulch in late spring, and the geranium covers everything, I don't find I need to weed. (maybe there ARE weeds under there, but if I can't see them...oh well..)If it gets too close to the roses, just whack it back. It won't mind a bit! Catmint Walkers Low is great too, but will spread more. So far, I've just dug up the new baby plants and moved them elsewhere, it hasn't been any trouble to control. Have fun choosing!
Judith

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clipped on: 12.30.2007 at 09:47 am    last updated on: 12.30.2007 at 09:47 am

RE: Companion plant Fragrant Cloud (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: ceterum on 12.28.2007 at 12:45 am in Roses Forum

Blue would be nice, not a very dark blue like black &blue but rather like Salvia farinacea, the light blue version (or the white one). Hardy Geranium Rozanne, Orion also would look great in front of the plant. I have Plumbago (Capewort-??spelling) around FC and it looks great but Plumbago would not be hardy in your zone.
White is the other color that would look great. You have to decide if you want some groundcover type like Alyssum (although alyssum usually melts away in the very hot months) or you want taller companion plants like white Oriental lilies, white Foxglove, or Delphinium or bellflowers - all these 'spiky' plants in blue would be great, too. You can throw in a few Nigella seeds in blue and/or white, but no pink! not only their flower color is very nice but their ferny foliage looks wonderful around roses. Nigella is an annual but if you let the seedpods on (they are attractive), they will self-seed.

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clipped on: 12.30.2007 at 09:44 am    last updated on: 12.30.2007 at 09:44 am

RE: Orange/peachy tubular flowers on Pine needle foliage?? (Follow-Up #3)

posted by: tracey_nj6 on 08.25.2007 at 09:50 pm in Hummingbird Garden Forum

A longshot, but maybe ipomopsis? Personally, I'd knock on the owners door; I love it when people ask me about my plants ;)
If you take a picture, upload it to Photobucket (free account) and copy the "HTML Tag" that they provide and paste it here in your response.
I'd love to see it...

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How to put a picture on garden web
clipped on: 12.07.2007 at 05:34 pm    last updated on: 12.07.2007 at 05:34 pm

RE: A Very Basic Question (Follow-Up #4)

posted by: leslie197 on 12.03.2006 at 04:16 pm in Perennials Forum

I have a small garden that is absolutely jam-packed and heavily layered with nearly 400 varieties of perennials, grasses, shrubs and small ornamental trees plus thousands of bulbs. I never met a plant I didn't want. :~)) I also like order and a bit of structure in my garden as I think the many pictures I have posted on the forums indicate. So what do you do to have both?????

Plant new plants of the same variety 1/3 closer than recommended, but leave a little extra space around the edges of each grouping. This helps give definition.

Use mulch. Helps keep down weeds, enriches soil, and makes a neater effect.

Plant ephemerals. They grow, bloom & disappear quickly. Lots of spring blooming perennials (not just bulbs) work this way. This leaves room in the beds for later flowers coming on. My favorites are oriental poppies for sunny areas and old-fashioned bleeding hearts for shade, followed by or paired with later arriving flowers.

Prune - lots and often. Read the Tracy Di-Sabato book The Well-tended Perennial Garden for lots of perennial pruning info. Also keep in mind also that lots of perennials can be cut back hard after blooming - even if they won't rebloom for you. Why look at declining foliage? Many perennials will put out short fresh foliage, but the pruning will always makes more room in the bed. Example, Jacob Kline monarda can be cut back immediately after bloom (fairly early bloom for a monarda) & it will regrow fresh foliage (only occasional rebloom) but another later blooming monarda variety can take over, or you can plant something like Pearly Everlasting (a grey-silver foliage plant with small white flowers that likes a bit of damp) to take the JK spot.

Use early and late varieties of the same plant in or near the same area. After the early ones bloom, wait for the later bloomers to take over. I do this all the time with things like daylilies. Example Barbara Mitchell DL followed by Secondhand Rose DL, sort of squashed together into one foliage mass. (In cold areas the foliage of early blooming dormants diminishes somewhat after bloom and real hardy old ones or species can take having their foliage cutback or can easily be pulled out. Semi & Evergreen DLs need their foliage space, but will recede from the eye after bloom, and can be planted closely with other later blooming DLs.) BTW, the DLs work well with the clumps surrounded by daffodils which bloom in spring & then recede (the strappy DL foliage also hides the dying bulb foliage). Add a Rozanne Geranium or two, which get going really well around high summer, and will help hide the declining DL foliage. They will bloom until frost. If you work this right, you can have almost continuous bloom in a small area and still keep it neat.

Place a few small shrubs in your perennial beds. Gives structure and adds winter interest.

Put a few small evergreen shrubs in pots. Great for openings in pathways, for focal points, or punctuation. Also can be moved around when an area needs help. Try a topiary for a small touch of the formal look. A birdbath or statue also can add structure to a bed. Try taking a photo with and without one, if you aren't sure.

Direct sow easy annuals like coreopis, bachelor buttons, or poppies into pots. Use them in empty places in the garden. This works better for me (with my wet soil, crowded beds, & mulching) than direct sowing into the ground. Somehow, the pots also look more orderly and have more impact than a stray seedling here and there. I also get some self-seeding right in the pots which I consider a nice bonus.

Prune up your shrubs/trees. Make things see-through. Messy underplantings look great against the clean lines of bare branches.

Use cutback shrubs. The perfect example is Smokebush (Cotinus). Another example is Goldflame or Goldmound Spirea. Goldflame can be cut back to 8 inches or so in late winter or early spring, will put up orangish leaves in spring, that look great with Princess Irene Tulips, follow that with a soft Salmon or shrimp colored Oriental Poppies, the spireas will eventually get 2-3 ft H&W, after the spireas bloom (pink) follow them by a big swath of summer garden phlox, like David (white), and then a dwarf helianthus (yellow) and a cream white Sweet Autumn Clematis along the fence, while the spirea leaves are going orange again for the season end. Except for the SAC, all this can be done in a tiny area, say 3ft X 5 ft, and have great impact.

Make really clean edges on you beds. No matter how messy your beds are, if they have a good edge, they look good!

On brand new beds with all new perennials plant a small flowering groundcover type annual throughout the bed. In my wettish soil I like to use Bacopa. (This is a plant that will crisp quickly, & not recover, if it does not get enough water, but works well for me.) In drier areas I use Lantana (usually a soft yellow). Using one flower in one color (as neutral as possible) shows off the new perennials well, acts as a unifier, & the vining effect holds the soil well. In shade areas mimulus (wet) or impatiens in a single color work well, but have a more competing clumping effect in the bed. Adding the groundcover look can make an unfinished (new) bed look more polished/finished.

Oh yes, at the end of the season, try to set up a couple of areas of winter interest, and remove stray/messy foliage from the scene. An area with a columnar evergreen, a squaty evergreen, a grass or two, and some spiky/tufty perennial remains which will hold snow, makes a pretty winter view, especially if you have cut back areas in between to highlight them.

Best of luck with your gardens. I'm sure you will find that this all gets easier as you become more experienced. Remember too that gardens aren't built in a day or a season...and that they are almost always more process than finished project. One day you will look out into your garden and say - that looks great (& pretend you don't see or photograph the part that's still a mess)! LOL. Again, my best wishes and hope all my jabbering gives you some ideas.

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clipped on: 10.25.2007 at 11:20 pm    last updated on: 10.25.2007 at 11:26 pm

RE: the most incredibly FRAGRANT rose that takes your breath away (Follow-Up #86)

posted by: jpw_chi on 10.01.2005 at 09:53 am in Roses Forum

Okay, because it seems I can't go through life without grading it on a curve, I was curious to see how often people mentioned different roses. Using my very own unscientific methods (and the help of my computer's "sort" function), I did a little checking.

I expected Mr. Lincoln to come in first, but he was number two. The most commented upon rose -- which also took the most votes for popularity in the "Two Favorite Roses of All Times" Thread -- was Double Delight by a longshot. Here's the breakdown for everything with more than three comments:

DOUBLE DELIGHT, with *seventeen*(17) comments -- not always chosen as the absolute favorite, but definitely the most talked about or, like Mr. Lincoln, used as a benchmark for fragrance.

Other Roses with Ten Comments or More Regarding Fragrance:

Mr Lincoln (12)
Gertrude Jekyll (10)
Jude the Obscure (10)

Four to Nine Comments

Abe Darby (6)
Angel Face (7)
Baronne Prevost (4)
Blue Girl (4)
Chrysler Imperial (7)
Crimson Glory (7)
Evelyn (6)
Fragrant Cloud (8)
Francis Dubreuil (6)
Granada (6)
Heirloom (5)
Heritage (4)
Intrigue (4)
Lemon Spice (5)
Melodie Parfumee (5)
Mirandy (6)
Papa Meilland (6)
Reine des Violettes (4)
Rose de Rescht (5)
Scentimental (6)
Secret (5)
Sharifa Asma (7)
Sunsprite, (6)
Sweet Chariot (5)
Tamora (4)
The McCartney Rose (4)
Tiffany (5)
Yves Piaget (4)

I think I have to get me one of them this spring, and a Mr. Lincoln too.

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clipped on: 01.25.2007 at 08:41 pm    last updated on: 01.25.2007 at 08:41 pm