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A Garden of Rose Companions

Rose Companions Garden
Whether you have an existing rose garden or wish to create one for the first time, choosing perennials that will complement their color and form is an important consideration.  Delphiniums always look great with most roses.  Why?  Their strong vertical line is a pleasing contrast to the roundness of both the flowers and form of most roses, while their many shades of blue are beautiful complements to the yellow, pinks, and reds of the rose family.  Another important function of certain rose companions is to serve as a “petticoat” for the unlovely base of most rose bushes.  Soft, mounding perennials such as Artemisia, Dianthus, Stachys, and Lavender fill this need beautifully.  The final element is “filler”: a very open, delicate structure that lightly fills space between other plants.  In the rose garden, tall Artemisias, Caryopteris, Nepeta, and Columbine perform that function while being attractive in their own right.  Choose easy-care roses that are hardy enough for your region and that match the colors in the diagram below.  Plant this garden in groups of three.


A Alcea 'Singles Mix'
Velvety leaves and cupshaped flowers along spires bring a nice combination of hollyhocks, all with "single" flowers for a less fussy, unadorned beauty. Height 5-7' Durable to -20F
J Digitalis 'Strawberry Foxglove'
A base of large soft leaves gives rise to the tall, upright stalks bearing 2" tubular flowers. Height 3648" Durable to -40F
B Artemisia 'Powis Castle'
Feathery, finely cut foliage that serves beautifully in cut-flower arrangements as well as in a mixed border. Height 24-36" Durable to -20F
K Heliopsis 'Summer Sun'
A rugged, reliable plant with erect branching stems bearing bright sunny flowers throughout the summer. Height 48" Durable to -40F
C Artemisia 'Silver Brocade'
Splendid silvery-white stems and foliage that grow in a fairly dense and rounded form. Height 24" Durable to -40F
L Heuchera 'Vivid'
Offers dense mounds of cool green foliage and airy clusters of bright red flowers held aloft on wiry stems. Height 24" Durable to -30F
D Aster 'Monch'
Daisy-like lavender flowers are complemented by rich green fuzzy foliage and an open-branching habit. Height 30" Durable to -20F
M Iris 'New Hybrids'
Elegant flowers/carried on strong hollow stems above arching upright clumps of rich green, slender leaves. Height 36" Durable to -40F
E Caryopteris 'Worchester Gold'
Golden-yellow foliage provides a striking contrast for blue flowers. As leaves mature, they turn to deep green. Height 24-36" Durable to -20F
N Lavandula 'Hidcote'
Richly aromatic with dusky blue-gray leaves and purple flowers. Fine choice for rock and fragrance gardens. Height 12" Durable to -20F
F Delphinium 'Casa Blanca'
A low, well-branched variety that produces white flowers in a delicate, open habit. Seldom needs staking. Height 48" Durable to -40F
O Nepeta 'Six Hills Giant'
Aromatic plant with heartshaped, gray-green leaves. Tiny, tubular, violet-blue flowers are held in loose racemes. Height 36" Durable to -40F
G Delphinium 'Dark Blue/Dark Bee'
Produces elegant violet-blue florets with a black bee-the center cluster of sepals. Doesn't require staking. Height 36" Durable to -40F
P Stachys lanata
A member of the mint family, with the typically square stems of the mints. Wonderfully soft and appealing to the touch. Height 12" Durable to -30F
H Delphinium 'Sky Blue'
Handsome light blue florets with a white bee-the center cluster of sepals. Does not require staking. Height 36" Durable to -40F
Q Veronica 'Crater Lake Blue'
Rich blue color display on long-lasting spikes, with a ground covering, sprawling habit. Height 12-15" Durable to -40F
I Dianthus 'Spotty'
Very fine blue-green foliage with single burgundy-red and white bicolor blooms. Height 6" Durable to -30F

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