Amateur Gardening|May 23, 2020
Roses and delphiniums are cottage garden classics that work well together, providing contrast in shape and helping you create pleasing colour combinations
WITH beautiful blooms that provide a breathtaking display, many gardeners tend to think of roses as standalone plants, and see no need to grow anything around them. However, they are missing a trick as planting a few thoughtfully chosen perennials nearby can actually enhance the appeal of your roses, and keep the show going long after their flowers have faded.
It’s not just about looks: growing roses on their own is also an open invitation to pests such as aphids. Growing lots of different flowers will create a healthier ecosystem and attract beneficial insects (the likes of hoverflies) to help keep pest populations in check. Low-mounding companion plants such as alchemilla, lavender and nepeta are prime candidates as they’ll hide the rose’s ugly lower stems, while taller perennials like delphiniums and foxgloves provide a lovely backdrop. Then there are mid-height options – Geranium ‘Brookside’ and Gypsophila ‘Rosenschleier’, for example; these will mingle nicely with shrub roses, creating a tapestry of colour and pattern. Try to incorporate contrasting flower shapes – the spires of Verbascum chaixii or Veronicastrum ‘Fascination’, say – or those that will echo the ‘roundness’ of the roses, like marguerites and cosmos.
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May 23, 2020