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Under-plants for roses - what's readily available?

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Under-plants for roses - what's readily available?

Post by betsyw on 22nd January 2014, 18:17

A firend is planting out her roses from their pots into newly established beds at new house. She needs underplanting material, and i'd liketo give her something appropriate . I did give her Rozanne cranesbilll geranium a while back, but it's probably still at her old house.

I need plants that might be readily available at Bunnings, not specialty garden centres. Any thoughts would be most welcome, especially regarding spreading plants like Rozanne..
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Re: Under-plants for roses - what's readily available?

Post by silkyfizz on 22nd January 2014, 21:21

What about osteospermum, I know Bunnings have a good range of these usually. They are more compact than the old ones that always ended up a scraggly mess. I have a couple I planted in the spring but not with roses and I have been very happy with them - they have bloomed nonstop, reached about 30 cm, bit wider across. Also Snow in Summer might be good or low growing lavender like Hidcote (best lavender I've ever grown). Aquilegia too. Or maybe a combination
of these. I've never had much luck with spreading petunias but you might.
Betsy if it was me I'd take her to Bunnings and see what they have.
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Re: Under-plants for roses - what's readily available?

Post by betsyw on 23rd January 2014, 08:09

All great suggestions and food for thought, silky. . I wanted to just surprise her with something, so it's up to me to find the proposed plant(s). Personally, I've had huge success with spreading petunias, and this year I discovered that Floriana's "Crazy White" not only spreads like a bandit, but is intensely night-fragrant.

Have you heard of "Criss Canning" geraniums? They look like "Rozanne" to me, but they were locally bred by Lambley, and are available online. Might be one solution.

Also: how do you grow the food-and-water abstemious lavenders with the food and water hoggy roses? Lots of people do it, but how???


Last edited by betsyw on 23rd January 2014, 09:51; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Under-plants for roses - what's readily available?

Post by muscovyduckling on 23rd January 2014, 09:45

Hi Betsy, I know it's a bit daggy but my mum always grew alyssum under her roses. It's fragrant, it spreads and self seeds, and you can buy it at Bunnings for about $2 in their 'potted colour' range.
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Re: Under-plants for roses - what's readily available?

Post by betsyw on 23rd January 2014, 09:54

You know, Zoe, alyssum was always a trial for me. The stuff hated me, never grew except in scrofulous patches, and I've hated it in return ever since. But you're right, it has the spreading-seeding-scent(small)-colour (white) properties that make it hard to pass by. I might throw in afew punnets into the plant gift basket, see how friend goes with it.
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Re: Under-plants for roses - what's readily available?

Post by silkyfizz on 23rd January 2014, 14:07

Oh I wish someone would give me a gift basket like that! Yes Alyssum is easy and if its spread with other stuff it won't matter if it gets patchy. Betsy the lavender just gets the same treatment as the roses. If it's in front of the roses it can get the full on sun which it loves. Hidcote is a dwarf species, nice rounded mounding type, silvery foliage and delicate blue/purple flowers which bees love. Nice fragrance. I've never had any trouble with too much moisture with any lavender. Anything I grow has to be easy otherwise I can't be bothered or they cark it.
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Re: Under-plants for roses - what's readily available?

Post by jordan71 on 23rd January 2014, 19:17

that's what I grow in some of my pots (alyssum) they are great companion
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Re: Under-plants for roses - what's readily available?

Post by maree on 23rd January 2014, 19:26

Verbena , alyssum , annual salvias , erignon , dianthus , pick out some seeds you like and throw them around too ...
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Re: Under-plants for roses - what's readily available?

Post by hariet~rose on 23rd January 2014, 21:19

i saw some rather fetching low-growing dianthus at Bunnings today. They spread abit and add a nice perfume. I must get some alyssum now that you all reminded me how useful it is - mine died out some time ago
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Re: Under-plants for roses - what's readily available?

Post by muscovyduckling on 24th January 2014, 08:22

I wonder if heliotrope would work? Another granny-ish plant I know (are you starting to see a trend here? Haha) but it looks great and has the most beautiful vanilla perfume. Anyone tried it?

I have some golden heliotrope that I bought from Diggers but not under roses.
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Re: Under-plants for roses - what's readily available?

Post by betsyw on 24th January 2014, 09:44

Personally I love dianthus so much that I spend a fortune buying bouquets of the "micro-carnations" as they'e sold here, every year. Will they grow for me? Nahhhh. I think the super-fragrant ones, the hybrid clove pinks, aren't that easy to get going and to maintain. Otherwise i'd have barrels of 'em. Maybe friend has better luck, although she has even less annual/perennial nous than me. We both grew up in big cities, and cottage garden plants are mostly known to us in pictures LOL

Heliotrope - a bit too tall? Not spreading/ Maybe gorgeous on its own. Like Hyacinth. make nice present in a pot, though.

tHank you all for advice. I have made a print-out to take to Bunnings in the next fortnight. Will let you knwo how I go.

Still seeking oipinion on geranium "Criss Canning"......
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Re: Under-plants for roses - what's readily available?

Post by maree on 24th January 2014, 10:33

Betsy , i have had Criss Canning geranium , it is nice , bought it from Lambley nursery , who i have bought lots of plants from in the past , it needs dead heading and tidying up after its main flush of flowers , but comes back again when you cut it to the ground .  As with all my plants , after a while i cull them and try something new , but this one i did like ....
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Re: Under-plants for roses - what's readily available?

Post by betsyw on 24th January 2014, 11:21

maree, have you ever had Rozanne geranium? I need to compare it to Criss Canning for rebloom. I had Johnson's Blue, and it wasn't as good as Rozanne. Was hoping CC would surpass Rozanne, but if not, I'll keep looking for Rozanne.
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Re: Under-plants for roses - what's readily available?

Post by maree on 24th January 2014, 12:04

Gees Betsy , i've planted a few of them , i think i've had them all ,Lambley nursery put all of those up for sale every now and then, but as i keep changing the beds they have been replaced , i did like CC , thats all i can say , i will be replanting these now the beds are more permanent .
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Re: Under-plants for roses - what's readily available?

Post by rosebud on 24th January 2014, 15:35

I'd go for some of the culinary herbs. For example, lemon thyme, in both it's green and variegated forms ... gorgeously fragrant. Similarly, culinary sage can also be found in variegated, purple and grey tones. Cat mint also does well, as do the multitude of common mints if your friend doesn't mind a carpet of mint at the feet of her roses. Chamomile (annual English not perennial German variety) also does well with an abundance of white daisy-like flowers, (great for home-made chamomile tea) and self seeds readily. Lovely fragrance every time you step on these herbs. Otherwise, there's always the good old standby of 'lamb's ears' (stachys lanata) which add a soft fuzzy edge to the garden. Some of the scented pelargoniums are also available from Bunnings these days, too. All of these work well in very tough conditions up here, but have also worked well for me in the kinder climate of Sydney.
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Re: Under-plants for roses - what's readily available?

Post by betsyw on 24th January 2014, 15:44

Thank you , Rosebud - what extraodinary detail! Am forwarding your whole post on to my friend.
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Re: Under-plants for roses - what's readily available?

Post by rosebud on 24th January 2014, 16:03

Glad to help.  As you can see, my other love is herbs. I was a student of Dr Judith McLeod when she was lecturing, so I love the history etc. Enjoy!! Smile
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Re: Under-plants for roses - what's readily available?

Post by Ausrose on 24th January 2014, 16:34

Some years back I came up with the bright idea of fencing my rose beds off and run bantams to keep the weeds down. Have you ever seen a weed in a fowl coup. This wasn't gone ahead with because the sprays I used would not only be detrimental to the bantam's health but would spoil any eggs they might lay and their meat be more than likely be contaminated. Recently I had thought about planting herbs and some vegetables among my roses as the tender loving care my roses get being show roses, herbs etc should do very well. The AQ pointed out with all the spraying I do she didn't think it advisable. On thinking about it I quite agreed as I realized contamination would be a problem as it was with the bantams.

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Re: Under-plants for roses - what's readily available?

Post by maree on 24th January 2014, 16:46

Yep Ausrose , have to agree with AQ there !!!       Betsy / Rosebud i do have catmint around the roses , i forgot about that one , and its very good , it self seeds and spreads itself and when it gets tatty you just cut it back , i've even dug over whole garden beds and it comes back on its own , very tough plant .    The best Lambs Ears are the minature ones or else they get a bit gangly and fall over and they like a dry soil i have found , had them around roses once but didn't find they liked all the water the roses got , the leaves went a bit mildewy .   But thats just my experience ....
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Re: Under-plants for roses - what's readily available?

Post by betsyw on 24th January 2014, 17:03

Yesyesyes to catmint/Nepeta. You remind me that it's one the favs for rose companion planting in the USA. Ids it hard to get in Oz, or a regular Bunnings sort of plant?

I want soem myself , just for a pot.

I really need to plant out some of my roses. Sick of tending to all these pots now.
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Re: Under-plants for roses - what's readily available?

Post by maree on 24th January 2014, 17:23

Betsy , Bunnings have it , in little pots usually , not in the annual section about three rows down if all Bunnings are the same lol , they arn't very tall either , good ground cover size , they will pop up in over parts of the garden too , also the other one i forgot is annual forget-me-nots , put them in from seeds and they will self seed all over the place , and you just pull em out when they are finished ....
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Re: Under-plants for roses - what's readily available?

Post by silkyfizz on 24th January 2014, 18:57

Thanks for reminding me of these often forgotten fillers. Catmint, lambs ears and herbs - I will pick some up next time I'm at Bunnings.
Yes forget-me-nots are great around roses, they pop up so quickly and look lush and green. Bit of a pain when they run to seed though, my pants and sleeves get covered with their seeds when it's time to yank them but they compost well. Beautiful when they flower with bluebells under pink roses.
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Re: Under-plants for roses - what's readily available?

Post by maree on 24th January 2014, 19:01

Good idea Silky , compost them and with Bluebells , must remember that ...  better write this down ...
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Re: Under-plants for roses - what's readily available?

Post by silkyfizz on 24th January 2014, 19:22

Maree I've found bluebells good value. They multiply so quickly and are at their peak at the same time as the forget-me-nots. They also finish at the same time. Being bulbs there is a messy time when the foliage is dying down, I just let it feed the soil but pull out dead flower stalks and bung them in the compost. Bluebell foliage doesn't hang around as long as daffodils though. I also have a form of campanula in that bed, which is always green and helps disguise the ratty stages of bluebells and forget-me-nots.
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Re: Under-plants for roses - what's readily available?

Post by maree on 24th January 2014, 19:35

Got just the bed for those combinations Silky , thanks !!!
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