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Looking for ideas... low growing perennials

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Re: Looking for ideas... low growing perennials

Post by betsyw on 5th February 2013, 23:19

snow in sunnmer grows well in sun and shade for you, hariet? Might get a punnet iin that case. The geranium looks delicious.

Maybe I shoudl just get one of everything mentioned in this thread/All sound good. Just a question of nailing the one(s) that work for me/, and best way to do that is to try them all
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Re: Looking for ideas... low growing perennials

Post by Balinbear on 5th February 2013, 23:23

Geranium Rozanne is a nice plant. Most of the species geraniums are good plants. We have a bit of trouble with some of them but Rozanne and a common sort of magenta one do well at our place.

I took some seed for some last year and have about a dozen seedlings growing so it will be interesting to see what the flowers come out like.

Beware of some of the low growing salvias (and some of the big ones) as they can become invasive if you don't keep an eye on them.
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Re: Looking for ideas... low growing perennials

Post by silkyfizz on 5th February 2013, 23:23

Funny you should say that Betsy, because I want to use nepeta around the outside edge of that red bed. The geranium, salvias, delphiniums and some russell lupins will be in amongst the roses, to break it up a bit. I tried nepeta once before but it didn't get looked after and became ratty and horrible. I've seen pictures of edging rose beds though, looking gorgeous. I want the gorgeous! Hahaha
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Re: Looking for ideas... low growing perennials

Post by silkyfizz on 5th February 2013, 23:40

Thanks for the heads up about salvia everyone! I got a couple from the salvia society (low growing ones) and they assured me they would be good with roses. This was at the rose show in November. Still I will be watching carefully now you have warned me.
I've just looked up geranium Rozanne and like what I'm reading. It's sterile so doesn't self seed and become a weed, in flower most of year, takes some shade.
Balinbear, I've read it's sterile, but if you have grown seedlings from the seeds then obviously that info isn't correct.
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Re: Looking for ideas... low growing perennials

Post by neptune on 5th February 2013, 23:45

have you tried Mondo Grass to wrap around the borders. Forever green or black and makes a natural retaining wall.....
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Re: Looking for ideas... low growing perennials

Post by betsyw on 6th February 2013, 06:38

I love this thread. It gives me ideas, and also an opportunity to moan.

While my roses have done remarkably well this year, and I mean REALLY well even with no spray, the underplantings have been a flop. The lobelia in particular is an epic fail. And tehre were 24 seedlings, so I can't blame numbers.

The specially ordered mandevilla laxa has grown and spread, but not a single fragrant flower. Not one, despite lashings of potash both granular and liquid.

I've begged that stupid mongrel expensive white brugmansia to fork and flower, but it's a crashing bore.

Hating on the non-producers at the moment
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Re: Looking for ideas... low growing perennials

Post by hariet~rose on 6th February 2013, 19:49

I have a confession to make.. one of my favourite plants to put under roses at the moment is parsley ... yep.. you can eat it when you swagger by with that glass of wine in hand, leaves add that vibrant green frilly look and it self sows without being a pest ...and, apart from me and the occasional labrador, nothing seems to attack it.. don't mind the flower heads in summer either ...
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Re: Looking for ideas... low growing perennials

Post by betsyw on 6th February 2013, 20:28

HA@!!!!! hariet, I have planted parsley every year for four years beneath the roses. At the end of each season, the parsley has taken over . The roses just raise the drawbridge, and turn into embattled cane defenders LOLOL.

One teensy $3.00 punnet from Coles, and in four months I can supply all the kitchens of Sydney.
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Re: Looking for ideas... low growing perennials

Post by silkyfizz on 7th February 2013, 11:13

Hahhaha, yes the joys and tribulations of parsley! Me too, me too! But mine takes completely over, doesn't stay nice and frilly and low. Ends up giant sized with roots extending nearly a metre long in all directions. I can almost hear it screeching "ya want parsley, cop this...!" Mind you I tend to leave one or two to grow taller that my dogs' weeing height, so I can pick and use it knowing there are no 'additives' of the canine variety. Lol. I just pulled out my last, its stem was 5cm in diameter and so tough I couldn't cut it with the secateurs.
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Re: Looking for ideas... low growing perennials

Post by betsyw on 7th February 2013, 12:11

yesyesyesyesyesyesyesyes silky!
Day of the Triffids here, too. Or Piffids, in this case. The roots were so big on mine that the parlsey could have walked into the kitchen unaided, humming the March of the Brooms from Fantasia.
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Re: Looking for ideas... low growing perennials

Post by silkyfizz on 7th February 2013, 15:48

hahaha Betsy, March of the Parsley Roots! Music Gardener's Apprentice!
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Re: Looking for ideas... low growing perennials

Post by hariet~rose on 7th February 2013, 19:05

well quite clearly gals, you need to walk around admiring the roses more with that glass of wine and the nibble here and there of the iron producing-good-for-you-parsley.. consider it your duty to reign it in... umm minus the dog pee of course
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Re: Looking for ideas... low growing perennials

Post by betsyw on 7th February 2013, 20:00

I'm afraid a nibble won't do it, hariet. So much iron-rich parsley out there that it's sucked all the fridge magnets into the garden. But next time you have a party for 200 or so of your closest friends, silky and I volunteer to bring the tabbouleh (hey, there's a thought, silk - we could underplant half the roses with bulgar wheat.)

Back to reality:Is there any love out there for bacopa? The season is growing shorter, I know

PS: Or any love for nemesia?


Last edited by betsyw on 7th February 2013, 21:30; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Looking for ideas... low growing perennials

Post by hariet~rose on 7th February 2013, 20:17

Woohoo my sides are hurting stop it.. your on though.. don't mind a lebanese feast now and then ... can you pop some broad beans in while you are at it and some pistachios for the baklava ...don't you need mud for bacopa?
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Re: Looking for ideas... low growing perennials

Post by maree on 7th February 2013, 21:34

Just though i'd pop in and have a look at this conversation and its probably the best fun i've had all day lol !!! You girls are gems !!!
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Re: Looking for ideas... low growing perennials

Post by silkyfizz on 7th February 2013, 22:02

Ha! Bulgar wheat, broad beans, pistachios, dog pee.....mmmm my parsley just rubs its leafy tendrils, yum yum and devours anything and everything within grabbing distance. Betsy is quite right, we're talking Triffid Territory. Be afraid, be very afraid....

Bacopa looks nice but I've never had any luck with it.
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Re: Looking for ideas... low growing perennials

Post by maree on 7th February 2013, 22:32

My favourites are Alyssium , Erignon , Nepeta ,Geranium Rozanne and Geranium Rambling Robin . Anthemis Susannah Mitchell is good too and Minature Lambs Ears , i think i can vouch that these plants won't attack anyone , my cat rolls in the catmint and she's still running around lol ...
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Re: Looking for ideas... low growing perennials

Post by betsyw on 12th February 2013, 14:42

And on your advice maree and the advice of this board, this afternoon I asked after Rozanne - and one of the nursery men found the last one lurking soemwhere in the vast heritage Garden array1 Yippee!
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Re: Looking for ideas... low growing perennials

Post by maree on 12th February 2013, 16:45

Well done Betsy , hope you like it !
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Re: Looking for ideas... low growing perennials

Post by silkyfizz on 12th February 2013, 23:28

Good one Betsy! Mine is still in its pot and blooming its head off, so glad I got it.
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Re: Looking for ideas... low growing perennials

Post by hariet~rose on 13th February 2013, 18:23

I have been in Sydney today and I saw a good combination using Viola hederacea as a very low ground cover. It likes shade, needs a dampish site.
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Re: Looking for ideas... low growing perennials

Post by betsyw on 13th February 2013, 18:56

Love the stuff, hariet, luvluvluv. I have it everywhere, spilling out of large pots ofmurraya and box, around walkways, under trees. With enough water, I can get it to grow well even in horrid sunny conditions. I think you have led me to the obvious conclusion that VH would also be great with roses. Saw a new version of Vh last weekend - sky blue flowers!
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Re: Looking for ideas... low growing perennials

Post by Bonita18 on 13th February 2013, 23:44

I really like the Agastache plants as they require little water and are so delicately pretty. Low growing salvias interspersed amongst the roses is also a favourite.

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Re: Looking for ideas... low growing perennials

Post by maree on 14th February 2013, 08:12

After years and years of buying expensive mulch and putting it all around the roses and having the birds scratch it up and earwigs make a breeding ground out of it , i've really come to the conclusion , living mulches are the way to go , have tried it before , but still stuck to the mantra of mulch is best . This year i have tried some low growing plants around the roses, brilliant and so much cheaper .
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Re: Looking for ideas... low growing perennials

Post by hariet~rose on 14th February 2013, 20:30

.. and there is the ultimate for the lazy gardener (and that would be me).. Glechoma hederacea. I have it in a long bed near the front verandah and it has 'green mulched' the entire bed without choking the other plants (Hellebores, Eryngium, roses, irises, hederacea, clematis, boxes, poppies and the Stellaria holostea that i mentioned ages ago).. although my recommendation for Glechoma hederacea comes with the warning that I can always rely on Jack Frost to keep upstarts in their place.. i think there is also a useful one called Glechoma variegata but i think i have seen that one in hanging pot plants.

Another good combination, but so much on the ground cover side, but a low shrub for me, is Ceratostigma willmottianum which looks ravishing with Rosa mutabilis IMO ...

I agree with you Maree about keeping the expense of mulch down.. leaves more money for roses!
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Re: Looking for ideas... low growing perennials

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