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Old May 11th, 2006, 11:55 PM
Cathy W's Avatar
Cathy W Cathy W is offline
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Ground covers in a rose bed?

Okay, this is going to show you all just how vain I am!

I have six large rose beds that are my pride and joy. We have them all outfitted with black soaker hoses. They are on timers and get a really nice watering that way but the hoses are really unsightly.

None of my many rose and perennial beds are mulched; I cultivate them all by hand. (Good thing Iím retired.) I donít want to use mulch because I want the beds to look more natural.

I thought about perhaps planting a ground cover in the rose beds to camouphlage the hoses. I have ivy already in one of largest beds, but it isnít full enough to be helpful yet. I didn't plant it there deliberatly with thay in mind, but it does look pretty. Has anyone done this and if so what did you use?

Thanks much~

Cathty W.
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Old May 12th, 2006, 10:42 AM
Ron B Ron B is offline
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Re: Ground covers in a rose bed?

Pansy
Basket-of-Gold
Aubrietia
Creeping Rosemary
Dwarf Lavender
Violet
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Old May 12th, 2006, 11:04 AM
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Cathy W Cathy W is offline
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Re: Ground covers in a rose bed?

Ron:

I love the suggestions.

I had thought about using wood violets since they make a nice green bed even after the blooms are gone. My concern is one raised by a friend who felt that planting anything in there would steal nutrients from the roses. I have a creeping thyme, Ruby Glow, growing around a clematis and New Dawn, and that looks really nice so I just might go ahead and sprinkle some seeds in the rose beds. I guess I was afraid that rose garden purists would be offended by my including something else in my rose beds (besides roses).

I love the rose beds but they look so sparse at times. They are free standing beds surrounded by Munstead lavender and cobbled walks. I want to fill in with something attractive, yet not take the focus off the roses.

Thanks for the ideas,
Cathy W.
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Old May 12th, 2006, 11:45 AM
oscar oscar is offline
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Re: Ground covers in a rose bed?

The Lavender around is a great idea, loads of beneficial insects will come along and help eat some of the aphids.

heres something interesting, growing parsley among roses increases their scent. (i've not tried it)
Geranium as a ground cover?
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Old May 12th, 2006, 12:14 PM
Ron B Ron B is offline
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Re: Ground covers in a rose bed?

I see you are in Mass, probably not all listed will succeed there--the rosemary wouldn't be winter hardy, apart from summer climate.
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Old May 12th, 2006, 12:48 PM
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Cathy W Cathy W is offline
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Re: Ground covers in a rose bed?

Hi there, Ron and Oscar:

Thanks for the ideas.

No, rosemary is tender here - but the creeping thyme does very well. I have it in several places already and love it. Pansies are a headache here. They do well in spring and fall but get leggy and ugly in the heat of summer. I do so love them, though.

Thanks for the compliment on the lavender. I'm delighted with it - at least I will be once I figure out how to properly prune it. I need to figure out what is dead, what is alive, what I should cut and when, and how best to protect it over the winter. This is my third year with it so it is starting to fill out nicely, and when I prune it, the scent is simply wonderful. And maybe that's why I have had virtually no aphid problems in the rose beds - the cottage garden, well, that's another story, but there isn't any lavender there.

I was thinking about wood violets and maybe some pachysandra as well as some more creeping thyme. I do have some wild geraniums (Dillys) but they are rather gangly. I can't picture using that in these beds but perhaps another variety would be better.

The idea of parsely sounds intriguing. Combining low growing things like thyme and some taller plants like parlsey planted in large groupings is an intertesting idea and from a visual standpoint, I think it would look nice. I also have some pink nettle with variegated green and white leaves that I am going to move into one of the beds too.
I also thought about winterberry but I think it isn't shady enough.

These are free-standing beds, and of eight beds in total, there are six of them laid out like a pie with a large fountain in the middle, so it's a bit tough. If they were against a wall or fence I would have a lot more flexibility, I think.

But I'm open to any and all ideas and suggestions. And I truly appreciate the encouragmeent. This was a major project undertaken by a rank amateur and if I do say so myself, it doesn't look half bad.

Thanks again, Cathy
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