With all the flowers that you plant here, take your time and really plan. Look at all the garden catalogs, go online, and look over everything again and again. Take your time and really find the plants you love. There are forums to look over, reading to do, and many shopping trips to make. Take your time and just have fun.
7.Adding Roses: Let the fun begin! If you are following the plan above, you have garden space for 8 climbing roses, one on each side of each arbor. Then, in the middle ring, there is space for four smaller roses. Tea roses would be very nice in this area. The second ring will have room for twelve roses. These need to be smaller rose bushes so tea roses would also be very nice here. There are, however, other wonderful roses you can discover for this area if you look. The third and outer circle will have room for twelve roses beyond the climbing roses that will cover the arbors. A wonderful idea here would be to have a larger rose in the center of each of these sections and smaller roses in between the climber and the big roses. These smaller roses can be planted and come out easily so plant what you love, give them a few years, and let them go by way of the shovel if they do not give you the punch you are looking for. These roses are marked with pink dots on the graphic map.
8. Adding The First Companion: Marked in blue on our graphic map this will be the first companion and will give structure to the pathways and provide unity to the whole garden. I would suggest a plant of the Artemisia family. These plants will give a wonderful airy tone to the garden and are long lived. Make sure this plant has silver foliage to help pull other tones into the garden. There will be 24 of these plants in our garden so make sure you love it.
9. Second Companion Plant: These plants are marked in purple in our graphic map. They should be nice small shrubs, preferably evergreens. I would go with something formal here like a boxwood. This could be clipped in time to form any shape that suits you. . There is room for 16 of these plants in the garden plans we have here. You don’t want these plants to get too big, and they need to keep looking formal for the garden to flow.
10. Third Companion Plant: These plants are marked in lime green on our graphic map. There are 16 of these in our plans. I would look at Autumn Sage (Salvia greggii) to fill these spots. Whatever you choose will have to have blooming power and be something that gets good sized but not too large. Autumn Sage is a great plant that comes in many colors. Try to have the same plant in different colors for each garden “circle”.
11. Fourth Companion Plant: These plants are marked in brown on our map. There are 8 plants in this garden and these should be something that will grow under the larger roses. This is the step that would be perfect for herbs--- something that will come back year after year. Look around the garden center and see what smells and textures are appealing to you. All eight plants do not need to be alike but it is best to keep these in matching pairs under each of the bigger roses.
12. Finishing It Out: This is where you apply the mulch layer that will cover your new ground and protect your plants. Try to get the mulch at least 3-5 inches thick. Do not put the mulch up to the plants themselves but leave a little room there for them to grow. This will suppress weeds, keep the soil cool, and make the plants really pop.
About Mitch Fitzgerald
I am a pentecostal preacher, gardener,husband, and a father. I love natives, daylilies, iris, and roses. I love teaching others, be they children or adults, about the garden and plants.