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ilovemyroses

any suggestions for perennials to plant with my roses?

ilovemyroses
8 years ago

I did a search and unbelievably saw no similar post, so please forgive me if redundant!!

I am clearing grass out of a strip of land 140 feet by 10 feet, where I have 40 of so roses already planted. ( i am keeping the roses!!)

Planning to make this lush, like SO many of your photos I drool over!! English-ish, BUT I AM in TEXAS!

Irises, Neptula (Walker's Low), Lavendar in the extra dry spots, Blackfoot Daisy in hot dry parts, Lambs Ear, Germander, Thyme, various salvias (names?)....WHAT ELSE??

I love the mixed textures, i.e.: spiky (iris and some salvia) and a mixture of different flowering plants...planted by seed is a plus as this is $uch a big area (four o'clock's?) but good old reliable perennials are great! love the look of delphiniums but do they grow here?

IDEAS?? What PERENNIALS do you LOVE in your garden...remember TEXAS HEAT, all sun to dappled shade, but roses grow throughout...thanks!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This post was edited by ilovemyroses on Fri, Feb 22, 13 at 14:24

Comments (49)

  • ilovemyroses
    Original Author
    8 years ago

    FORGOT to say...I LOVE blues, white, softer pinks, grey, green, violet.

    Less into yellows, reds and oranges.

  • ms. violet grey
    8 years ago

    Salvia 'May Night'
    Salvia 'Black & Blue'
    Veronica (Speedwell)
    Coneflower 'PowWow Wildberry'
    Zinnia

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  • TNY78
    8 years ago

    disregard...double post....

    This post was edited by TNY78 on Fri, Feb 22, 13 at 21:58

  • TNY78
    8 years ago

    I tend to stick with the traditional companion plants:

    Coneflowers
    Clematis
    Hydrangeas
    Rudabeckia
    Aster
    Shasta Daisys
    Lilac

    Tammy

    Sorry...I dont know why that posted twice...

    This post was edited by TNY78 on Fri, Feb 22, 13 at 15:06

  • jardineratx
    8 years ago

    The best companions I have here in my hot Texas rose beds have been salvias. I have a variety of perennials, including coreopsis, iris, daylilies, cupheas, etc., but I find that salvias such as Mystic Spires, Henry Duelberg, Black and Blue Salvia, bloom from early spring through the hot, dry summer and on into fall. These salvias also require infrequent dead-heading and have no disease problems. In the early spring I have self-seeding bluebonnets, larkspur, petunias and poppies.
    Hope this helps.
    Molly

  • cecily
    8 years ago

    I like to use four o'clocks, vinca, columbines and foxgloves because all are unattractive to rabbits and help keep the darned bunnies out of my roses.

  • lou_texas
    8 years ago

    Ilovemyroses, I also LOVE blues, white, softer pinks, grey, green, violet in my garden.

    I wouldn't want to do without my salvias - I've had great luck with salvia greggii (red and dark pink) and macrophyla hybrids (Hot Lips and Maraschino). I also like s. farinacea (Henry Duehlberg) for a blue note, and a new one I've been trying that is low-growing in dappled shade: s. Chamaedryoides. I've had good success with the s. leucanthas too.

    Other perennials with different textures that I like to mix with roses are cannas (I often cut off the blooms and use them just for the foliage), alocasia (upright elephant ears) and lamb's ears. Add to this a few miscanthus and pennisetum for the fine texture and maybe add oxalis and ruellia (dwarf) to mask the roses' lower legs.

    You've already got great plants with your nepeta and iris and blackfoot daisies. Do you like cleome? I think it looks great with roses. There are so many more, but the ones I've named are my workhorses. Lou

  • hoovb zone 9 sunset 23
    8 years ago

    Geranium 'Rozanne' is mandatory.

    {{gwi:221077}}

    {{gwi:230197}}

  • sienna_98
    8 years ago

    Russian sage, Gaura and Mexican feathergrass are particular favorites for me in Central Texas.

  • ingrid_vc so. CA zone 9
    8 years ago

    Strangely enough my post didn't show up here but I named sea lavender (limonium perezii), reblooming irises (of which one is blooming right now), as much for their leaves as the blooms, day lilies (not so much the yellow and golden ones which grow like weeds here but the ones I bought on-line), pelargoniums in white, fuchsia and lavender (which bloom here most of the year, even now), marjoram (grows quite large and the bees love it), lavenders of various types, and dwarf crape myrtles in lavender, white and purple.

    Ingrid

  • ogrose_tx
    8 years ago

    Along with what the others grow, creeping verbena and penstemon come to my mind.

  • jardineratx
    8 years ago

    I should add that I am finding less and less room for my companions as my roses keep growing wider and taller each season. As a matter of fact, I have to dig up my bat-face cuphea from under the limbs of spice and cramoisi roses. I will grow it in a container this year. I have also had to dig up my eupatorium as it has been suffocated by the low, long limbs of my mutabilis. Part of me is glad to have less planting to deal with and part of me misses the great mix I had when my roses were smaller and less territorial.
    Molly

  • Campanula UK Z8
    8 years ago

    well, campanula, obvs - too many varieties to choose a handful but I cannot really think of one I wouldn't choose (well, maybe C.ranunculoides....)
    Bulbs are definitely useful, starting from early spring, going through the many alliums and frits, and carrying on to the species glads (and I know there are literally heaps of great S.African bulbs and corms which do terrifically well in Texas).
    I like single roses with grasses and airy perennials especially from the umbellifer/apiaceae family. This year, alongside chaerophyllum, anthriscus and variuous eryngiums, I am sowing Cenolophium denudata (Baltic parsley) and an especially dark leaved angelica. Gaura bloom for a long time and, along with achillea, does well in these groupings. Finally, as the summer winds down, asters and the many late summer daisies, fill gaps between larger, more substantial shrubs.
    The many hardy geraniums are all classic but, with heat, I would be growing the fantastic G.maderense or G.palmatum.
    Mostly, I sow enormous amounts of annuals and biennials, often with some vague theme (usually recognisable to myself alone) or with an idea (hey, let's try a californian meadow). Cheap, easy, dramatic and, best of all (for those with low boredom thresholds or ADHD), temporary.

  • organicgardendreams
    8 years ago

    In my garden in San Diego inland the following perennials grow well as companion plants with my roses:

    penstemons 'Pinacolada Violet'
    alstroemerias 'Little Miss Sophie'
    salvia 'Mystic Spires Blue', salvia 'Black & Blue'
    scabiosa 'Giant BlueâÂÂ
    geranium 'Rozanne'
    agapanthus (different varieties)
    heuchera 'Key Lime Pie'

    Hooverb, your photos of the geranium 'Rozanne' are incredible beautiful!

    Christina

  • AquaEyes 7a NJ
    8 years ago

    I can't really comment on what plants will do well in Texas heat from my own experience (I've gardened on Long Island, and am starting a new one in central NJ), but if you want some good ideas on what might work, check out Plant Delights Nursery. Their plants are big and healthy, and they offer realistic reviews of how plants do in their heat and humidity (they're in North Carolina). They tend to veer toward the unusual, but also offer selections of more common plants which don't melt in their climate. When I was looking for something unusual (or just happened to really like something in their online catalog), I was happy to order from them. As far as "basic" companion perennials, also check out Bluestone Perennials. Their plants tend to be smaller, but very healthy, and I've ordered from them many times -- always happy with what I got.

    http://www.bluestoneperennials.com/

    :-)

    ~Christopher

    Here is a link that might be useful: Plant Delights Nursery

  • cath41
    8 years ago

    One of the species of Muhlenbergia (a grass) is native to Texas as I remember and it is not too tall, 3 feetish. Another thought was Aconite. I especially like the deeper blues. These grew in dry dappled shade and the plant habit is reminiscent of delphinium which did not grow well in the same area. I am not certain if it would take Texas heat but it took mid-western heat. A warning though: it is highly poisonous if ingested. One common name is Wolf's Bane.

    Cath

  • mariannese
    8 years ago

    I like the maroon Greek scabious, Knautia macedonica, as a filler with pale yellow roses. With pink and red roses I use most of the blues already mentioned that are suitable in my climate. Astrantias come in many shades of greenish white, pink and red and can be discrete companions to many roses. Astrantia 'Roma' with 'Jacqueline du Pré' in the photo.

  • ingrid_vc so. CA zone 9
    8 years ago

    Gorgeous planting, marianese. The color of the astrantia beautifully complements the stamens of Jacqueline.

    jardineratx, I've had the same problem with my Mutabilis and had to remove Spice which it swallowed and then prop up its canes so it wouldn't obliterate Leveson-Gower and nearby irises and pelargoniums. Still, it can do no wrong in my eyes and fortunately also doesn't seem to mind some gentle pruning along its front.

    Ingrid

  • erasmus_gw
    8 years ago

    I don't know whether angelonias would be perennials in TX but they are non-stop bloomers. I like artemisia for silver color...Powis Castle is not invasive but Silver King is. Most delphiniums don't do well in heat but larkspur is a good substitute. It reseeds every year, sprouts in fall, then dies down after it blooms.
    Here is a picture of Powis Castle Artemisia and silver leaved rose campion in front of roses.

  • seil zone 6b MI
    8 years ago

    I tend not to plant anything else with the roses but I do have one bed where I stuck some beautiful pink iris my neighbor shared with me. Now I'm sorry because they've spread of course and I'll have to dig them out of there. Just be careful that what ever you plant does not root deeply and doesn't spread like wild fire. Oh, and violets are a pain to get rid of!

  • annesfbay
    8 years ago

    Annie's Annuals in Richmond Ca has a fun website with great photos and descriptions plus they ship. They have a picture of nicotiana alata 'Lime Green' keeping company with Grandmothers Hat and it looks great.
    Happy gardening!

    Anne

  • Campanula UK Z8
    8 years ago

    Oh yes, Annies Annuals - if I ever opened a nursery, it would be growing and selling annuals - they have always been my default option when sowing flowers - what else is so easy and cheap....and the range of available plants is enormous. Make a mistake, no problem, it is gone next year, ready for more experiments. I always sow around 20 or so trays of annual flowers (and many vegetables) and try to pick a few I have never seen or even heard of. This is a sweet pea year (quite possibly my last ever) with 22 different varieties, including some rarities from New Zealand (Blue Shift, Erewhon).

  • ilovemyroses
    Original Author
    8 years ago

    OH MY GOSH!!! a plethora of enabling!! Some great suggestings!!

    Mauvegirl, I have eyed Veronicas for some time and am thrilled to have a variety to look for, Speedwell!

    Tammy, great suggestions, I might have forgotten about asters, great fall bloom and they do well here, hate to admit, but I am a clematis killer!! but i will keep trying, and variety you like? (cool feet, sunny rest) agh!

    molly, great suggestions on the salvias. true workhorses. on the self seeders? do you start these by seed? I aim to try many of these you listed, thanks!! esp larkspur.

    cecily, great! and wow, foxgloves, i am impressed! i have had no luck there, but what a pretty look. maybe i will try again?? are your 4 o'clocks invasive? i think i have heard that, and not tried them for that reason, if so, are they manageable? thanks!

    Hello Lou! Thanks for all this! some i have not heard of, and being right in my neighborhood, i know i am solid here!! thanks! Don't know cleome, but will investigate, and haven't thought of cannas and elephant ear. my cannas are confined, yet are trying to bust through concrete, so can only imagine how they would like this soil i just paid big bucks for!! glad we are on the same palate! happy gardening!

    hoovb, well put...MANDATORY. beautiful pictures. great suggestion. don't know that i have seen that here. will do!

    sienna, i may try some grasses, does mex. feather get enormous? ill investigate! thanks

    ingrid, not familiar with pelargonium, but will check this out, and hadn't thought of the dwarf crepe myrtle. don't know sea lavender either? hopefully these are not confined to your wonderful climate!!! great ideas, thanks for sharing! and the reblooming iris I need to check out as I love iris!!!

    ogrose, penstemon and verbena are great and reliable. thanks for the reminder!!

    molly, i share that sentiment and have taken out so many perennials, that it is odd I am adding them back, but with discretion. NOT TOO BIG. I have over 200 roses, and see such lovely shots of gardens that are predominately roses but the other plants complete the look, and i struggle with how to achieve that!! (Oh, how I struggle!!) Smaller low growers and fine feathery fillers...idk...tbd!!

    Campanula, what a wealth of info!! much to look up! and I have been looking up your namesake, and surprisingly don't find it on area nursery's perennial lists. Don't know if Texas is just too hot, despite the zones being 'ok'...posted a question in the perennial forum to investigate this. i LOVE the look and am aching to try it, but after having so many beauties shrivel and die, I am wary. Many great suggestions, I will pursue learning more about them, thanks!!

    (i am posting before i lose this)

  • ilovemyroses
    Original Author
    8 years ago

    Christina, i just copied and pasted your list to mine! great ideas, and another repeat on black and blue. gotta do this one!! thanks!

    Christopher, thanks for the link, I am gathering information for an order as we speak!! thanks!

    Cath, nice thought on a smallish grass, I will investigate. and the wolf's bane...these are so complicated. beauty, but oh, we have so many children that walk by....

    mariannese, YOU are an artist. what a perfect combination, I only dream of such accomplishment!! I will investigate!! beautiful harmony. just lovely, thanks for the inspiration!!

    erasmus, good info on powis castle. i have grown these before and loved the foliage, but forgot which one to buy! thanks, and for the info on larkspur vs. delphinium. I will attempt this myself! thanks for sharing! beautiful pictures, you do this well!!

    seil, my fears exactly~~and why i have abstained...venturing in, slowly, again. I guess i have forgotten!! thanks for the reminder!! invasive = NO!!!

    Anne, I will look this up, as Gma's Hat is new this year for me!! thanks for the tip!!

    THANKS ALL! Keep it coming!!

    My 1400 square foot bed is out there waiting!! Just finished yesterday! Fresh $oil!! the best smell I know!! The planning and laying out begins in earnest! lots of territory! and for me, can't believe it is February!! NEVER do I work this early in the season!! THANKS SO MUCH!!!! Much to investigate!! HAPPY GARDENING TO ALL, AND TO ALL, A GOOD DAY!! :)

  • sally2_gw
    8 years ago

    Some additional plants to consider:

    Candytuft : Ibiris sempervirens

    Phlox subulata : Thrift, Creeping Phlox, although it can get ratty looking mid summer. Whack it back when it does. The Candytuft and Creeping Phlox provide early spring color.

    Texas Rock Rose : Pavonia lasiopetala

    French Hollyhock, (which in my garden has lush green foliage all winter, blooms in the spring, then starts looking ratty, so I chop it to the ground, and it comes back in the fall to start all over again. It re-seeds readily, very readily.)

    Verbena bonariensis, another reseeder.

    Echinacea, the native one, not one of the new hybrids, which may last a few weeks before dying here. It's another one that reseeds readily. The Verbena, Hollyhock, and Echinacea can be planted from seed, most likely.

    The Heucheras and Geraniums need shade in our Texas heat, so keep that in mind if you use them.

    (I'm a lurker, but I couldn't help but add my two cents into this thread. It's one of my favorite subjects.)

    Sally

  • Campanula UK Z8
    8 years ago

    Campanulas grow everywhere on earth apart from the Sahara and the arctic - there is a species native to Ethiopia and southern Uganda so I am certain there will be a species suitable for Texas.

  • cecily
    8 years ago

    Four o'clocks aren't invasive here, maybe because they're marginally hardy and winter knocks them back to the ground each year. Might not work in Texas, you're right.

    The foxgloves and columbines grow easily from seed, I honestly just sprinkle it around. Couldn't be easier.

    Dusty miller is a perennial for me, grows into little gray bushes. You can get them pretty cheap in a six pack. My powis castle artemesia got really large (and got yanked).

    The reblooming bearded iris are a great suggestion - mine bloom twice a year here. A bit pricey but worth the cost. I have several siberian iris that are supposed to rebloom but never have. They look like an ornamental grass most of the year with a big show in May.

  • jardineratx
    8 years ago

    Oh, I forgot to mention how pleased I am with Melochia Tomentosa (Texas tea bush) as a low, long-blooming, heat and drought-tolerant perennial in my garden. Verbena Bonariensis is wonderful with its sparse foliage, towering above the low little annuals.
    Ilovemyroses, I used to simply allow my self-seeders to drop seed naturally, but since I started mulching more heavily the last few years, I harvest seed from these self seeders (including larkspur) and then I broadcast them in October when the mulch has decayed a little and there is better soil contact for my seeds.
    Molly

  • sienna_98
    8 years ago

    Mexican feather grass does not get very tall (about 18" max). It's very compact, but it does re-seed in areas that receive a lot of moisture.

  • mendocino_rose
    8 years ago

    What a lot of excellent suggestions. I thought it would be good to mention here that Stephen Scanniello wrote a good book about companion plants. I think it's called Roses and their Companions. Please someone correct me if I've gotten it wrong.

  • Poorbutroserich Susan Nashville
    8 years ago

    Mendocino--I have that book. It's pretty helpful. If it can be found used it's worth the investment. Photos are always helpful to me.
    FWIW I love hardy geraniums. They would likely do well in shadier Texas gardens.
    What about sedums? Do they do well there. Fantastic filler. Lime green coleus is really pretty too.
    Susan

  • Poorbutroserich Susan Nashville
    8 years ago

    birdsongfarm on Ebay has a GREAT selection of perennials, day lilies, clematis, etc. All kinds of wonderful companions to roses. Her plants are sent barerooted, easily gallon sized and extremely well priced. I just took a look at Nature Hills nursery. WOW. Even 1/2 off their stuff is pricey. For the workhorses, birdsongfarm cannot be beat.
    Susan

  • monarda_gw
    8 years ago

    Excerpt:
    In 1985, Shoup started the display gardens in Independence as a cottage garden and small formal planting around a restored 1855 settlerâÂÂs stone kitchen. Today, the gardenâÂÂs wonderful mix of roses --" along with perennials, grasses, even fruits and vegetables -- covers about 8 acres.

    And everywhere, there are herbs ��" bright green parsley borders, stately rosemary shrubbery, purple coneflowers and spiky alliums, groundcovers of thymes and oreganos. âÂÂHerbs are the very best companions for roses,â Shoup says. They add fragrance, texture and color in the garden the same way they do in cooking, he says."

    Here is a link that might be useful: Mike Shoup on companions for roses in Texas

  • AquaEyes 7a NJ
    8 years ago

    I had a great experience ordering reblooming iris from Nola's Iris Garden. I can't say much about other sources, but I bought mine from there mostly because the website was organized in such a way that I was able to pick out the FRAGRANT reblooming irises -- double bang-for-your-buck. Look for the irises on the rebloomer page that are listed as being fragrant, or look for the irises on the fragrant iris page that are listed as being rebloomers.

    :-)

    ~Christopher

    Here is a link that might be useful: Nola's Iris Garden Reblooming Iris

  • monarda_gw
    8 years ago

    Antique irises are also especially appropriate! Esp. iris pallida and iris albicans.

  • catspa_NoCA_Z9_Sunset14
    8 years ago

    Here in Livermore (hot-as-hades and dry-as-dust in summer), the only member of the Campanula family I have found satisfactory so far is Adenophora potaninii or "bush ladybells". The others either don't take the summer heat or apparently find the winters too warm (won't bloom). This one blooms and reblooms (if deadheaded) and spreads herself around in a genteel way (not a thug).

    I am a big fan of dwarf reblooming bearded iris. I find that they are more consistent at reblooming than the standard-height varieties, don't fall over with the slightest breeze, and fit in more easily (height doesn't compete with the roses), as well as being good groundcovers. I wish I could remember the name of the incredibly great purple-flowered one that I have (nursery where I bought it now defunct). A single small start of it bought 7 or 8 years ago now covers dozens of square feet and blooms three times a year.

    Debbie

    Here is a link that might be useful: {{gwi:230184}}

  • nanadollZ7 SWIdaho
    8 years ago

    One of my favorite rose companions is the La Bella snapdragon. It's a short lived perennial for me here, and it blooms from May (or earlier depending on the spring weather) until really hard frost. I grow the purple and a rose pink. La Bella is an azalea type snap with a more open look than traditional snapdragons. Diane

  • Campanula UK Z8
    8 years ago

    Mmmmm, I like those snaps, Diane. They have fallen from favour in the UK since everyone fell under the spell of half-hardy bedding plants (petunias, geraniums, impatiens), Seeds are always available - although there is a tendency towards breeding little dwarfish things and 'patio' plants (gah). I vastly prefer these old-fashioned flowers (along with larkspur, stocks, cornflowers) and yours have a luscious colour (not at all keen on two-tone snaps) and have some stature too.

  • harborrose_pnw
    8 years ago

    A plant you might enjoy is the vitex or chaste tree which I grew like a large perennial. I cut it back to its roots every winter and it grew back to about 5 feet. I really liked it in my front flower beds with other perennials and roses. I found a link to it as one of the Texas superstar plants, so I am guessing it would be happy in Dallas! You can grow it as a small tree - the pictures in the link are beautiful, I think - but it was happy as a 5 foot shrubby thing, too.

    In the bottom picture it is at the top right. If I'd kept cutting it back it would have bloomed all summer, or so I read.

    {{gwi:230204}}

    {{gwi:230206}}

    Here is a link that might be useful: vitex

  • mendocino_rose
    8 years ago

    I have two Chaste Trees. They receive almost no water at all during our dry summer and do wonderfully.

  • catspa_NoCA_Z9_Sunset14
    8 years ago

    Same here with the Vitex -- as tough and drought-tolerant as can be. I have five of them, but grown as small trees/large shrubs. Very interesting to see that they can be maintained as small, reblooming shrubs.

    Calfora Nursery (near Santa Rosa) offers a variety with the larger, bluer spikes of flowers, called "Sensation", like the improved varieties shown in harborrose's "Vitex" link. Three of mine are that variety and they bloomed twice last summer (without being cut back, which was odd).

    Debbie

  • harborrose_pnw
    8 years ago

    I think I bought a variety of vitex called 'Abbeville Blue' if that's of any interest.

    Diane, I found some of those La Bella snap seeds; thanks for the pic. I am going to try the white. :)

  • nanadollZ7 SWIdaho
    8 years ago

    Thanks for comments on the La Bella snaps, Campanula. I tried to send a more detailed pic of the rose pink la Bella, and was told by the powers that be my file was too big.
    harborrose, I'm glad you were able to find the la Bella seeds. The only seller I know of is Stokes Seeds in Canada. Plants are hard to come by, too, which baffles me, since this snap is by far the best variety I've ever grown. Sellers are still pushing the same old stuff. I think because this snap survives winters so well the sellers don't want to push it, instead pushing more tender snaps so we suckers will have to replace our snaps every year, at least that's my hairbrained theory. Diane
    Here's a pic of another favorite plant I grow all over the place. Just throw out the seeds any old time over a period of several months, and you will have wave after wave of gorgeous hollyhocks in colors to rival those of the rose. The hocks reseed on their own beautifully, too, and many bloom the first year. Diane, again

  • harborrose_pnw
    8 years ago

    Swallowtail Seeds in northern California. They weren't that easy to find, you're right. Diane, do your hollyhocks rust?

  • nanadollZ7 SWIdaho
    8 years ago

    Glad to know there is more than one outlet for la Bella seeds. We are basically a desert area around with very low humidity and precipitation, so I never have a rust problem with hollyhocks. I agree that rust can be a problem in some areas. I am so enthusiastic about them because they have cost me zero $ (seeds were from a friend). Once you start them, they either reseed themselves or I gather seed to start them in new garden areas. And they are so gorgeous. I've been growing them for years, and my only bad experience with them is they can blow down in wind--but there are always more coming up. Here's another color. I don't have photos of the most beautiful colors, but next year I'll try harder to get some. Colors range from palest peach to dark apricot, some almost bicolored; others are palest pink to deep magenta, white, and lovely creamy yellows from pale to darker. Diane

  • floridarosez9 Morgan
    8 years ago

    I grow snaps called Madam Butterfly that are also the open type. I love them in bouquets. They come in gorgeous colors.

    Diane, what variety are your hollyhocks? I've always had to grow Summer Carnival because they bloom first year here, otherwise they rot from the humidity here before they can bloom. The SC hocks dont get as tall as some, so they don't need staking. If yours bloom first year I would like to try them as the SC hocks don't seem to reseed.

    I love annuals that reseed. My favorites are: larkspur, nigella, ferny QA's Lace, Shirley poppies, Thai silk poppies, rudbeckia, catchfly, annual phlox, sweet alyssum, nasturtium, plume gallardia, annual baby's breath. Here, we grow them in the winter and early spring.

  • Campanula UK Z8
    8 years ago

    those self-seeding annuals perform an extremely useful service for me, germinating in late summer and early spring, acting as a sort of colourful green manure. Having sandy soil, I never dig the beds over until I am ready to plant something so a covering of early annuals, especially nigella, limnanthes, nemophilia, candytuft etc. will cover the soil completely, acting like a living mulch, preventing leaching and maintaining good soil structure. Easily dug under when ready to plant veggies or another shrub or perennial.

  • catspa_NoCA_Z9_Sunset14
    8 years ago

    Bowles' black viola is my champion re-seeder and living groundcover/erosion control for winter and spring. Like a lawn, at the moment, under the roses in the center bed. Once you've got it, always around. It also catapults its seeds up into flower pots and adds decorative touches there. The flower color gets along with just about everything.

  • nanadollZ7 SWIdaho
    8 years ago

    floridarose,
    I got my seed from a friend, but I always assumed they were something like Summer Carnival, but after being open pollinated for years, things can change. There is some variation in height, but most are a little shorter like SC, and do often bloom the first year. It's hard to tell if they act as short lived periennials or are just reseeding almost on top of the mother plant. I don't stake my hollyhocks, but grow them against fences and the house.
    I've tried the Madame Butterfly snaps, and didn't like them as well as la Bella. Not only do la Bellas live longer than most other snaps, when they are pinched back they promptly send another single thick shoot up. When I pinch back Rockets, they start branching off with floppy shoots, though they also live through winter here quite well. La Bella doesn't reseed like the other snaps I grow, though (darn). It's probably a hybrid that wouldn't breed true, anyway. Here is a pic of Rocket snaps. Off to the side are some pink la Bellas. Hopefully, my file isn't too large for posting here.