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Best rose (or hydrangea, or other idea) for front walkway hedge?

Dottie 7B
2 years ago

Note: I'm reposting because this thread posted for a few minutes last night and then disappeared. Hope this works!

Hello! I am working on my front garden that was only grass and foundation bushes when I bought my house. The area has been mulched for two years and last year I started planting perennials. The general color scheme is purples and pinks, with pincushion flowers, verbena, guara, coreopsis, balloon flowers, lantana, lamb's ear, rudbeckia, coneflower, and catmint.

Recently, I have been adding structure to the space, which is much needed. The area looked a bit crazy last summer. I put in baby jade boxwood hedges lining the front walkway, 5 on each side. These will grow to 3x3 and I plan to keep them informally bushy. (I saved 4' at the front of each side for a flowering evergreen, maybe a gardenia.) Against the right foundation under the Japanese maple, I planted 4 small autumn ivory azaleas. I planted 2 Invincibelle Blush hydrangea in front of the foundation hollies. My husband installed a stepping stone path leading to a rose arch and I have two New Dawn climbing roses pre-ordered.

My question here is whether I should plant a small hedge of roses behind the boxwoods on each side to provide more structure and fill out the area. I don't mind moving some perennials to make room, but I wonder if it will look okay with the boxwood hedge, roses, and then the perennials growing on the other side of them.

If I plant the roses, I'm thinking of interspersing them with another plant to keep it from looking too formal. I love the idea of a light pink rose with complementary purple flowers. What do you think of light pink Olivia Rose Austin with a large Russian sage alternating? Is there a better light pink rose or a better companion plant for the purpose? Or perhaps I should plant a small paniculata hydrangea instead, like Bobo? I'd save myself the trouble of flicking off more Japanese beetles all summer to feed the chickens, though I love roses. Any other ideas?

I am in zone 7B and both sides of the walkway have full west sun in the summer. The soil is clay but decently amended at this point. Some blackspot on roses is a given in our humidity. I try not to spray and only organics. I do spray I Must Garden smelly deer repellent where necessary (smell fades quickly for people).

One more detail. Across from this garden on an island in my circle drive, I filled in an old pond fountain, installed a new small fountain, and planted a rose garden last year. There are 14 roses in that area now, including a few David Austin's, planted with Russian sage, catmint, cleome, anise hyssop, and lavender (the lavender is not doing well). I also planted a hedge of Vanilla Strawberry hydrangea in my backyard last summer, so I'm not exactly hurting for hydrangea, either.

I live on about two and a half acres with a long gravel drive, so this is not something anyone would see from the street, only for my personal enjoyment and the pollinators.

Many thanks to anyone who read this far. This is a labor of love and I have more enthusiasm than skill. :)

(Olivia Rose Austin with purple flowers)

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