Companions for Roses
Ideally, roses should be planted in beds or borders where there is little or no competition from other flowers and shrubs, even in winter. If, however, space is limited, some compromises are inevitable. With care, the results can be very pleasing. Avoid strong-growing, invasive plants; there are plenty of other intriguing possibilities. For interplanting with beds of hybrid teas and floribundas try dwarfsuch as the deep blue Phacelia campanularia, candytuft in mixed colours, nemophila (sky-blue with white centre), the lavender and white Cilia tricolor, or dwarf godetias such as the white Purity or Queen. Ageratum Fairy Pink is a pleasing salmon-rose and Alyssum Violet Queen is a compact violet-purple; these two spread rather quickly on light, warm soils, and frequently occur, but even so they are both useful for interplanting or even for use as edgings to rose beds.
Pinks are sometimes used for edgings and are also very effective when planted in between standards grown in rows. A ground-work of violas is equally satisfactory.
Tulips are good for planting between bush roses, but choose varieties which flower simultaneously. An advantage is that the tallsuch as the Darwins, which are sometimes disappointing in a wind-swept garden, can be grown in the protection of the roses, carrying their blooms above the tops of the bushes (unless the roses have had virtually no pruning!). Lift the bulbs when they have finished flowering.
Daffodils and narcissi can also be grown in this way. Lift the bulbs every other year as soon as the foliage can be pulled away easily.
are also suitable, especially regale, which is easy to grow, but protect the emerging shoots from late spring frosts.