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companion plants for roses

Hi,  Could anyone suggest some perennials which would look good grown near the Poets Wife shrub rose please?  Or even near any roses for that matter.  Thanks.


  • LoxleyLoxley Posts: 5,543
    David Austin shows it with Salvia 'Mainacht' which looks rather nice.

    The Poets Wife
  • BenCottoBenCotto Posts: 4,571
    edited November 2020
    I’ll offer Nepeta Walker’s Low or Geranium Mrs Kendall Clark.

    A (National Trust) photo from Hidcote showing nepeta with yellow-ish roses.

    A geranium/pale yellow rose combination.

    Butter yellow is a bit harder to deal with and could probably take a more vibrant colour on the opposite side of the colour wheel. I actually thought of salvia Mainacht but wondered if the flowers would go over too soon. If you can keep it under control, geranium Ann Thomson or Anne Folkard would certainly whack you in the eye. I use it with the yellow Pilgrim rose. See the photo below

    Rutland, England
  • NollieNollie Posts: 7,470
    I use salvia, nepeta, shorter gaura, hardy geraniums, verbena bonariensis lollipop mound-forming euphorbia, achillea, hemerocallis and agastache, planned are parahebe and astrantia. So many to choose from, but I generally look for perennials in the 30-40cm range that will hide the lower half of the rose shrub without dominating them. Lavender is another popular choice.

    I use shades of purple a lot for separating different coloured roses and plants, it’s my ‘neutral’ link colour. Salvia Mainacht is much longer flowering than many, I am slowly replacing S. Caradonna with it, as the latter has a much shorter flowering season.

    I have a bed of yellow and orange roses, the overall colour scheme is ‘oranges and lemons’ and I have the yellow roses underplanted with orange, the short Achillea Safran and the short airy Agastache Aurantica Tango, against a backdrop of fresh, lime green euphorbia, so it’s really an ‘oranges, lemons and limes’ border.

    It really depends on your taste -  yellow and orange is a warm combination, yellow and a strong purple is a good zingy contrast, yellow and white/soft lilac is more gentle. I personally don’t like pink and yellow together
    Mountainous Northern Catalunya, Spain. Hot summers, cold winters.
  • Janie BJanie B Posts: 948
    Interesting what you say about Mainacht, @Nollie. I have lots of Caradonna in my pink (Princess Alexandra of Kent) rose bed, and they are lovely, but if you say Mainacht are better I'll certainly have a little look at them...
  • edhelkaedhelka Posts: 2,350
    @Nollie For how long does Mainacht flower for you? I seem to be unlucky with salvias, it never established well and the flowering time was always short.
  • BenCottoBenCotto Posts: 4,571
    My experience too, Edhelka, but this Autumn I moved it to a sunnier, free draining spot. We’ll see how it performs next year.
    Rutland, England
  • in addition to the herbaceous salvias mentioned (Mainacht, Caradonna) I would look at shrubby ones. I grow 'Icing Sugar', 'Dyson's Joy' and 'Nachtvlinder', which may be rather dark for your scheme. There are plenty to choose from and a number are similar in colour to the geraniums mentioned.

    You could also consider plants with strappy foliage such as Sisyrinchium striatum, Paradisea liliastrum or Libertia chilensis (syn. Libertia grandiflora).
  • Sorry, I forgot the link to the shrubby salvia grower I favour
  • NollieNollie Posts: 7,470
    @Janie B and @edhelka, I am mainly going on @Pete.8s recommendation for Mainacht as flowering all summer and into autumn as I only managed to get three sad, mildewed plants last year and they haven’t made it to the main border yet, but I like the brighter purple. One is still flowering. Caradonna starts earlier and puts on a good early show so I will keep some for that reason.
    Mountainous Northern Catalunya, Spain. Hot summers, cold winters.
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