The Q&A Archives: What Goes With Roses?

Question: I have a patio with a spot for a small flower garden. I want to put a rose bush here. A long with some other type of flower. I'm not sure what type of flowers grow well with roses, and I want a flower that will grow every year so I don't have to keep planting them. If you could give me some advice on what the best flower to plant I would be grateful.

Answer: In a sunny spot with good soil an occasional watering you could grow a huge variety of plants. Nepeta makes a lovely complement to roses, with a soft silvery foliage and blueish purple blooms that attract butterflies. Depending on the rose color you use, you might consider any of the following for starters: perovskia, purple coneflower, coreopsis, veronica, salvia, sedum, liatris, dianthus, daylilies, sedum, spring bulbs, and mums. Since you are new to perennials you might want to take a look at a book or two about them. Two possible choices to look for would be, first as a thorough introduction to perennials, "Perennials
for Dummies" by Marcia Tatroe ISBN 0-7645-5030-6;
and then as you gain experience the very detailed
"Perennials for American Gardens" by Ruth Rogers Clausen
and Nicolas H. Ekstrom ISBN 0-394-55740-9. Enjoy your flowers!

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