Answer: Roses tend to want to be the sole star of the garden and will resent roots from other plants competing for moisture and nutrients, so if you plant something near your tree rose, be sure to plant it on the fringes, not directly beneath your rose. Practically anything that appeals to you, that has the same requirements for full sunshine and regular moisture will grow near your tree rose. First there are annuals, like old-fashioned petunias or pansies or ageratum. Annuals planted in drifts provide continuous seasonal color that creates a backdrop for when your roses are in bloom or a filler for in between bloom cycles.
Perennials are a natural with roses and what's great about them is that they come back year after year. I've always found that gray foliage perennials, like lamb's ear and artemisia, are good compliments to roses and very satisfying in a summer garden.
We often overlook herbs as good companion plantings for roses, but they can flavor your rose garden just like they flavor your favorite meals. Curly parsley is excellent as a border along rose beds. Lavender is a classic in the rose garden and a favorite of mine is rosemary.
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