Roses forum: Companion plants for the shade

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Name: Gwen
Langley WA
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Gwen
Feb 24, 2010 11:23 AM CST
I have a fence I'm growing apricot/blush colored roses along. The fence gradually goes from barely enough sun to grow roses to partial shade to full shade. I don't want to have the plantings just end before the fence does. Any ideas what I can plant down in the partial shade/full shade end that will look nice?

The fence is low. It borders the driveway and separates the driveway from the drain field. The drain field gives way to a pond and then a forested area.

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Name: Toni
Denver Metro (Zone 5a)
Whiskey Tango Foxtrot.
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Skiekitty
Feb 24, 2010 11:56 AM CST
Butterfly bushes (I'm prejudiced, I love Butterfly-bushes), irises, beebalm, crosmia (sp?), if warm enough, gladolias,

what exactly kind of plants are you looking for? Shrubs? Flowers? Vines?
Roses are one of my passions! Just opened, my Etsy shop (to fund my rose hobby)! http://www.etsy.com/shop/TweetsnTreats
Name: Gwen
Langley WA
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Gwen
Feb 24, 2010 12:08 PM CST
I have crocasmia elsewhere and I'm not sure it's the right color. Probably not warm enough in our cool PNW climate for glads. I also have beebalm directly across from that area, so again, not wanting to repeat.

Butterfly bush is a possibility, altho I have whacked out 2 overgrown ones in the past 2 years in other parts of the yard and they did not come back! Actually, I've whacked back 3, but who's counting. Blinking

I'm looking for anything that would look nice with apricot roses (mostly David Austins). I guess evergreen would be esp nice. It can't get too big because as you can see, the fence is low. And nothing with invasive roots that would travel to the drain field. I want to keep the color 'soft'.

It would be nice to interplant the roses with something that also did well in shade so I could have some continuity. I do love irises. I've not had great luck with them elsewhere in the garden. Maybe I'm doing something wrong. (very likely)

To the left of the driveway (rose fence is on the right), we have an identical fence with a small yard between the drive and the house. So that is opposite of the rose fence. In that side yard we have a very large crab apple with some sort of small pinkish rose that has climbed throughout - maybe new dawn, I'm not sure. There is also a lilac there as well as a weigelia. Then there is a mishmash of plants and shrubs in pale yellow and bluish-purple shades.
Name: Toni
Denver Metro (Zone 5a)
Whiskey Tango Foxtrot.
Charter ATP Member Irises Salvias Xeriscape Birds I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Procrastinator The WITWIT Badge Region: Colorado Enjoys or suffers cold winters Cat Lover
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Skiekitty
Feb 24, 2010 12:18 PM CST
For evergreens, try a Golden Globe arborvite. They stay pretty small (2-3'), keep a nice rounded shape w/no pruning, do well in LOTS of shade (mine's in almost 100% shade), and has a wonderful yellowy color in the spring/summer/fall and a kinda blah color in the winter.

http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/go/90905/

You can also also try Red Barberry. Problem with them is the thorns are nasty. :(

http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/go/78684/

I wanted to grow some Evergreen Huckleberry, but they wouldn't survive here (too cold).

http://www.burntridgenursery.com/prodinfo.asp?number=NSNSEVH...

That Burnt Ridge Nursery has plants native to the NW, so they'd be a great resource.

Roses are one of my passions! Just opened, my Etsy shop (to fund my rose hobby)! http://www.etsy.com/shop/TweetsnTreats
Name: Gwen
Langley WA
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Gwen
Feb 24, 2010 12:45 PM CST
I have so far stayed away from barberry just because of the thorns. But I can see where it would look good with the roses, so may have to reconsider that. I'll let dh prune them. Sticking tongue out

We have evergreen hucks everywhere. Literally. I didn't realize they weren't cold hardy. Too bad because they are great plants - growing in all kinds of shade, stay nice all year, have edible fruit, and are fabulous in cut flower arrangements.
Name: Jamie R
Zone 5b, WI (Zone 5a)
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JaeRae
Mar 27, 2010 9:49 PM CST
Gwen, what about ferns? Several kinds are very hardy shade perennials and different types add nice texture and color verigation alone, and/or as a back drop.
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Name: Gwen
Langley WA
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Gwen
Mar 29, 2010 10:28 AM CST
Jamie, ferns are a great choice! Thanks.
Name: aka GardenQuilts
Pocono Mountains, PA
Andi
May 4, 2010 10:34 PM CST
I like blue with peach. I am not sure which blue flowers would work for you - forget me not, columbine, salvia, delphineum, morning glories, blue hosta, campanula, aster, false indigo-baptista, cranesbill geranium, catmint, penstemon, lobelia, scabiosia, veronica, viola, cornwall blue butterfly bush, bluebird hibiscus, hydrangea.

Guess who else has been looking for blue companions for peach and yellow roses.

Heuchera may look nice. I like bright green or chartreuse leaves in shade.
Name: Steve
Prescott, AZ (Zone 7b)
Region: Southwest Gardening Roses
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Steve812
May 5, 2010 8:30 AM CST
I grew hostas and heucheras for their foliage and was very happy with the effect. Astilbes work nicely, too, because their colors tend to complement those of most roses and so does the texture of the flowers. Gypsophila, with its tiny white flowers can be nice as well. I tried ferns, but I could not keep them happy. I was also fond of cranesbill, but the only kind I was successful with was the pale blue one whose name if forget. I used catmint (Nepeta Walker's Low) a great deal because the plants were highly durable, their flowers small and nicely colored, and bloom lasted a long time. It has done very well for me in light shade; if your rose gets enough light, it will too. It's shown here with David Austin's Golden Celebration.

Name: aka GardenQuilts
Pocono Mountains, PA
Andi
May 6, 2010 10:40 AM CST
My shade is under a black walnut tree. I am limited to juglone tolerant plants, but sometimes limitations inspire creativity. It has become my "tiger garden" in progress. I have a huge green hosta - divided last year and now 3 huge green hostas - probably 'Sum and Substance'. Baby hostas pop up here and there, but I give them away to neighbors because I like the symmetry of the 3 hostas. I have a couple smaller variegated hostas for contrast. Tiger lilies and orange day lilies survived. As did pachysandra, sweet woodruff and native violets. I planted orange swamp milkweed last year. This year I am trying some orange zinnia and calendula seeds. I put in a bit of lettuce for the bunnies, hoping they stay in the back yard. So far it seems to be working.

I have been tempted to add catmint by the roses, but I already scatter coffee grounds to keep the neighbor's cat from using my flower bed as a litter box. Don't want to tempt fate. Maybe I can start some catmint and give it to the neighbor. Think her cats would stay home?

I had some heuchera and astilbe that I was planning for the back garden before I learned about juglone. I put them in shady pockets of the front rose garden. I like the effect so far, especially the dark heuchera against the peony foliage.

My neighbor has some beautiful ferns that he got from his grandmother. I'll try to remember to take some pictures. I think they look very victorian.
Name: Toni
Denver Metro (Zone 5a)
Whiskey Tango Foxtrot.
Charter ATP Member Irises Salvias Xeriscape Birds I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Procrastinator The WITWIT Badge Region: Colorado Enjoys or suffers cold winters Cat Lover
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Skiekitty
May 6, 2010 11:09 AM CST
Try some deadnettle or sweet william. They both did really well in my shade garden this past year. I also LOVE LOVE LOVE "Sweet Kate" Spiderwort. Needs to stay moist-ish (not bone dry). Doesn't spread, either, so it's pretty well behaved. Columbines also do pretty nicely, too. :)

Roses are one of my passions! Just opened, my Etsy shop (to fund my rose hobby)! http://www.etsy.com/shop/TweetsnTreats
Name: Zuzu
Northern California (Zone 9a)
Forum moderator Plant Database Moderator Charter ATP Member Region: California Cat Lover Roses
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zuzu
May 6, 2010 3:39 PM CST

Moderator

I grow heuchera and astilbe under the black walnut tree, Andi. They love it. But I grow roses under there too. There's even a pear tree growing under the black walnut, not more than 12 feet from its trunk, and it produces lots of pears every year. I tend to think of the juglone stories as myths.

Here's a photo I posted in the California forum earlier this year to show how much rain we'd had the night before. Things were just waking up, so there's not that much in the picture, but I'm standing right by the trunk as I take the photo, and you can see camellias, rhododendrons, hydrangeas, ranunculus, azaleas, bearded irises, daylilies, dianthus, and primulas just in this one spot under the tree.

It's a huge tree, by the way. People have told me it's the biggest black walnut tree in the county, so it's not as though the juglone hasn't had a long time to work its "evil."


Thumb of 2010-05-06/zuzu/79b4c2
Name: Toni
Denver Metro (Zone 5a)
Whiskey Tango Foxtrot.
Charter ATP Member Irises Salvias Xeriscape Birds I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Procrastinator The WITWIT Badge Region: Colorado Enjoys or suffers cold winters Cat Lover
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Skiekitty
May 6, 2010 4:00 PM CST
help? What's "juglone"?
Roses are one of my passions! Just opened, my Etsy shop (to fund my rose hobby)! http://www.etsy.com/shop/TweetsnTreats
Name: Zuzu
Northern California (Zone 9a)
Forum moderator Plant Database Moderator Charter ATP Member Region: California Cat Lover Roses
Clematis Irises Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier Garden Sages
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zuzu
May 6, 2010 4:14 PM CST

Moderator

It's something a black walnut tree produces that supposedly kills most plants around it. If I were to list all of the plants growing under my black walnut, which shades almost the entire back quarter of my garden, the list would be as long as your arm, so I tend to think it's just another convenient excuse for plant death. The only thing I don't grow under there are succulents and hibiscus, but that's because of the shade, not the dread juglone.

Here's a photo of the trunk of my black walnut. That's a 5-gallon container standing next to it for scale, so you can see it's big enough to do a lot of damage if the stories were true.

Thumb of 2010-05-06/zuzu/ed0172
Name: Toni
Denver Metro (Zone 5a)
Whiskey Tango Foxtrot.
Charter ATP Member Irises Salvias Xeriscape Birds I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Procrastinator The WITWIT Badge Region: Colorado Enjoys or suffers cold winters Cat Lover
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Skiekitty
May 6, 2010 4:28 PM CST
good gravy, that's fricking HUGE!!!!!!!! OMG that's a big 'un!

Never heard of the juglone. I'll have to ask my favorite tree geek if there's any truth to "juglone" & stuff. I know he loves walnut trees (he's the town horticulturist) and is always trying to get people to get walnut trees. I think the only thing he's said bad about 'em is being knocked on the head by walnuts.
Roses are one of my passions! Just opened, my Etsy shop (to fund my rose hobby)! http://www.etsy.com/shop/TweetsnTreats
Name: Gwen
Langley WA
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Gwen
May 6, 2010 6:25 PM CST
Some great suggestions - thanks! I love purple/blue and peach together. In fact, I have a tiny square where I grow those plants and I've just finished weeding it. It's such a pretty color combination.
Name: Zuzu
Northern California (Zone 9a)
Forum moderator Plant Database Moderator Charter ATP Member Region: California Cat Lover Roses
Clematis Irises Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier Garden Sages
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zuzu
May 6, 2010 6:26 PM CST

Moderator

This is a black walnut, Toni. Walnut trees don't have any bad stories floating around about them. The nuts are really small, but they make good cat toys. The cats and I play rollnut until the apples start appearing. Then we play rollapple.
Name: Jamie R
Zone 5b, WI (Zone 5a)
save the rainforest & habitat
Charter ATP Member Native Plants and Wildflowers Butterflies I sent a postcard to Randy! Herbs Region: Wisconsin
Dog Lover Enjoys or suffers cold winters Bulbs Irises Roses Lilies
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JaeRae
May 6, 2010 6:39 PM CST
Rolling on the floor laughing I once played rollnut.
Woman on the eastbound train
...........................................Je Suis Désolé.
(also a mule lovin', Charley huggin' girl)
Name: Angie
Concord, NC (zone 7)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Winter Sowing Region: North Carolina Daylilies Roses
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Hemophobic
Apr 11, 2011 11:08 AM CST
Gwen: I'm chiming in late here, but I second the suggestions of Tradescantia "Sweet Kate," which I also love to death, columbines, lobelias and for spring bloom, perhaps some corydalis and camassias.
I think that if ever a mortal heard the voice of God it would be in a garden at the cool of the day. ~F. Frankfort Moore, A Garden of Peace

Name: aka GardenQuilts
Pocono Mountains, PA
Andi
Apr 13, 2011 10:54 PM CST
I read that Eastern Black Walnut trees produce much more Juglone than Western ones. The eastern variety is a problem for many gardeners in this area, especially when combined with slow draining clay soil. I even did a little experiment. Reading that tomatoes are especially juglone sensitive, last year I planted some extra tomato seeds in pots. I planted 3 in pots of soil from my front garden, three with soil from the back garden. The pots were placed together and watered at the same time. The front pots all germinated, none of the back ones did.

I am beginning to love hostas. They do so well with so little bother, allowing me time for the roses. Some lilies tolerate shade. I have both native orange day lilies (ok, not technically a lilly) and tiger lilies (not daylilies, spotted orange lilies) in my shady flower bed.

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