04 June 2009 18:45:06
rose garden facing west
It is said that in life the only real mistakes are ones we don't learn from. I am quite certain that this is also true of gardening.
The time has come for me to admit defeat regarding my rose garden.
As you can see from the photo, which shows half the rose garden, I created quite a formal area and planted it pretty exclusively with hybrid tea roses. It took a lot of weeding so last year I put plastic membrane down to eliminate the constant weeding problem. However, blackspot and aphids were rife and an overzealous pruning one spring only served to exacerbate the situation. So, the time has come to throw in the towel on monoculture and to think of something else to plant in this area.
Next year I intend to make a brick edging to this area to more clearly define the line between it and grass but in the meantime I need to decide on a new planting.
I would like to keep the plastic membrane but I will cover it in bark chip. Therefore I need a planting plan that will suit that. Ideally I would like more height in this area - maybe tall grasses, stipa gigantica or angels' fishing rods - something that is tall and billowy and may even form an informal arch over the paths.
Photos of the area from different angles can be found in my "rose garden make-over" album.
I do hope some of you will help with suggestions - I got great ones last time I presented a problem area on this site. The problem is that often I get quite tunnel visioned with the plants I know but there are so many of you with your own gardening experiences that you could surely help with new ideas.