Posted: 09/08/2012 at 18:30
We live in hardiness zone 7 and our house has quite a long gravel drive (about 30 metres), with beds either side which are about 2-2.5 metres wide. The drive is south-facing and sloping (about 1:10). To the east is a laurel hedge and to the west is a neighbour's garden separated by a wire mesh fence. The soil is sandy loam, alkaline, free-draining but relatively poor.
I am looking to plant something which will give colour and interest, and preferably perfume too, but which will be tolerant of cold winters and warm, sometimes dry summers.
I have been growing lavenders from seed since the spring (Hidcote, Munstead & Elegance Sky) and rosemary, and my plan is to use these as between and underplanting for some rosa rugosa. I will probably go for Roseraie de l'Hay which is said to be strongly perfumed and will tolerate poor soil and drought.
The rose growers are now accepting orders for bare-root stock.
My question is, is this a good plan, and should I go for all one variety of rose or perhaps use other varieties too? My personal feeling is to stick to one variety, to make it more integrated and 'designed' rather than a cottage garden feel, but I'd welcome other people's thoughts & ideas.
I will need quite a few roses to make a border on each side, so it is a fairly large financial investment for me, not to mention my time and effort, so I'd like to do 'a proper job' first time, if at all possible.