Posted: 05/03/2017 at 10:46
I agree with Verdun about the horrors of roses in bare bMy rose bed in my Belgian garden was a combination of Gertude Jekyll, Sceptr'd Isle and William Shakespeare shrubs with the afore-mentioned perennials and bulbs underneath and nothing to compete with the wonderful rose flowers. They all flowered before or n late summer and autumn but I did enjoy the colours and forms of their foliage hiding the bare legs of the roses.
I also had a Kiftsgate growing up a trellis panel and then up and along the house wall and another pair of trellis panels on the western side with a Constance Spry. She flowered once and was then followed by clematis Betty Corning. I had clems Princess Diana and Sunset on obelisks at the climber end of the bed and a Japanese acer Sangu-Kaku. It all worked brilliantly but I found Will S could be a bit nesh in harder winters and needed lots of TLC. The others were tough as old boots and gave lots of flower and perfume.
My other roses were grown in mixed beds with all sorts of different flowers and even some ornamental grasses - astrantias, geums, potentilla, achilleas, persicarias,penstemons, hemerocallis, phlomis, helenium, aconitum, hardy geranium and many many more. Roses definitely need ground covering plants between them and contrasts of form, texture and colour.
Borders should be a tapestry and that's what I'll be aiming for when I plant up this new garden.