Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Color in the Garden - Part I

Flowers in the garden make me happy, and I love perennials almost as much as roses. Perennials provide a variety of shapes and textures, bursts of color when the roses are resting, and food for birds and insects. They make a garden much more interesting than it would be if it were just a rose garden.

Geranium x cantabrigiense "Karmina"
It took me a while to figure out what works in my garden. I needed plants that thrive in the same conditions as roses, provide some contrast to the rose blooms but also blend well color-wise.

Argyranthemum frutescens "Sunlight"
Both daisies and pelargoniums are winners in my climate. They are very low maintenance perennials, and sometimes grow quite big. I like the smaller kinds because their flowers do not compete with big blobby rose blooms.


Most pelargoniums are evergreen here and provide a nice year-round groundcover. The mounding types are useful to conceal the lower naked canes of rose bushes.

A dwarf regal pelargonium and a geranium x cantabrigiense "Karmina" making a pretty "skirt" around a rose's naked legs
Erodiums are relatives of geraniums and do equally well for me.

Erodium "Sweetheart" with a Snowball viburnum looking down
Mine have been blooming since February and are now setting seed. I love the funny-looking seed pods.



Their soft colors work well with saturated colors of the roses.

Ebb Tide
And finally, not really rose companions but pretty nevertheless, some blooms on my climbing hydrangea next to a rhododendron. Rhododendrons are a struggle to grow here because it is too hot and dry, but hydrangeas of all kinds do quite well.

H. petiolaris
These two plants grow well next to each other and provide a beautiful display of color in a very shady spot.  The more color, the better!

35 comments:

  1. Very smart chose for rose - companions, Masha ! The erodium is so beautiful. It reminds me of the woods...of my country.

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  2. Im więcej kolorów, tym piękniej. Kwiaty wokół pnia drzewa wyglądają cudownie. Pozdrawiam SERDECZNIE

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  3. Beautiful!
    I'm so happy to find your lovely blog!
    Have a nice day!
    Monica

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  4. Masha ~ I love your Pelargoniums and Erodiums growing among your roses.

    Happy Gardening ~ FlowerLady

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  5. Hello, Masha!
    Very pretty blooms. What wonderful rich color! Your garden looks wonderful. Your pictures are always perfect!

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  6. Masha, colors in your garden are beautiful! I wish pelargoniums/geraniums would grow here as they grow in California.

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  7. Thank you, Dani. It reminds me of the woods too a little...

    Giga, thank you for the comment. I love the mauve ones too.

    Thank you, Monica and nice to meet you! I am glad you liked my blog.

    FlowerLady, I am glad you liked them. Roses without perennials just don't look their best.

    Sandra, thank you for your compliments. I try to find good angles for taking pictures, so the weeds don't show up :)

    Tatyana, I am sorry they don't grow in Seattle. Are they annuals there? There are lots of wonderful flowers in your garden too.

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  8. Thriving is an understatement in your gardens!

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  9. Thank you for the compliment, Darla. I can say the same about your garden too.

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  10. Bonjour Masha..magnifique geranium Karmina. Une belle plante vivace qui occupe un beau developpement dans ton jardin. J'ai découvert que tu aimes aussi comme moi les hydrangeaston jardin est vraiment très beau.
    belle journée jocelyne jardin de cheneland

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  11. Merci, Jocelyn, I am glad you like my garden scheme, it is nice to find someone with similar tastes!

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  12. Lovely! I wish I could plant up against my roses like that, but it's so humid here, I worry about fungus. Maybe one day I'll get brave....

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  13. Thank you, Shannon. If you choose disease-resistant roses, you won't have to worry about fungus :).

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  14. Your garden perennials are beautiful, and they complement your roses so well!

    sweetbay

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  15. Thank you, sweetbay. I am glad you liked them.

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  16. Dziękuję za odwiedziny u mnie. Nie mogę u siebie skomentować Twoich odwiedzin, bo od rana nie mogę się zalogować na mojego bloga :-(. Mam nadzieję, że to nie będzie długo. Teraz też nie jestem pewna, czy mój wpis zostanie wysłany , bo to już moja trzecia próba. Pozdrawiam

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  17. Very pretty companions! Looks like they hide the rose legs with a soft ruffle of color. I also love your Snowball vibernum.

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  18. Masha I love the colors and combos....they just pop...

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  19. Masha your companion flowers are just beautiful. I love pelargoniums and your Royal is just gorgeous. I wish I could keep mine out all year long but they do sleep well in the basement over the winter. Your Ebb Tide is so pretty.

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  20. Giga, that's all right, I had problems leaving a comment on your blog too. I am sure it will end soon.

    Holley, thank you, I am glad you liked the companions.

    Thank you, Sheila and Donna.

    Lona, thank you, and I am glad you can overwinter the pelargoniums, they add so much color to my garden it wouldn't be the same without them.

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  21. I almost missed this post.Very pretty combos, but roses are always the stars. The supporting characters here are a nice choice.

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  22. Everything is so lovely...beautiful colors, beautiful blooms. I love that Ebb Tide rose!

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  23. Thank you, Donna. You are right, roses are the stars, but the garden full of stars only is not so pretty...

    Thank you, the Sage Butterfly, for the compliment.

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  24. Wow - what amazing colors and combinations! Your post is a good reminder that whatever your conditions are, you can find flowering perennials to suit them - there's a match for just about every climate and condition out there! Yours is just particularly lovely. :)

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  25. Thank you, redgardenclogs. You are right, there are beautiful choices for every climate!

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  26. Masha, you are such a talented gardener! Everything in your garden just "works"!

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  27. Thank you, Christine, I am glad you think so!

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  28. Masha,
    Lovely as always!

    And you have introduced me to Erodiums! They do look like cousins to the geranium.

    Hope you enjoy the last days of May~
    Julie

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  29. Thank you, Julie, I am glad you enjoyed this post.

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  30. It's great to see your choices for companions to Roses. And the colors are so vibrant. I'd love to see more wide-angle shots of your gardens. They must be spectacular!

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  31. Thank you, Beth. I need to do another post :).

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  32. I loved your Pelargoniun and Geranium unusual sorts.

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  33. Masha, what a great gardener (and a photographer) you are. Your garden is fantastic and these pictures are breathtaking.
    You said that hydrangeas do well in our zone. I'm glad to learn that as I want to add a blue one to my tiny garden. Not everything that I planted in my yard turned out well, but I hope a hydrangea will not die on me.
    You asked me about nigella flowers lasting in bouquets. They do but not for long, just for a few days.
    Have a wonderful and safe weekend!

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  34. You have such marvellous plants !

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I am so glad you have stopped by!