Wednesday, January 12, 2011

I'll never do THAT again!

My first attempts at companion plants were not good. In fact, they were terrible. When a novice gardener has no clue what a plant will do or become, it's pretty risky to use it, but how else does the novice learn? My gardening inexperience was plain for all to see in my front yard, and as much as I would try to be positive with myself, I still had the creepy feeling that it wasn't working. Maybe someone could have made it work, but periwinkle was really not a good choice for my antique rose garden and especially not a good choice in close proximity to this rose, Le Vesuve, the centerpiece of my front garden. Some observations follow.
Plants are not appropriate simply because they are readily available at Lowe's.
Florida bedding plants never end up the way they start out, so beware.
Even though they hold up well in our heat and humidity, tropical Florida plants might not be a good match for pastel roses.
Though every venture will not turn out well, every venture will be an opportunity to learn.
Daylilies are now the companions of Le Vesuve.
The important thing is that I kept trying. At least, I think so.


  1. Looks like you also had some Torenia, wishbone, mixed in there too. I wouldn't really call it invasive here, but an aggressive self seeder for sure!

  2. The rose is gorgeous. I would love to see it with those daylilies. Your vinca and torenia certainly grew very well for you and I love the riot of color, but it does take Le Vesuve from being center stage. My own attempts at companion plants for the roses has been woefully inept. I will be eagerly looking for what is working for you. You are so right about venturing and learning. It's all fun.

  3. Hi Sherry
    Just found your blog and have enjoyed reading it. Red Cascade (Alachua Red)needs a GOOD pruning in the spring. It is hard to hurt this rose and it does better with a good pruning. Since I have just moved, all my roses are newly planted again and in the spring I'll start with the companion plants. I have enjoyed reading about your garden.

  4. Darla, the torenia wasn't as bad as the vinca, colorwise. I probably wouldn't mind using it again except that it just becomes a big ball, and I'm trying to use taller wispy plants due to lack of room.

    NanaK, those photos are from 2009, and Le Vesuve has filled his 6' round bed, so there's no need for filler anymore. I just hope the daylilies will be visible this year.

    LindaR, I'm so glad you found me and so grateful that you shared your experience with Red Cascade. Would "a GOOD pruning" be cutting it back to 2' or less? I had it in my mind to cut almost to the ground. Would that be too much?

  5. Hi Sherry, this is Bet (buford). I have a lot of daylilies, but I'm getting a bit burned out on them. I pulled up a bunch in the front that I was tired of (I stared out with 3 years ago and now had over 100, but I didn't really like the flower). They just see a lot of work and in my zone, they aren't green all year anyway.

    I'm at the point where I have my roses established and I'm searching for companions that will look good and not be so much work. I love my irises, but I need something else. The search goes on.

  6. Sherry you simply must try Nepta around her! Those colors would be gorgous together! I use it with several of my roses and just love the combination. It blooms all summer into fall too. Gives a nice light airy look to the roses.