A Rose Garden, should it have Perennials and Baby’s Breath?

rose garden

In the spring of 2017 I started landscaping my property.  This will be a project that will continue for many years to come.  First, I wanted a rose garden.  I love roses and love the sweet scent of roses in the air.  There is nothing nicer than to be able to give a friend a beautiful bouquet of roses.

I choose a spot in the corner of my yard next to the driveway and along the sidewalk.

location of rose garden
bags of compost

I did not have my rototiller back from the repair shop yet so I took my trusty old shovel and started digging. I found it quite a challenge since the soil was a heavy clay.  Each shovel full had to be chopped several times to break up the clumps.  After completing the digging process I raked the whole garden to further break up the soil.  It sure gave me a good workout and I was glad when it was done.

The next step was to go to Lowe’s and buy several bags of compost and cow manure.  Roses need a very fertile soil to grow in.

I emptied out the bags, raked the contents over the garden then worked it all in.  It was quite a job but I sure felt good when it was done.

compost to work into rose garden
rose bushes planted

It was time to plant my rose bushes.  When I had finished planting I stood back and looked at the garden and said to myself, “There is too much empty space between those bushes.  Maybe I should plant something more in there”. I guess I never gave it a thought about how much those rose bushes would grow and fill out.

So I purchased a collection of day lilies which I inter-planted with the roses.  I also planted some annuals to ring the outside of the garden.

Gardening catalogs, they just keep coming in the mail.  When you make a purchase with one of them they sell your name and address to all the rest of the companies.  Then your mailbox gets filled with catalogs.  Anyway, while shopping through one of those catalogs I found perennial baby’s breath. I didn’t know there was perennial baby’s breath.  So I placed an order for some roots. When they arrived I planted them in the middle of the bed.  You need baby’s breath in a bouquet of roses, right?

rose garden filling in with more plants
roses and annuals

By late summer the rose garden had filled out nicely.  The annuals were a nice touch around the outside edge.  The Roses and lilies were blooming nicely and the baby’s breath had started to grow.  I was pretty pleased with my Rose Garden.

Oh, oh! I see a thistle in my rose garden!  Well, I should have pulled it out before I took this picture, but, I’m sure your garden has undesirables growing here and there once in awhile.  What I don’t understand is how this thistle got so big without me noticing it! I must have been too busy creating more flower gardens that I will be sharing with you in later posts.

lilies in the rose garden

Fast forward to 2018.  The rose garden had filled out and the lilies were in full bloom.  The baby’s breath was starting to get some height and it had started to bloom.  I was very disappointed in the blooms.   They were not like the baby’s breath that I was familiar with.  I was not sure about this addition to the Rose garden.

2019 … Well, my Rose Garden had turned into a mass of perennial flowers all fighting for a little piece of land to grow in.  It was a mistake planting the lilies in with the roses because they had now multiplied and grown very large crowding out the roses bushes. I had also mistakenly planted several perennials in there that should not be in my rose garden! Why did I do that! Things were really getting out of hand and I needed to take drastic measures in the near future. WHERE’S MY ROSES????

perennial flowers
more perennials

So last fall (2019), I dug out most of the Lilies and transplanted them into other flower gardens.  All of the other perennials were also dug out and moved to other locations. 

The Baby’s Breath had to go!  It had overtaken the garden.  It was over 5 feet tall and the branches spread out and fell down over the roses and other plants.  I tried using it in bouquets but it just did not give me the look I wanted.  Digging them out was quite a challenge as they had long tap roots, but, I got the job done.  If you ever think you want to plant perennial baby’s breath .. think again!

It is now 2020.  This year I will attempt to  create a beautiful Rose Garden, again.  Hopefully, I have learned a lesson from my last attempt and will stick to my plan.  Gardening is an ever evolving process.  You live and you learn.  Sometime in the future I will post and update of the progress of  my Rose Garden.

Keep your eyes on the horizon, Grandma

2 thoughts on “A Rose Garden, should it have Perennials and Baby’s Breath?”

  1. I’m guilty of packing in too many plants .. I mean, one can never have too many plants, right? But it turns out you can have too many, at least in any one space.

    1. What happens is there are all those empty spaces when your garden plants are young. So, you fill them up by planting other small young plants. Then, they all grow up and you end up with a woods! When the plants mature the garden you dreamed about becomes just a so called garden with all kinds of plants fighting for space and light. It happens to us all.

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