dottieb_nc

Best rose (or hydrangea, or other idea) for front walkway hedge?

Dottie 7B
last month

Note: I'm reposting because this thread posted for a few minutes last night and then disappeared. Hope this works!


Hello! I am working on my front garden that was only grass and foundation bushes when I bought my house. The area has been mulched for two years and last year I started planting perennials. The general color scheme is purples and pinks, with pincushion flowers, verbena, guara, coreopsis, balloon flowers, lantana, lamb's ear, rudbeckia, coneflower, and catmint.


Recently, I have been adding structure to the space, which is much needed. The area looked a bit crazy last summer. I put in baby jade boxwood hedges lining the front walkway, 5 on each side. These will grow to 3x3 and I plan to keep them informally bushy. (I saved 4' at the front of each side for a flowering evergreen, maybe a gardenia.) Against the right foundation under the Japanese maple, I planted 4 small autumn ivory azaleas. I planted 2 Invincibelle Blush hydrangea in front of the foundation hollies. My husband installed a stepping stone path leading to a rose arch and I have two New Dawn climbing roses pre-ordered.


My question here is whether I should plant a small hedge of roses behind the boxwoods on each side to provide more structure and fill out the area. I don't mind moving some perennials to make room, but I wonder if it will look okay with the boxwood hedge, roses, and then the perennials growing on the other side of them.


If I plant the roses, I'm thinking of interspersing them with another plant to keep it from looking too formal. I love the idea of a light pink rose with complementary purple flowers. What do you think of light pink Olivia Rose Austin with a large Russian sage alternating? Is there a better light pink rose or a better companion plant for the purpose? Or perhaps I should plant a small paniculata hydrangea instead, like Bobo? I'd save myself the trouble of flicking off more Japanese beetles all summer to feed the chickens, though I love roses. Any other ideas?


I am in zone 7B and both sides of the walkway have full west sun in the summer. The soil is clay but decently amended at this point. Some blackspot on roses is a given in our humidity. I try not to spray and only organics. I do spray I Must Garden smelly deer repellent where necessary (smell fades quickly for people).


One more detail. Across from this garden on an island in my circle drive, I filled in an old pond fountain, installed a new small fountain, and planted a rose garden last year. There are 14 roses in that area now, including a few David Austin's, planted with Russian sage, catmint, cleome, anise hyssop, and lavender (the lavender is not doing well). I also planted a hedge of Vanilla Strawberry hydrangea in my backyard last summer, so I'm not exactly hurting for hydrangea, either.


I live on about two and a half acres with a long gravel drive, so this is not something anyone would see from the street, only for my personal enjoyment and the pollinators.


Many thanks to anyone who read this far. This is a labor of love and I have more enthusiasm than skill. :)








(Olivia Rose Austin with purple flowers)



Comments (68)

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  • jjpeace (zone 5b Canada)

    Weird how the original thread disappeared. You have a lot of choices and no matter what you choose it will be a beautiful garden. Just keep in mind all of our suggestions are each of our opinions. You will need to explore and go with your instinct. However if you are going to combine roses and box woods, it will have project a feel of a formal garden.

    Dottie 7B thanked jjpeace (zone 5b Canada)
  • K S 8b Seattle

    Re: penstemon placement, check the projected sizes of the penstemons you are interested in, since some are lower growing than others, which tend to be more upright. It might take some experimentation to see which ones you like best for your situation. I've got one that I think is "Garnet" which is sprawled out and crawling through the roses next to it, rooting as it goes. On the other hand "Raven" is VERY upright for me and dense, bushy, and quite tall (maybe 2.5 feet at this point, I'm guessing). However, it is a dark red-purple, rather than the blue-purple I prefer. I believe Ingrid has one called "Midnight" or something like that which tends more towards the blue purple and also seems very good. For a shorter penstemon with beautiful electric blue/purple flowers, with a habit better for planting in front of roses than next to them, I really enjoyed Margarita BOP, but managed to kill it in my hell strip. There is a pale pink/white one that Annie's is offering right now called Thorn that I wish I had room for. You might be able to sort of nestle the upright penstemon between rose bushes in your hedge, but offset them a bit forward of the roses? Does that make sense? Honestly, whatever you put there it is going to look great. It already does!

    Dottie 7B thanked K S 8b Seattle
  • Moses, Western PA., zone 5/6, USA

    Hydrangea Bobo, 3'X4', has 5 straight months of color, starting chartreuse, then white, then going from pink to orange/madder/russet. It is absolutely carefree, and stunning.

    Any rose other than Knock Out types, will get black spot, rose midge fly, and Japanese beetles, especially the Austin roses. For a rose I would recommend Double Pink Knock Out, the best of the Knock Out series. The flower is actually lovely in form and color. Its bush form is very taylored, not sloppy and droopy. There will be no black spot issues, excellent winter hardiness in zone 7, but rose midge fly and Japanese beetle pressure will be a given, as they will for any rose in a no spray garden. You have broad expanses of lawn there, which is prime Japanese beetle habitat. In early spring, 20 grubs per square foot of lawn is normal, grass roots being the ideal, preferred feeding ground for JBs.

    Perovskia interspersed in a row of either Hydrangea Hobo or Double Pink Knock Out will be magnificent. The openness of Perovskia interspersed will be dramatic. There are shorter varieties of Perovskia that have very good growth habits.

    Moses

    Dottie 7B thanked Moses, Western PA., zone 5/6, USA
  • Dottie 7B

    Thanks for the additional details about penstemon and snapdragons, @nanadollZ7 SWIdaho and @K S 8b Seattle! I think I will add some nestled between but slightly in front, as suggest. @nanadollZ7 SWIdaho, I added a Twilight Zone to my Witherspoon order that I'll be picking up this weekend, based on your photos. :) I could look at your roses all day.


    The voice of reason, @Moses, Western PA., zone 5/6, USA. I'm still considering the practical and yet lovely solution of putting in a hedge of Bobo hydrangea. Bobo are gorgeous! I love roses so much, but I can't stand to see Japanese beetles on them, so for about six weeks of summer I would either be cutting all buds to enjoy inside (which is what I ended up doing with my rose garden last summer) or covering the hedge with a fine netting. I have plans to apply nematodes and milky spore this spring and fall, but I understand it will take a few years to experience some relief. We have a lot of grubs - yuck. In light of this, Bobo seems like the obvious choice. And yet... I love roses, especially big, beautiful old-style roses. I know it's the look I would most enjoy, but I need to consider carefully the trade-offs.


    I haven't had a great experience with Knock Outs. There were three when I moved in, I assume planted when the house was built in 2005. One was in such bad shape, I removed and replaced it with a new Knock Out. The other two are not attractive close up and some of the worst for black spot and Japanese beetles (despite their lack of scent). I'm sure new ones would perform better, but they would not be my top choice.


    Here's a lovely photo I found of boxwoods, hydrangea (Limelights, I think), and Russian sage. You're right - it looks magnificent.


    Howard Roberts · More Info



  • jjpeace (zone 5b Canada)

    Good point on Japanese beetles. In my area they are pretty bad. If this is a problem for you too, then I would go for mix of plants. I am greedy when it comes to gardening. I want everything.

  • Moses, Western PA., zone 5/6, USA

    Dottie,

    That does look like Limelight in your photo, and what a beautiful combination, too.

    Innoculating the soil with milky spore will help in time, but Japanese Beetles flying in from all around will still occur.

    You could go Austin instead of the Knock Out I suggested, especially Olivia Rose, a particularly highly regarded rose, and possibly the best Austin, then Hobo hydrangea next, followed Perovskia in a repeated pattern.

    BTW, I like your walk. It's laid out very nicely. I especially like its width. Two people can walk together instead of walking single file. Also, there's plenty of room for the little guys to pass each other on their bikes without one of them swerving into the bushes!

    Moses

  • Dottie 7B

    I love the idea of an alternating hedge of Olivia Rose Austin (4.5'x3.5'), bobo hydrangea (3'x3-4', and denim and lace Russian sage (3'x3') with the baby Jade boxwood hedge (3x3). I laid it out using 3.5 ft centers from the boxwood to the other plants, 3.5 ft centers between the hydrangea and the roses, and 3 ft centers between the others and the Russian sage. In the pictures, the largest pot is the rose, the medium pot is the hydrangea, and the small pot is the Russian sage. It looks like too much distance, but I have to imagine it fully grown. Any thoughts?

    @Moses - Riding their bikes down the walkway is exactly what they're doing now. :-)

  • Dottie 7B

    There's only enough room for two of each on each side, though. I wonder if that will make the impact that I want visually...

  • Deborah MN zone 4

    Hello, Dottie. I have been following this thread with interest as my husband and I are moving to a new home this spring and I, too, am considering a walkway planting. I think you are off to a great start and getting excellent advice from forum folk.


    There are a couple of perennials that I am considering, Amsonia and Baptisia, that I don’t think have been mentioned. They may be too informal for your plan, but they are both lovely foliage plants (with good spring bloom) that look great all summer and into the fall. I like them planted with roses because they add motion as breezes blow through the foliage and soften the more rigid look of many roses. Also, both plants come in several varieties for size and color. Just a thought.


    I look forward to following your progress. You have a great garden space to work with.

    Dottie 7B thanked Deborah MN zone 4
  • Moses, Western PA., zone 5/6, USA

    Dottie,

    Your spacing is perfect. A little more room is better than less room. Having plants grow into each other as they mature causes management problems, as well as air circulation issues, especially with roses. You're doing everything expertly as far as I can see.

    Your home and surroundings are park like, and exude charm and hominess. Also, the relatively level lay of the land is a little boy, or girl bicyclist's dream. I had to fight traffic and monster hills when I was a little fellow!

    Moses

    Dottie 7B thanked Moses, Western PA., zone 5/6, USA
  • Vaporvac Z6-OhioRiverValley

    Everything looks beautiful. Two other roses not mentioned are LaMarne and Carefree Beauty. A friend has hedges of these two and they are always in bloom with zero health issues where BS is concerned. In double Pink knock Out's defense, it seems to be in another category from what I've seen. Somewhere on the GW someone was growing a hedge next to the their house and everyone was clammering to know what rose only to be astonished that it was DPKO! I wish I could find the picture. If you wanted a deeper pink, I might suggest Maggie.

    Dottie 7B thanked Vaporvac Z6-OhioRiverValley
  • Dottie 7B

    Just thinking out loud... :)












  • Moses, Western PA., zone 5/6, USA

    Purely my opinion Dottie, but I wouldn't go three bushes deep. That row would be 9+' deep especially if you went with Little Lime Hydrangea, 5'x4.5'. Olivia Rose will need weekly dead heading all blooming season long. You have to get up close to do that. In front, you will have to step between the boxwood, but if the row is 2 bushes deep, you can access Olivia Rose from the back without walking in between the boxwoods.

    I would go with either example 4 or 5. By eliminating hydrangea as in example 2, it looks dead, lifeless. The white of hydrangea brings life to the planting.

    I believe Bobo will be a heavy bloomer for you, almost obscuring the foliage. Little Lime is a bit more open and less floriferous, but not by too much less. I do like the additional height Little Lime allows, makes the bed a bit more interesting. Therefore, I would go with Little Lime. So, my vote is for example 5. If you choose #5, remember to allow additional width for Little Lime.

    Example 3 is beautiful, too, but the back edge of the row will be a lawn mower's annoyance (you or your husband), trying to maintain such a curvilinear edge between lawn and mulched edge.

    Keep the spacings wide enough apart to allow for a generous hand's breadth between bushes at their mature size. Barely touching each other at maturity is OK, but growing into each other at that time, in about 3+- years, will create management issues.

    Moses

  • Vaporvac Z6-OhioRiverValley

    Maybe Lily Finch will pipe in and show her beautiful Foundation plantings at her last house they were Limelight hydrangeas with a purple plantain roses it was absolutely beautiful and very similar to what you're envisioning is kept as a foundation planting instead of a open border.

    Dottie 7B thanked Vaporvac Z6-OhioRiverValley
  • flowersaremusic z5 Eastern WA

    Dottie, I'd just like to thank you. I'm planning to put a border around my patio this year, and you've done all the work for me. You're a peach!


    Dottie 7B thanked flowersaremusic z5 Eastern WA
  • Dottie 7B

    Amsonia and Baptisia are on my list now, too. Thanks, @Deborah MN zone 4! I love the idea of soft flowers that move in the wind. @Vaporvac Z6-OhioRiverValley, Carefree Beaty and Maggie look lovely, but are bigger than I'm looking for. Interesting to hear about the double pink knockout. I googled photos and it does look lovely as a hedge.


    Great point about needing to leave room to get to the roses for pruning and general care. I'll cross the three-hedge-deep idea off the list. I agree that the last two options look the best. I also like the fact that the Limelight brings more size variation, but I worry that it would take up too much room at 5' wide, so I may stick with Bobo.


    Due to the layout of our large, circular gravel drive and the wooded areas, this garden does not border any grassy area, so now worry about fitting a lawn mower. Behind the hedge are small drifts of perennials (which should be big drifts with time), including pincushion, balloon flower, coreopsis, guara and verbena. The set-up would look more like the collages below, though not nearly as organized and tidy. :)






  • Dottie 7B

    @flowersaremusic z5 Eastern WA Happy to help! :-P Good luck on your project.

  • Vaporvac Z6-OhioRiverValley

    Hi. What size rose are you looking for? Here in zone 6 Maggie experiences die-back so would not reach a monster size. La Marne and CB max out at about 4' as can be seen in Jeffcat's HMF pictures.

  • jjpeace (zone 5b Canada)

    I forgot to ask the most important question, if someone has not already. What is your budget?

  • jjpeace (zone 5b Canada)

    I actually like the first pic with the rose border. It looks more unified.

  • Dottie 7B

    Something about 4.5' would be ideal, which is the size of Olivia. I read somewhere that CB could get to 7' (I think on antique rose emporium).

    Yes, I like the unified look, too, @jjpeace, especially since I have so many different perennials growing. This is why I'm having a hard time deciding! Since I do all the work myself and the only cost is the cost of plants and amendments, budget is not really an issue.

  • Rosylady (PNW zone 8)

    Olivia Austin is not just another pink rose. There's something about it that I can only describe as ...magical. The color of the flowers is pink, but they have a depth that gives them an extra dimension. They're not a flat pink, they're almost a luminous pink.


    The bush stays so neatly shaped as well. I have three, and they have all stayed perfectly shaped and around 3-4 feet tall. What's great about this rose is after the first flush, when you deadhead, it does not put out another large flush of branches with flowers on top (like many Austins), it just puts out a nice flush of blooms. So, at the end of the season, they are still looking as neat and tidy as they did in the beginning!


    As for the foliage, it's beautiful. It's a matte, deep green that stays flawless all season long. In fact my three Olivias still have ALL their foliage from last season and it has looked beautiful all through the (we had a mild one) winter. The bush is clothed in from the bottom to the top...no bare branches at the bottom.


    Add to all this a really nice fragrance and the fact that it blooms in flushes until almost Christmas (in my climate) and you have an almost perfect pink rose.


    I'm sorry I don't have a picture! I have no idea why I haven't taken any!


    As for your design....I think I like the more simple color palette ones the best. I definitely love the boxwood edging! Your garden is absolutely beautiful...I love the design and the hardscaping.

    Dottie 7B thanked Rosylady (PNW zone 8)
  • Sheila z8a Rogue Valley OR

    I bet Olivia would look a lot better here than Souv de la Malmaison who looks wonderful for Ingrid in So California. My SdlM looks great by Fall but not in Spring.

  • Dottie 7B

    What a beautiful recommendation for the Olivia Rose Austin, @Rosylady (PNW zone 8)! My heart goes pitter patter thinking about it. I feel like I need to order soon so they don't sell out (I'd prefer to buy bare root). I'd need 10 for the full hedge, 6 for the hedge mixed with Russian sage, or 4 for the hedge mixed with hydrangea and Russian sage.


    I was leaning toward the mix of three, but now leaning toward all roses or roses with Russian sage, considering all the other colors going on with the perennials in that garden (and six azaleas and three hydrangeas). I need to remember that my purpose for putting in the secondary hedge behind the boxwoods is to bring more structure and cohesion to the garden and to fill out more space.



  • Rosylady (PNW zone 8)

    Dottie....if I were you I would plant a dense rose hedge to begin with. If you change your mind later and want more space in between the roses or to add the russian sage, you could always pop out every other rose and plant them in another spot.


    Or.....you could do the rose hedge and then a lower growing perennial to plant under them with that same blue color, such as geranium 'Rozanne". It's a truly fabulous ever-blooming sky blue geranium.

    Dottie 7B thanked Rosylady (PNW zone 8)
  • flowersaremusic z5 Eastern WA

    Brilliant, Rosylady! Rozanne would set the soft pink off beautifully and tie in with any other blues in the garden.

    Dottie, I have a feeling you really like the look of the long, lacy fronds of the taller perovskia, and would like to work it in. I'd buy a few and move the pots around until it looks right.


    Dottie 7B thanked flowersaremusic z5 Eastern WA
  • gardengal48 (PNW Z8/9)

    I'd caution against planting the Russian sage too close to the roses. It likes much leaner soil conditions and much less watering. An excess of both will lead to floppiness and more severe winter dieback.

    FYI, Russian sage, Perovskia atriplicifolia, has been reclassified and is now known as Salvia yangii. And shares similar growing conditions as most other salvia species.

    Dottie 7B thanked gardengal48 (PNW Z8/9)
  • Sheila z8a Rogue Valley OR

    Out West here, Russian Sage do fine with the roses. I wondered about how it would work too, but they look good. They look good all year round, which all fillers don't. Many fillers go blah in Winter.

    Here, if the dry garden plants do not get irrigated, they don't make it. Of course, other areas would have different experiences.

    Dottie 7B thanked Sheila z8a Rogue Valley OR
  • Dottie 7B

    Well, I had a couple glasses of wine and ordered a 10 rose hedging bundle of Olive Rose Austin. I think the cohesiveness will help pull together my garden, while the other plantings will keep it dynamic and not too formal for the surroundings. Also, pretty roses!


    I'm not thrilled by the idea of planting 10 more bare root roses after planting 8 today all around my yard (a lot of work!), but hopefully it will be worth it. I plan to plant 5 on each side of my walkway, 3' apart rather than 18" as suggested on the DA site. Thanks so much for all the insight and ideas!


  • flowersaremusic z5 Eastern WA

    Doesn't it feel good to finally make a decision! It'll be so beautiful.

  • Stephanie, 9b inland SoCal

    It sounds like it will be spectacular. You will have to post pictures this May/June.

  • Rosylady (PNW zone 8)

    Yes, I am looking forward to seeing pictures too!

  • Dottie 7B

    I will post pictures this spring for sure! I'm excited to see how everything will look because this will be the first full season since starting my garden projects. For now, I'll share some rose pics from last summer. 🙂












    I think these are:


    Roald Dahl

    Munstead Wood (much darker IRL)

    Secret

    Earth Angel

    Le Petit Prince

    Sophy's Rose

  • Dottie 7B

    Secret, climbing Lady in Red, Margaret Merrill, At Last

  • Rosylady (PNW zone 8)

    You have a beautiful selection of roses....I especially like the roses with the Chanel no5 and the roses with chickens.


    Secret is a really pretty hybrid tea...I've never seen it before. The bush is as pretty as the flowers.

  • flowersaremusic z5 Eastern WA

    Rosylady and I have the same taste. Love the two she mentioned and I love the soft look of At Last.

    I follow an artist on IG that paints exquisite roses in Chanel bottles. Here is an example of her work and one in progress. If you paint, you've already got the props.




  • Dottie 7B

    @rosylady - Secret has the most beautiful scent, too! I planted a second one in my backyard.

    @flowersaremusic - what beautiful paintings! what is the artist's IG name? unfortunately, I don't paint at all.

  • Rosylady (PNW zone 8)

    flowersaremusic....I'd like to know the name of the artist as well

  • flowersaremusic z5 Eastern WA

    Dottie and Rosylady, here's the link to her IG gallery. https://www.instagram.com/carolina.elizabeth.art/

    This artist's massive peonies are incredible.

    http://www.marcellakasparart.com/gallery.html

  • Dottie 7B

    Thanks again for all the advice and information! I ordered a 10-hedge bundle of Olivia Rose Austin 10-hedge bundle. They arrived a few days ago and we planted them on Saturday. I set each 3 feet apart and three feet from the Baby Jade boxwoods. I hope that's a good distance for a cohesive look while allowing for some airflow.


    I had to move a lot of perennials and I have more to move still, so I'm going to wait until everything blooms to decide what else to do with the space. (I also hard pruned the hollies on the right side, which is why they look like sticks.)


    Also, I'm not sure what evergreen I want to flank the front walk of the walkway; open to suggestions.






  • Dottie 7B

    By the way, these are the amendments I used, plus 25 lbs of composted cow manure per bush. I never used the fungi before, but it came with my David Austin order.




  • Vaporvac Z6-OhioRiverValley

    This will be SO exciting to see flower. Please post progress shots! : ))

    Dottie 7B thanked Vaporvac Z6-OhioRiverValley
  • Rosylady (PNW zone 8)

    Wow, your roses will be loving life with all those wonderful amendments! I am looking forward to progress shots too!

  • Lynn-in-TX- Z8b- Austin Area/Central TX

    I also grew Denim & Lace with roses and did not have issues. Denim & Lace is by far my favorite due to its coloring, growth habit, and stature.

    Olivia was not stellar in my desert garden, but it is on my list for ATX.

    You have received so many great suggestions! With all of the input and your choices, the front walk cannot help but be beautiful!!

    Your garden is even more beautiful than I remember, Diane! Thank you for sharing the images.



  • Vaporvac Z6-OhioRiverValley

    What is D&L? I have to look that up... never heard of it before.

  • Vaporvac Z6-OhioRiverValley

    Thank you! I know that plant, but had never heard that name. It is exactly denim! : ))

  • Dottie 7B

    I will post updates when the blooms start!

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