Cedar Valley Arboretum & Botanic Gardens

In Good Company

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Early last week, we went to work in the Rose Garden.   Our rose collection has always been nice but has not had that “Wow!” factor a visitor would like to find in a formal garden space.  The main problem was that when the roses were not in bloom, we lacked interest in the flowerbeds. 

If you have visited other public gardens in the Midwest, you might have noticed the addition of companion plants in their rose gardens.  After seeing beautiful plantings at Reiman Gardens (Ames, Iowa) and Olbrich Gardens (Madison, Wisconsin), I decided it was time to try it at the Arboretum, too.

Companion plants in a rose garden have many advantages.  We were looking to incorporate perennials to add four-season interest, color and texture.  When companion plants are incorporated, they can also take the spotlight off of the roses when there is disease/insect damage as well as stifle weeds.

Here is what we planted in the Rose Garden:

  • Achillea ‘Appleblossom’ — Yarrow
  • Artemesia ‘Silver Brocade’ — Artemesia
  • Geranium ‘Johnson’s Blue’ – Perennial Geranium or Cranesbill
  • Huechera ‘Palace Purple’ – Coral Bells
  • Lamium maculatum — Lamium
  • Leucanthemum ‘White Knight’ – Shasta Daisy
  • Panicum virgatum ‘Heavy Metal’ – Blue Switch Grass
  • Perovskia longin – Russian Sage
  • Popaver  orientale ‘Princess Louise’ — Poppy
  • Salvia ‘Blue Queen’ – Meadow Sage
  • Salvia ‘May Night’ – Meadow Sage
  • Stachys ‘Silky Fleece’


The plantings look a little pitiful at the moment, but soon will be overflowing with color as the new perennials take off.  Make sure to visit often to watch this garden’s progress!

See you in the gardens.


Written by cedarvalleyarboretum

May 27, 2010 at 6:00 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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