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By Crv1963

County Durham, United Kingdom Gb

Advice requested: I have a border 60ft long, 2ft 6 in wide (could be made wider), planted with Laburnham Trees, under planted with shrub roses which flower once, location NE England, 1000ft above sea level, gets a lot of wind and in winter hard frosts.

My questions are what can I do to thicken up the roses- someone hard pruned them 6 years ago and they are slowly recovering- others along another border are 8ft high and covered in masses of flowers again one showing. What can I under plant the border with- I've put spring bulbs in but need to create more interest- I don't mind slow growing/ waiting some years for a good show, prefer flowering to leaves!



Hi Crv. I can't help wondering sounds a very narrow with trees and shrub there any room for more planting...rose roots are so vigorous, not to mention the trees (sorry, you don't say how many). It sounds like a good feed would help the roses pick up, and you'll probably need to widen the border to get your next 'layer' of lower planting some room to grow. If it were me, I'd go for Dianthus as they flower all summer, are evergreen and beautifully scented. I'm in Scotland, East Coast, and I've had one flowering all winter. Lavander is great with Roses too, and hardy geraniums. Some Long flowering varieties. They are tough as old boots. Rozanne is a fabulous one for a start. Hope this gives you some ideas! :) Karen

15 Apr, 2014


I was going to suggest hardy geraniums too. And rugosa roses might perform better than others in that situation. Could be the ground is rather dry with all the tree roots so try a good mulch, and use gel crystals when planting the herbaceous - makes all the difference in a dry place.

Your garden must be a picture when the trees are all in blossom!

15 Apr, 2014


Good tip Stera!

15 Apr, 2014


Thank you for the suggestions, it has 8 Laburnham Trees, 12 shrub roses, 2 Larch Trees (self seeded I think) and a very large (40ft high) conifer in the border. I'll clear under the roses - got lots of self seeded Angelica in it at the moment, then put 6inches of well rotted horse manure down, keep it weed free over the summer and put Hardy Geraniums and Dianthus in as when I get them over the summer, I'll pop the spring bulbs I've had in pots into the mix for spring colour.

16 Apr, 2014


Sound good CRV! What a lot of lovely laburnums! Will look glorious soon. Must get one for here, I love them!

16 Apr, 2014


Thanks for all the advice

16 Apr, 2014


Border now 4'6" wide! Started planting Daffodils from their pots and have put a few lillies and Phlox in :)

21 Apr, 2014

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