July is a colorless month in our roses-only garden. The roses have finished their June bloom and the spent flowers have been deadheaded. However, we have daylilies and other companion plants in our other, sustainable rose garden and found that July in this garden can be as colorful, if not more colorful, as it was in June.
Although our roses are a few weeks away from the flush of their second bloom cycle in August, many repeat blooming roses continue to produce flowers, although not in great numbers. As I documented the progress of our sustainable rose garden, I was struck by how colorful the garden was with the daylilies taking center stage and our roses providing an interesting palette of texture, shape and colors in the background.
After the daylilies have gone by, we will have to make some changes. Because this garden receives over 8 hours of daily sunlight, the daylilies have become giants and are crowding out the “stars” of the garden – our roses. The same daylilies growing in our shady, backyard garden are half the size.
Some daylilies will have to go so we can provide a healthy environment for the disease resistant roses we’ve chosen with such care. In a rose garden that receives no chemical spray, it’s important to provide a lot of air circulation around and within each rose bush. Our roses are placed far enough apart to allow for good circulation, but the problem is that the daylilies have invaded their space!
We will remove some varieties and split others, passing them on to friends. I think we’ll add other companion plants to replace the daylilies we remove. I loved the blue alliums we saw in the Montreal Botanical Rose Garden and also the delphiniums and clematis at the rose garden at Blithewold. These will make less intrusive companions to the roses, lavender, sedum, and Mike’s tomato plant that already reside in the garden.