Planting roses in a mixed border is one of the easiest ways of enjoying roses in your garden. Combine shrub roses, other shrubs, perennials and annuals to create a tapestry of different colours and textures.
Planning a mixed border
Blend both light and mid pink in a mixed border for a romantic effect. Alternatively, simple white flowers allied with green foliage creates a serene feel.
Two or More Colours
For a calm classic mixed border, punctuate whites and creams with deep purples or reds. For something more uplifting, combine orange shades with blues and light purples. The more colours you combine together, the more energetic a feel you will create, especially if it includes a number of stronger shades like reds, yellows and purples.
The Colour of Foliage
The colour of foliage is also worth considering when planning a mixed border. Choose both darker and lighter greens, as well as red-toned foliage, to add both depth and colour, or grey-leaved cotton lavender and artemisia to act as a natural backdrop to vivid colours.
Combine with Purple
Plants with purple or blue flowers, such as salvia and catmint, work especially well in mixed borders as there are not really any roses in this colour group. See our recommendations for Purple Partnering Plants.
Winter and Early Spring
In winter and early spring, small evergreen shrubs and perennials are vital for adding colour with foliage. Hellebores, pulmonarias and primulas all work well. You can also incorporate bulbs, such as snowdrops, crocuses and dwarf daffodils.
For late spring colour in a mixed border, before the roses come into full bloom, try tulips, aquilegia, vibernum and dicentras.
From early autumn until the first frosts, use sedums, salvias, verbenas and compact forms of bedding dahlias to inject colour. .
English Roses are some of the best-loved, high-performance flowers in the garden, so they are perfect for growing in the mixed border. When David Austin set out to breed the English Roses, one of his guiding principles was that his new roses should have the natural, shrubby growth that is typical of their ancestors the Old Roses. This graceful, bushy habit makes them perfect for the mixed border. Unlike most Old Roses, English Roses have the great advantage of repeat flowering in flushes, providing colour and interest in the border from June through to the first frosts.
Purple plants are a particularly good choice for blending with roses within a mixed border. Ranging from soft hues to right tones, there is a shade of purple to complement any colour rose.
For a successful garden, getting planting distances right is important. Plant shrub roses too closely together and the border becomes overcrowded.
By following these simple steps, you will ensure your potted shrub rose gets off to the best possible start.