Underplanting roses with groundcovers can be used instead of a mulch to shade the roots and can look really pretty.
Dig into this article for some inspiration on groundcovers that pair beautifully with roses and advice and tips on maintainting groundcovers so as to not compete with your roses.
White Alyssum is superb and is strongly scented. See how effectively it has been used in Vivienne Black's garden.
Australian Violets are nice too, but they form a dense mat of roots and more water is needed to reach the rose roots. They should be dug up, spilt and replanted annually to allow the water to penetrate better.
Taller plants easily intrude and even grow into the rose bushes, so that the leaves don’t get enough sun, and this causes defoliation at lower levels. The hairy leaves of perennials such as Foxgloves
can provide a breeding place for spider mites.
Delphiniums are a better option. The foliage is lighter and airier and the blue of the blooms contrasts beautifully with the softer colouring of the roses.
Lavender enjoys the extra water and nutrients but then grows rapidly. One needs to keep it trimmed.
Pictured below, the ‘Knock Out’ roses have been alternated with Japanese silver grass
(Miscanthus) and flowering Bulbine
‘Fire Chief’. The grasses, and spikey Bulbine leaves catch the sun, bringing movement and texture.
Silvery leafed Gomphostigma
(River Stars) in the background adds to the grassy effect. Carex
‘Amazon Mist’ is planted as a low growing border in front of the roses.
Underplanting roses with rock roses is no problem at all. They don't compete.
Star Jasmine smells good but keeps interfering and needs to be trimmed regularly.
Pictured below is a miniature happily growing alongside Plectranthus (Spurflower
Pansies growing in front of 'South Africa' and 'Playmate' create a colourful border.
Have any mainstay groundcovers for roses in your garden? Please comment below!