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By Mihar1

Norfolk, United Kingdom Gb


I have moved house and so have a new garden! There is a fairly formal style rectangular bed with two rows of 5 rose bushes (with dark pink, white and peach flowers). The bed is also chock full of bluebells which look amazing during end April/early May before the roses start to bloom. I would like to get a second show from the underplanting but I'm not sure what to use. Are there any suitable perennials? The bluebells are lovely so I want to keep them, is there anything that would start to come up, say, mid June when I've cleared the dead bluebell leaves away?

This year I'm planting annuals, but would prefer a more 'sustainable' option.




There are hundreds of herbaceous perennials that you can choose from. Scroll down to the bottom of this page and click on H and then Herbaceous perennials. There are 1500 photos to choose from.

14 Jun, 2011


Thanks, I was hoping to find one that has leaves that don't come up until mid June, so I can clear all the bluebell leaves away easily. This seems to be the sort of info that is hard to find if you aren't an experienced gardener and already know the 'habits' of plants.

14 Jun, 2011


I can't think of a single thing that does that, Mihar - most plants produce leaves if not flowers before then. Only thing I can think of is Nerines, which at least will provide a display of pink flowers in September/October, but believe it or not, their leaves appear in early spring as well.

14 Jun, 2011


Under roses you could try something like heuchera which has a wide rather than tall basal growth of foliage followed by flowers over the summer. The beauty of them is that they are evergreen (not necessarily green but lots of different coloured foliage). Bluebells tend to have large seed heads which I just pull away and do not allow them to seed or I would have too many. The leaves of the bluebells tend to die quite quickly so it would be easy enough to clear that away at the same time. If you do as Inverglen suggests and Click on H then Heuchera you will find a lovely article about them by Vicky, a member on this site and holder of the uk collection of heuchera. She and hubby run Plantagogo. They have a website.

14 Jun, 2011


The bluebells will come up and through any other developing plants . You dont need to have only one followed by the next one. Plants will live and develop together and plants like bluebells will come through no matter what else you plant. Yes heucheras are attractive plants and there are lots of hardy perennial geraniums in flower in June . Geums, erysimum, nasturtiums , campanula and so many more would all live easily and flower after or with your bluebells.

15 Jun, 2011


Campanula carpatica would be a great choice because it only grows to 4" and is evergreen. It flowers over a long period too. Watch the heights of the foliage on the perennial geraniums. They come in all shapes and sizes so you should get one or two that will not grow so high as to interfere with your roses. Good luck with your choices.

15 Jun, 2011


Scotsgran likes low growing plants underplanting her roses but I have all sorts and dont mind plants that come up much taller. Every gardener is different and it's all a matter of personal choice . In fact I prefer the medium height geraniums that hide the woody base of my roses. As time goes on you too will develop your own personal style and preferences. Good luck with your planting. And you won't get it just right first time. It will be trial and error as with all of us.

15 Jun, 2011


Your bluebells do look amazing among the roses.

15 Jun, 2011

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