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Jackson & Perkins Rose Companions: Growing Annuals, Perennials, Bulbs, Shrubs, and Vines with Roses

Jackson & Perkins Rose Companions:  Growing Annuals, Perennials, Bulbs, Shrubs,
Stephen Scanniello
Cool Springs Press

paper, 224 p., $22.99

Replacing the traditional formal design of a rose garden, planted exclusively with roses, the mixed border of roses and companion plantings is gaining increasing favor among contemporary rose enthusiasts. As many have found, a garden planted with only one kind of flower is boring. Garden designer Stephen Scanniello has concluded that when used successfully, companion plantings will hide the more obvious ailments of roses, such as black spot and mildew, as well as provide colorful interest between bloom cycles. Early in the season and later when roses are pruned back to encourage new growth, companion plantings can add valuable garden displays, not encountered in the traditional rose garden. Combined with evergreens, a contemporary mixed border can have year round interest that is not possible when a rose garden is restricted to traditional design.

After discussing the characteristics of different types of roses, the author first considers the factors that go into garden design, such as analysis of site, including environmental challenges in soils and climate, as well as the wants and needs of the property owner. After a brief review of the principles of designs, the text suggests examples of good design, illustrating successful elements in full color photographs. A directory of companion plantings includes a descriptive listing of annuals, bulbs, herbs, perennials, shrubs, trees, and vines. An excellent chapter on pruning roses answers the many questions on when and how to prune the different rose species and cultivars.

— Marilyn K. Alaimo, garden writer and volunteer, Chicago Botanic Garden