Companions: White, Gray, Herbs?

meslgh(DFW 8a)August 4, 2014

I was beginning to turn my thoughts back to rose companions, and I realized that I mostly have bluish purple companions. I would love to add some white or silvery gray to the garden. I've really wanted to add some sort of white umbillefer, but I've been afraid that they are all a little too vigorous. The other day, it occurred to me that I like to grow cilantro, and I get frustrated at how easily it bolts in the heat, but the flowers are white, and I could just grow my cilantro in with the roses. Then I got to wondering, would cilantro be a good match culturally for the roses? I know a lot of people grow herbs with roses, but is cilantro a good choice?

I would also love to hear about your favorite white, gray, or herbal companions (particularly, if they magically did not take up any room that I could use for yet another rose!).

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I only grow cilantro in the winter, and it still bolts quickly. Oregano has white flowers, is perennial, and isn't nearly as invasive as mint. Feverfew might work for you and although they aren't "herbs", I would suggest white pentas, white Texas sage or yarrow.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2014 at 8:48PM
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AquaEyes 7a New Jersey

If you like the idea of Queen Anne's Lace in a nicer plant, consider Orlaya grandiflora. It grows easily from seed, and self-sows nicely without becoming invasive.



This post was edited by AquaEyes on Mon, Aug 4, 14 at 22:40

    Bookmark   August 4, 2014 at 10:38PM
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ArbutusOmnedo 10/24

I don't see it very often, but White Limonium is very pretty in a mixed border with roses. I like Diascia, in particular the cultivar 'Ice Cracker' which is airier than other Diascias and has nice grey-green foliage to go with white flowers. White Penstemon is a nice white flowering companion plant. I also really like the white variety of Centranthus. Santolina (Lavender Cotton), Lamb's Ears, and Dusty Miller seem like go to grey foliage plants. I like Fennel and Bronze Fennel in mixed borders for their upright presence as far as herbs go. Culinary sage can provide grey interest as well.


    Bookmark   August 4, 2014 at 11:26PM
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ingrid_vc(Z10 SoCal)

I had a white Limonium and loved it but it died, and I've never seen another one in any nursery. My favorite is marjoram syriacus because the bees love it and it blooms for a very long time. It can get large but can be cut back. I don't mind the size since it's so airy and delicate, and in my opinion it looks great with roses, irises and daylilies. I also have several as a border under a window against a very hot wall. No one seems to like it much here or grow it but it's one of the few companion plants that has lasted here, unlike lamb's ears, dusty miller or any number of other hopefuls.


    Bookmark   August 5, 2014 at 12:27AM
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muscovyduckling(Melbourne, Australia)

Oh, I started a thread about this topic too (sort of). Got some fantastic replies from the good folks here. Here's the link if you haven't already seen the thread :)

Here is a link that might be useful: My previous thread

    Bookmark   August 5, 2014 at 3:03AM
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muscovyduckling(Melbourne, Australia)

I might also add that parsley flowers are pretty white umbels. I'm going to pop some in the front of my rose beds. If they bolt it won't matter anymore. I'll just pretend I let them do that on purpose.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2014 at 3:06AM
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hoovb zone 9 sunset 23

if you want white foliage, the new Stachys 'Bello Grigio' is quite a gorgeous plant.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2014 at 12:58PM
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Seconds for santolina, lambs' ears, & artemisias. They all do fine in TX heat & drought--fine enough that you might have to thin & wack back occasionally.

There are also white Salvia greggis. I like feverfew & phyrethrum--ferny foliage, white daisies. Silver ponyfoot (dicondra) makes a great low spreading groundcover. The native ox eye daisies & fleabane daisies have a long bloom period & do well.

Also, the various thymes have done well. The variegated silver might have the coloring you like--plus it smells great. The augustifolia lavenders do well, too--but need to be in the back, as they grow large & spread.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2014 at 2:26PM
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fig_insanity Z7a E TN

For SILVER: Artemesia "Powis Castle" or "David's Choice". David's Choice is my choice, too. It's fluffy, silver, 2' tall and wide, doesn't spread but easily roots from cuttings, drought resistant, and looks good no matter what (except too much rain, which will cause rot).

    Bookmark   August 5, 2014 at 5:33PM
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I second a white Pentstemon. I've got Husker's red which also gives me a nice purple-y leaf to look at for the rest of the summer. Here in Tn in bloomes in the spring with the roses and does well the garden when it is near irragation as well as when it is in a drier area. Fine in my cly soil too.

Here is a link that might be useful: Penstimon

    Bookmark   August 5, 2014 at 5:56PM
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I love sage, there are several varieties. Provence lavender has nice grayish foliage. My FAVORITE companion for roses is Guara. Drought tolerant and so airy looking. It blooms a long time and the flowers look like butterflies flitting about! You should try it.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2014 at 6:18PM
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Anise hyssop might be a consideration. It reseeds readily but the plants while tall stay fairly slender and haven't require staking in my garden. Bees and butterflies love the rather deep lavender spires and it has scented foliage. Also it blooms midsummer.

My plants tend to be about 8 inches wide by 4 - 5 feet tall. My soil is fairly rich and consistently moist. I would imagine they would be smaller in drier areas?

    Bookmark   August 5, 2014 at 8:04PM
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I guess you might also look into wormwood, an herb with very pretty silvery foliage. See how it does in your climate.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2014 at 8:22PM
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Oh! Oh! *hands up*

And don't forget about Blackfoot daisy! If you've got or can provide good drainage for it, nothing blooms so long or abundantly as that native.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2014 at 9:20PM
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Russian sage, Perovskia, is gray leaved, airy and blue flowered. It blooms about now here and I understand that it has been used to flavor vodka (what hasn't?) and so with that and scented foliage I guess it qualifies as an herb.


    Bookmark   August 6, 2014 at 1:14AM
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ArbutusOmnedo 10/24

It could be deadheaded but here is the white limonium I found earlier this year.


    Bookmark   August 11, 2014 at 5:40PM
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    Bookmark   August 13, 2014 at 8:08PM
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Campanula UK Z8

leucophyllums - there are a couple at least which should be stellar for your area.
My top species tulip, t.batalinii - gorgeous glaucous foliage with dainty primrose or apricot blooms.
mannerly umbels - athamanta turbith, orlaya, the amazing brooding angelica sylvestris Vicar's Meade or Ebony
salvia leucophyllum
astelia nervosa,
eryngium yuccifolium
papaver pilosum
geranium renardii or 'Silver Cloak
convolvulous cneorum
centaurea dealbata

    Bookmark   August 14, 2014 at 1:26PM
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