Groundcover for 'groundcover roses'?
I have groundcover roses growing in the full-full sun front yard, z6a, Great Lakes.
Every winter they die to the ground and in the spring the new growth begin to emerge. This takes time - to the end of May (last frost date May,9).
Question is: what can be used to fill bare ground between roses, which later will be covered by rose branches? One that will not interfere with roses' roots.
I tried: wooly thyme, Elfin thyme, dianthus, armeria maritima, arenaria verna, aegopodium podagraria, and (out of line, big, but very early folliage, z2) - oriental poppy. Spring bulbs also, of course, but squirrels deadheaded not only tulips, but daffofils also... Right next to the Fritillaria Imperialis.
Not much success yet with low-growing groungcovers - they grow very-very slowly, thymes have dead bare branches in the center (3rd yr of growing). I was cautioned that watering and fertilizing of the roses could interfere with grouncover development.
Any ideas about grouncover compatible with groundcover roses, that visible already in April-May (days warm, but night temperatures are slightly above freezing)?