What would my roses like?

ginamarina(z4/5 WI)October 6, 2007

I'm growing a garden specifically for my cats, which has proven more of a task than I thought! I have my list of non-poisonous plants - an they include roses. My roses never get enough attention anyway, so I'd like to move them into the enclosure so they will be watered and enjoyed more. My 16x16' deck is also enclosed here, so I spend lots of time outside with the kitties.

I have a path from the fence gate to the deck steps, curved and lined with brick, filled with landscape fabric and red granite stones. The cats LOVE walking the bricks, so I plan to keep using them in and around things. I'm not very keen on going in there with the weed whacker and mowing the grass, even though I know the cats like to play in it... and catch lots of grasshoppers to bring in the house ;-)

Here is my question. I have a few options with the roses. I've decided they will go perpendicular to the start of the stone walkway, along the fence. I can:

1 - put the 3 roses in a row, 2' apart, next to the fence, line the area with landscape fabric, and cover with more red stones like a big rectangle.

2 - do the same as above except skip the fabric and fill the bed in with short sedum, which is now growing in with 2 of the three roses now, but looks like heck because I don't ever get out there to water or weed it.

3 - make three circles with the bricks, connecting each for cat walking, put a rose in each circle and put landscape fabric on the outside with the stones, and the sedum on the inside with the roses.

4 - or do the same as above except line the insides with the rose plants, landscape fabric and stone, and plant the sedum on the outside of the bricks.

I'm leaning toward the last option, so the weeding won't involve rose thorns, but does landscape fabric provide adequate ventilation and water to the roses? I have two hybrid teas: Princess Diana, a Double Delight, and an unknown floribunda that I may replace.

Any input would be much appreciated.

Gina

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athenainwi

I'd skip the landscape fabric and stone. It makes it very difficult to fertilize the roses and weeds will eventually start to grow on top of it. I have one spot where I use the fabric as I don't want anything to grow there, but I don't use it anywhere else. The stones look pretty but don't breakdown and improve the soil the way a mulch does, and they don't block weeds very well either. Instead, use newspaper or cardboard around the perimeter of the rose with mulch on top of it. That works well to block the weeds. You might want to try a small nepeta (catmint) instead of sedum as a rose companion. There's one at Bluestone that sounds very good for what you'd want. I don't have any myself but it's on my list of companions to try out and I know cats like it.

Here is a link that might be useful: Bluestone Nepeta

    Bookmark   October 7, 2007 at 1:02PM
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ginamarina(z4/5 WI)

oooh, that is really pretty. I'll look in to that. I am thinking myself that the fabric may keep the water and fertilizer away from the roses and I don't want that. The sedum is very low growing so I may just keep it around the borders and along the fence. Hopefully with proper watering it will prevent most of the weeds. My rose patch looks awful now, but it's under a young oak tree and I never even get out there.

I really like that Nepeta, I didn't know there were more types of it. My alyssum and chamomile were problems for me this year, they are ok for kitties as well. Hostas and ferns are ok, so I want to find a nice collection of them for the other side of the walkway where it is more shady.

I'm sure the roses will appreciate being taken care of better, and I'll sure enjoy them more.

Thanks for the response

Gina

    Bookmark   October 7, 2007 at 10:49PM
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