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Roses in the Potager...lots of roses :)

Posted by lavender_lass WA zone 4 (My Page) on
Mon, Nov 30, 09 at 15:03

I think my potager may turn into a rose garden with herbs and a few vegetables. I love roses (just started growing them two years ago) but the deer seem to love them too. I don't have a lot of deer and they are NOT hungry, just curious. One little doe found my four roses this spring and started eating them. The next day I moved them and put blueberries in their place, which she spit out and hasn't tried them since.(LOL)

I would really like to add more roses to my garden, but the only area that is practical to fence off is the potager. If necessary, I can put deer fencing aroung it. I'm wondering, does anyone else have roses in their potager? I would love to put roses and herbs around the perimeter (inside the fence) of the garden and have four beds of vegetables...more of a kitchen garden. I'll have to put the big veggies in another area, but that's okay. I would love to have a place to sit and have tea with roses and herbs all around :)

I would appreciate all suggestions and any pictures of other potagers with roses. I know my choices are limited in zone 4, but I think it would be a fun challenge. I like rugosas, old fashioned roses and I might try a few very hardy David Austins.

I'm still hoping to put in a little "provence" garden on the way to the potager, so any ideas or suggestions would be appreciated for that area too :) It's mainly along the back of the house, with western exposure. I thought sunflowers, lavender, maybe some geraniums. Any ideas? Thank you!

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Roses in the Potager...lots of roses :)

I added roses to the potager for the first time this year and they grew exceptionally well. I like growing tea roses as well as some of the heirloom gallicas, albas, etc. I had always planted them in the landscaping, mulched with pine bark. They did OK, but never smashingly well.

This year I decided to buy some new plants and put them in the potager. I put 8 roses against the potager fence, on the North side of the garden and gave them the same treatment that I give the vegetables. That means lots of compost, water when they need it, and a deep mulch of straw. I couldn't believe the difference - they grew so much better than they ever had in the landscaping. A few of them grew to almost 6 feet tall and were covered with beautiful blooms.

Just be careful though - if you put too many flowers in the potager, it won't be a potager anymore! Naturally you can do whatever you wish, but keep in mind that traditionally a potager is a vegetable garden first and flower garden second.


Here is a link that might be useful: Garden Imperative

RE: Roses in the Potager...lots of roses :)

Diggity- You're right. I've just been sitting here trying to figure out how many roses I can squeeze in without losing too many vegetable beds :)

I'm so glad you've had success with your roses in the potager. I'm thinking of planting them on two sides and leaving two sides for veggies. With the four middle beds, this should give me enough room for some vegetables and a few more annual flowers mixed in with them.

I do have vegetable beds in other areas, but I want the potager to be the food I use every day. My nephew has his own area against the west side of the house (probably the best area for tomatoes) and I have the mini-pumpkin and pole bean teepee in the middle of the "pumpkin patch" in the back yard. There's also a bigger vegetable garden planned for next year which will be beyond the potager. I need a big area for corn, potatoes, squash, big root vegetables, broccoli, all those vegetables that are hard to fit into the potager.

I'll keep planning this out over the winter, and probably change my mind a few times, but I think the roses are so pretty, they'll be worth a few vegetables, just not too many :)

RE: Roses in the Potager...lots of roses :)

I have a few roses in my potager, actually at the entrance. I installed an arch at the front and then planted a hedge of boxwoods out from the arch across the entire side to give a fence effect. In front of (outside of) the hedge, I planted a row of Double Knockouts. I had similar results as diggity. They immediately responded to the vastly superior soil in the potager and the more attentive care I gave them. Believe it or not, they are still blooming very heavily. We're supposed to get into the twenties late this week, so that will probably end them. But, what a pleasure they have been!

P.S. I also had a Valentine rose that had been in a pot for a couple of years that I transplanted in with the double Knockouts just for comparison. It did so well this year, and the blooms are so much nicer than DK that I plan to propagate it this winter.

RE: Roses in the Potager...lots of roses :)

donnab - sounds very pretty. Do you have pics posted anywhere?

lavender - you said the deer didn't like blueberries. Did they eat the leaves at all? I want to plant some, but I know they'll get taller than my puny fence. Thanks


RE: Roses in the Potager...lots of roses :)

Ali-b, The deer here (I only have a few) do not like blueberries. I planted some where my roses used to be, when they found the roses and were muching on them. After I replaced them with blueberries, I found one place where a deer had taken a bite of the blueberry branch and spit it out. They didn't try them again. This gave me the idea to hide some smaller roses by planting blueberries behind them and herbs and perennials in front. We'll see how successful that is next year :)

I've read if deer are hungry, they'll eat anything, but mine are not, just curious, so I think if deer are like kids, roses taste like candy and blueberries taste like vegetables (LOL)

RE: Roses in the Potager...lots of roses :)

Do roses count as veggies if you make tea from the rose hips, or candied rose petals and potpourri from the flowers? :-)

Lois in PA

RE: Roses in the Potager...lots of roses :)

Lois- I think they should :)

RE: Roses in the Potager....lots of roses :)

I really like the idea of the roses and herbs around the perimeter of the garden, but now I'm rethinking the vegetables in the middle. I've decided to put veggies on the west side of the house, where they'll get more warmth at night (tomatoes, melons, etc.) and some others in the back yard against the edge of the grass area. This way they're easy to reach and close to the kitchen. The larger vegetable garden will still be behind the potager, for things I want to freeze or can.

In the middle of what was to be the potager, I'm thinking of putting a grape arbor with a table and chairs under it. The arbor would be 8' x 12' with a brick patio and a 5' wide grass path that goes all the way around it and separates the roses from the arbor. I think the arbor would be great, since it gets really hot here in the summer. This garden is on the west side, so I think the shade would be good for me and for the roses in the afternoon, plus it would give me a place to grow grapes and maybe some roses or vines. Any ideas? Better yet, does anyone have any pictures? Thanks for the input :)

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