How would you finish this bed?

amy35603July 5, 2010

Hi, I am almost finished with this bed; however, thought I could use your input.

Any ideas of what to plant behind the knock-out roses? I am in Alabama (Zone 7).



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    Bookmark   July 5, 2010 at 10:36PM
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An espaliered Pyracantha. White flowers during summer that would contrast nicely with knockout roses.
And attractive winter berries when knockout roses are dormant.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2010 at 1:30AM
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Wait... Let me add this to my last post: Pyracantha flower most heavily during spring. Summer flowers are sparse.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2010 at 1:51AM
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peachymomo(Ca 8)

I agree with fanofgarden, I think an espaliered plant with white flowers and winter interest would be perfect.

Would it be appropriate to ask 'ideasshare' to stop posting such gaudy and unhelpful pics? This one doesn't even have anything to do with the request, the knockouts are almost completely covered.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2010 at 9:48AM
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Thank you for the ideas......

The fence is 8 ft tall - do I need anything for height?

    Bookmark   July 6, 2010 at 2:31PM
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I agree some thing clinging to the fence is the only option. I hope you realize that the existing bed will be too small by next year. K.O. roses get big very quickly and it never seems to be a good time to prune them as they bloom like wild once they get going. have another peak at the tag for mature size and reconsider the depth of the bed now.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2010 at 6:26PM
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sleepy33(5b KS)

I have to agree with ilikemud. You have a lot more restraint than I do, if that were my yard, the bed would be 2 or 3 times as big! Then again, I tend to go a little overboard sometimes. :) As far as height for the back of the border, hollyhocks would be tall and not take up much space, and would tie in well with the roses. There are some beautiful varieties. Also, delphiniums are fairly tall, as well as verbascum, buddleia, tall garden phlox. Echinacea would be a good mid-height perennial that loves sun. You could do some kind of a vine along the fence, though some types won't climb up the smooth wood, you'd have to add some twine or trellis material perhaps. There now, so many ideas, you'll have to make the bed bigger. :)

    Bookmark   July 6, 2010 at 7:32PM
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missingtheobvious(Blue Ridge 7a)

The fence is 8 ft tall - do I need anything for height?

I'm not quite sure what you're saying. Are you asking about something which will grow as high as the fence? That's why the pyracantha is being suggested. With just two or three, you could cover the fence behind the whole bed.

Some pyracanthas grow even taller than your fence, so you'd want to choose not only for the berry color (red, orange, or yellow), but also for the size.

Espaliering is recommended here to keep it up against the fence and out of the way of the roses.;ndsp=20

    Bookmark   July 6, 2010 at 7:34PM
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Pyracantha would have no problem to cover your 8ft fence.
If you want something interesting between your rose and Pyracantha, I could only think of allium because there is not enough space...
You could have much more options if the depth of the bed is increased.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2010 at 7:39PM
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The Knockouts will get 5' tall and need 4 feet between them and the fence. So espalier, or nothing, would be fine.
Also, you could consider planting some temporary tall annuals for fun, until the Knockouts really take off (could still work with espalier, especially in early phase).

    Bookmark   July 7, 2010 at 6:45PM
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karinl(BC Z8)

Nope, there's no point in asking "Ideasshare" to stop. We've tried, dating back to his/her first identity as "landscapedesignchina"; s/he won't. The pictures are flat-out ridiculous most of the time. Unfortunately, s/he's fast too; that is usually the first response most posters get.

People have even tried being nice and pointing out what is wrong with the pictures. No change.

You could complain to the forum administration; I think they might have banned the LDchina ID, and we had peace for a while. But, s/he's back!


    Bookmark   July 8, 2010 at 12:27PM
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I, too, find it dismaying to open a thread and find bizarro world gone mad. I'm sure even the Eastern mindset wouldn't cotton to those impossible designs.

However, you post a photo on a public forum and you're fair game. I don't know how far tolerance gets you, but it's possible this person with his/her little design program is trying to be as helpful as shutters and a window box on every window and a pergola hanging somewhere off the house front is trying to be helpful.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2010 at 1:51PM
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Wow.....GREAT information, suggestions, tips, advice, etc. I'll spend some time researching the suggestions you all have given. I'm an amateur at gardening to say the least.

My earlier comment - "The fence is 8 ft tall - do I need anything for height?"
I don't necessarily think I need to have something grow as tall as the fence - but, I am honestly not good at being able to visualize the finished design.

The back yard looks a bit like a "box" due to the 8 ft fence. I thought that if I added something with height I could soften the "boxed" in feeling.

Thank you again for your expertise. I appreciate all the help. Please keep the suggestions/ideas coming.....I need all the help I can get!

    Bookmark   July 8, 2010 at 6:56PM
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missingtheobvious(Blue Ridge 7a)

Covering up parts of the fence should help make the fence less dominant. So will having some taller-than-the-fence trees or shrubs adjacent to the fence or hiding the view of it (whereas if all the plants were short, the entire top line of the fence would be visible, which I think would still give a boxlike effect).

    Bookmark   July 8, 2010 at 10:03PM
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I would agree with M.T.O. the fence is a player in this design, as well as the borrowed view of the neighbors house and their plants that poke over the fence.

As this appears to be the only area of the fence to be concealed the remaining fence will be shown still and the shape of this blank slate needs to be considered as well.

At my house the neighbors fence is 6 feet tall and my plant are easily seen over the top of his fence as viewed from his side. It makes their fence look ridiculous and makes my plantings more mysterious. What's that going on on the other side of the fence it seems to ask?

    Bookmark   July 9, 2010 at 8:32AM
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