Friday, August 26, 2011

A Plant Combination Idea

I'm sitting here inside today, waiting for the (thankfully only) outer bands of Irene to whip my little garden to a smushed up mess.  All the potted plants are inside though, and my statue is tipped over to the ground so it won't come out of this looking like the Venus de Milo or Winged Victory.  I have potted roses inside, so the house smells quite lovely.  However, Siggy went absolutely bonkers last night which resulted in the Garfield-ification of several plants.  (sigh)

What goes on when you are upstairs sleeping....

Anyhow, back to the point, while I was moving in my pots yesterday I was looking around at what was fried to death and what was really working, and it dawned on me that I had a really good plant combination going on out there:

Rose bushes and 4'oclocks.  They both love the full sun, and just as the bottoms of the roses get a little blackspotty and lose leaves, those 4 o'clocks are growing taller and filling in every available space underneath.  Plus they tend to sprawl outwards a little underneath, which is nicely hidden by the sturdy rose stems.    Of course right at the moment I can't take a picture so you'll just have to trust me, but here's one from about 2 months ago where you can barely see a white one coming in under the roses.  Sorry that's the best I've got from inside here.

I have spent the past 2.5 years slowly trying to select only the dark pink 4 o'clocks out of original seed packets I put down and its slowly starting to work out.  I still have some whites too, which are nice at night, but I've eradicated the yellows.  I also steal seeds from the sidewalk 4 o'clocks that I see that are the fuchsia pink color.  It is a near 100% match for the 'red' version of the knockout rose and, well, I'm telling ya! Its a good combo for the late summer garden.   Mine reseed easily and they require no care, but don't also seem to mind the extra water they get by being with the roses.

One thing I will say though, they really do need full sun.  I have some planted in part sun and its just not the same. I'm thinking 6+ hours minimum.  And for those of you who haven't been near them before, they have a distinct smell at night which I love.

I hope everyone in the path of this storm has a nice safe weekend.


  1. Hey Jess, I love the picture of your cat attacking the plants. He felt like the fair was in town ! Hopefully Charleston won't get too bad a brunt of this, so far it is not supposed to. Will keep fingers crossed and pray for everyone, take care, Gina

  2. And I eradicated all my 4-o'clocks! I may now have to rethink that! Stay safe. I hope Irene doesn't give you any problems.

  3. Very cool suggestion! There's a Double Pink Knockout Rose in my 'Sun Garden' that looks lanky & in need of companionship. I hope 'Irene' has minimal impact by you - it sure looks massive on the weather reports.

  4. Here I am on a small island off the coast of Maine with all my containers (and porch furniture etc.) inside waiting for Irene to hit. Blogging makes the world even smaller--in a fun way.

  5. Now you have me worried about the plants I put indoors today. I left both plants and cat inside the house while I went to work as the winds were still quite high this morning. Hoping I arrive home and plants are still intact! Love that you're snitching seeds from select plants to create your own combination. Great idea.

  6. Hi Jess, I'm glad you're out of harm's way. Irene was a pretty nasty one, I hear. Your plant combo is genius. I have two "red" Knockouts. I'll have to give that a try next year.

  7. I am glad you found a combination that works for you. I am looking forward to more pictures :).

    I am sorry it took me so long to answer your question on my blog (I have not been feeling that great), but I have a better answer now: I cut back those canes on Jude a little and I now have two new canes coming from the very top of those original canes. Not a look I like. I think in winter I am going to shorten the original canes more (maybe by half) in the hope that they will start branching lower down and give me a bushier look. We'll see.