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Roses in the Herb Garden

I've fallen in love with Drift® Family of Roses. These low, spreading shrubs have the vigor of a groundcover rose and the abundant blooms of a miniature rose.

Now every rose needs a companion, and I have found that herbs and Drift® Roses make good bedfellows. Like herbs, Drift® Roses are low maintenance. Plus their petite stature won't overwhelm herbs and it makes them ideal for the typically small herb garden. The series includes 7 color varieties, but my favorites for pairing with herbs are Peach Drift®, Sweet Drift®, Apricot Drift® and, for a punch of color, Coral Drift®.

Herbs are beneficial to roses too. They won't hog the moisture and nutrients that roses crave. Aromatic varieties such as scented geraniums, lavender and catmint will help repel foraging wildlife. And the old timers say that members of the onion family such as chives are reputed to ward off aphids and prevent black spot.

Coral Drift Rose If you plant your herbs and Drift® Roses in the right conditions, you'll find that they will thrive with little work on your part. Both need full sun and well-drained soil. If your garden site doesn't drain well, work a generous amount of compost into the soil or create a framed, raised bed. Before planting supplement the soil with an organic fertilizer such as aged manure. Good air circulation keeps plants healthy so space plants with the mature size in mind. Top the soil with a 2 to 3 inch layer of mulch to retain moisture and keep the weeds at bay. You'll find that Drift® Roses only need pruning in early spring when they can be cut back to 6 inches from the ground. At the same time apply an organic rose fertilizer or work more compost into the soil.