I've been thinking of a design for the garden bed that I see as I sit at my dining table. The bed isn't there yet, we have to reconfigure the sprinkler system, rip out grass and improve the soil first. But it's fun to think of what I'll plant there in a few years.
My inspiration comes from a crimson rose bush planted next to a lavender bush that I pass on my walks around our neighborhood. Both plants are kind of ratty-looking, but the color combo always makes me sigh with delight. Deep cherry red next to cool blue-violet. Delicious.
Note - all these pictures are from catalogs, so I'll note the website and call it free advertising.
The bed will be edged with 'Big Blue' liriope (14" tall x 12" wide), available from bluestoneperennials.com. I love to put a fountain-shaped plant at the front edge of a flower bed, and I LOVE blue-violet flowers against the crimson roses that I'll plant behind. These bloom early to late summer.
Just behind the liriope will be big groups of stargazer lilies (about 3' tall), available from dutchbulbs.com. These will bloom when the roses aren't blooming as heavily, in mid-summer. And if there are any crimson roses blooming, the crimson-pink-white lilies will blend beautifully. Plus they smell delicious.
Behind the lilies will be staggered 'LD Braithwaite' english rose bushes (4.5' tall x 4' wide), available from davidaustinroses.com. I convinced a friend to order some of these last year, then fell in love with the flowers when I saw them in her yard. These should bloom mostly heavily in early summer and early fall.
In the spaces between the staggered roses, I'll put dark blue-violet 'Pagan Purples' delphiniums (4-6' tall x 2-3' wide), available from delphinium.co.nz. They'll bloom with the roses in early summer, and if I cut them back they'll bloom again with the roses in the fall.
I'll punctuate the planting with groups of 'Worth the Wait' siberian iris (about 3' tall), available from jpwflowers.com. The upright, spiky clumps should be a nice contrast to the other plant forms in the bed. These might bloom with the roses or earlier, but either way I'll like the leaves for the rest of the season.
So that will make a beautiful view from my dining table. And all of these flowers put together would make a lovely, fragrant cut-flower arrangement ON the table as well. Add a bench, an arch, some clematis growing over the top . . . and I'll have a place to enjoy it from the middle of the bed, too.