For me, the most satisfying element about gardening is when you create, either by plan or accident, wonderful plant combinations. Not only do companion plants make each other look better, but many plants actually grow better alongside compatible neighbors. I often make the analogy that putting a new plant into the garden is like assembling a new outfit. It's not done when you buy the jacket. It's all the other parts of the outfit like the pants, shirt, tie and socks that make the jacket really standout.
Factors to Consider When Putting Together Plant Combinations
Make sure that the basic growing conditions preferred by the plants in the planting combination are a match. Here are the questions I ask myself before creating a combination planting:
Do they like the same type of soil and soil pH?
Are their watering requirements similar?
Do they have the same sunlight needs?
Are they matched for mature size and plant vigor? Don't plant a tiny rock garden species that grows one inch per year with a "race horse" that triples in size the first growing season and gets three feet tall.
Contrast foliage types and colors. Blue and gray foliage are nice together. Planting fine and bold textured foliage together makes a great combo.
Consider making a group of plants that might be found together in their native habitat. For example, a grouping of South African perennials from the Drakensberg Mountains or a sampling of short grass prairie plants from TX, OK and KS. This is a fun way to re-create regional collections from across the globe in your landscape while teaching you more about the plants and where they come from.
Here are some combinations that work very well. Some are concepts (contrasting flower shapes) and some are specific plant combinations. It's mind-expanding to start thinking about all the wonderful ways plants can be woven together in the landscape.
The magnificent Fall Finale Pollinator Pre-Planned Garden features nectar-rich late season blooms to nourish pollinators into the fall. Towering flowers, showy grasses, unique forms, and attractive foliage create a dynamic design with movement and texture, and blue, warm gold, and silvery colors shift through the seasons. Leave plants standing for a sculptural winter garden. Garden of 12 plants fits 63 square feet.
If you have places in your landscape where most flowers seem to fry from the heat, these tough, long blooming perennials will solve the problem. They thrive in hot, sunny locations and provide flowers over much of the growing season when kept deadheaded. These red, purple and yellow blooms will brighten your yard and withstand the heat. Drought resistant perennial plants (xeric). A collection of nine plants
The Serene Shade Garden uses a bright, blooming assortment of perennials to color-up the shady areas of your yard. Our expertly designed garden includes a planting map and a detailed care guide to help you easily create an oasis in the shade.
Exclusive. The ‘Habitat Hero’ Birdwatcher Pre-Planned Garden will delight gardeners who enjoy attracting birds to their yards with a carefully selected mix of 15 perennials, shrubs and ornamental grasses in mixed pot sizes of 2.5" and 5". Drought resistant/drought tolerant plants (xeric).