Colorful Combinations for Mid-May

A pair of perennials by Blooms of Bressingham have been playing well together for several years in a sunny bed with excellent drainage. Dianthus 'Heart's Desire' is nearly overshadowed by Penstemon 'Prairie Twilight', but each, with their bi-colored natures, enhance one another easily.

Another Blooms of Bressingham winner in my garden is Helianthemum 'Hartswood Ruby', which debunks the idea that reds don't get along. The addition of Alstromeria 'Inca Ice', a Walter's Garden introduction, helps diffuse any temper flares between the Helianthemum and the bright red Dianthus 'Fire Star'.
A casual combination using Nepeta, Siberian iris and Stachys 'Pink Cotton Candy' works well with ornamental grasses and daylilies, which will freshen up the look as the summer wears on.

Salvia 'Madeline' with Baptisia 'Purple Smoke'
I don't know about you, but I can't seem to have too much blue in the garden. Like true red, it's an elusive color to find, with most flowers described as blue are really closer to purple. A new hardy Salvia called 'Madeline' came through the winter with flying colors, its true-blue calyxes seeming to float in mid air next to Baptisia 'Purple Smoke'.

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