So you fall in love with a plant at a garden center, online or in a magazine. It arrives on your doorstep and, if you're like me, try to find a place to put it in your garden. You'll determine the best spot for its light, soil and moisture requirements, make sure it can defend itself against bullies if necessary, tuck it in and hope for the best.
But there is just one more consideration, possibly the most challenging. That consideration is its "playmates." After gardening for decades, I still fail at more in-ground combination attempts than I succeed at. I only have so much room and energy. At least that's my excuse. So when I stumble upon a working group, I snap its photo.
|Cleome 'Seniorita Blanca' with Geranium 'Rozanne' |
and Echinacea 'Magnus'.
|Crocosmia 'Lucifer' with Amsonia|
Quite by chance, another combination was created. I love Amsonia hubrechtii three seasons of the year. With its subtle blue spring flowers and bright gold foliage in the fall, it has quite a bit to offer. But let's not forget the summer, when it stands just three feet tall and lends an airy quality to its bolder neighbors. A good neighbor for its vertical nature is Crocosmia, and in this case 'Lucifer'.
Things tend to get tall this time of the year, especially in a sun-challenged garden like mine. I neglected to cut back Monarda 'Raspberry Wine' in mid-May, so it stands about five feet tall on the east side of my house. And, just as I pretend to have planned it, Asiatic lily 'White Tycoon' keeps it company.
|Lilium 'White Tycoon' with Monarda 'Raspberry Wine'|
|Heuchera with Acanthus spinosus and Mukdenia 'Crimson Fans'|