5 SIMPLE STEPS TO PRETTY (AND PRACTICAL) PLANT COMBOS

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Ensemble Plant Performances — Stronger Together

Even a common, ubiquitous plant can be elevated by its association with a complementary partner — just like two musicians, each player adds perfectly-timed contributions of foliage, flower, fragrance, or other pleasing attribute, and the song is made.

In the combination below, the lowly Viburnum davidii assumes a more rarified demeanor when lit from beneath by the grassy mounds of the brightly-variegated foliage of Carex oshiomensis 'Everest'. And bold, leathery foliage is downright handsome when paired with the fine texture of Pieris japonica 'Little Heath', its blushing new growth picking up the rich tones of Heuchera 'Mahogany'.

Evergreen Foliage Combo for Year Round Good Looks

Zone: 7, 8, 9
Exposure: Full Sun, Morning Sun, Part Shade, Part Sun, Full Sun

view combo

Some planting combinations are about celebrating a moment, reveling in the details: the vein of a leaf, the color of a stem, the throat of a flower — our appreciation of the delicious details is heightened. The new growth of Pieris 'Little Heath’ is accentuated by its association with Rhododendron 'Medusa' and Heucherella 'Sweet Tea'. This plant performance accentuates the pleasing detail of a repeated color.

Celebrating a moment in time, the still-tight buds of Rhododendron ‘Ebony Pearl’ speak to the plum-red color of the interior splotch on the juvenile foliage of its neighbor, Heucherella ‘Brass Lantern’.

Foliage Combo in Bronze

Zone: 6, 7, 8, 9
Exposure: Open Shade, Filtered Sun, Morning Sun, Open Shade, Part Shade, Part Sun, Full Shade

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In early spring, the silvery-blue fronds of this lady fern are lined with deep pink veins which really pop when planted next to the showy foliage of Heuchera 'Georgia Plum'.

Woodland Garden with Foliage Focus

Zone: 5, 6, 7, 8
Exposure: Open Shade, Filtered Sun, Morning Sun, Open Shade, Part Shade

view combo

The dill-like umbels of Bupleurum fruticosum and a bright yellow conifer, Chamaecyparis 'Vintage Gold' make an electric pair in this summertime scene.

Evergreen Shrub Combo with Sunny Golden Foliage and Flower

Zone: 6, 7, 8, 9
Exposure: Afternoon Sun, Full Sun

view combo

The energetic tension introduced by strong contrast, whether of color, form or texture, is a sure way to engage your garden visitors. These everyday plants merit a second look – they just needed to find their soulmate, their perfect partner.

Foliage Plant Combo with Textural Contrast

Zone: 7, 8, 9
Exposure: Open Shade, Filtered Sun, Morning Sun, Open Shade, Part Shade, Part Sun, Full Shade

view combo

Monochromatic Perennial Combo with Varied Flower Shapes

Zone: 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9
Exposure: Afternoon Sun, Full Sun, Reflected Heat, Full Sun

view combo

Vivid Red and Yellow Combo for Sun

Zone: 8, 9
Exposure: Full Sun, Part Sun, Full Sun

view combo

Lonicera nitida 'Twiggy' is the perfect foil for the bold, quasi-exotic foliage of Camouflage™ Japanese aralia and together their golden tones would add a bright note to a part-shade spot in your garden.

Fatsia japonica 'Variegata' Camouflage

Camouflage™ Variegated Japanese Aralia

Type: Shrub
Exposure: Part Shade, Full Shade, Morning Sun, Filtered Sun, Open Shade, Open Shade
Zone: 7, 8, 9, 10

view plant

Lonicera nitida 'Twiggy'

Twiggy Box Honeysuckle

Type: Shrub
Exposure: Part Sun, Part Shade, Morning Sun, Filtered Sun, Open Shade, Open Shade
Zone: 7, 8, 9

view plant

Published February 14, 2019


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