London (change)
17 messages
16/01/2014 at 16:38

I often refer to plants I associate together in my posts but I would like to hear from you guys what you like to plant together.  Maybe get some more ideas!  

Foliage companions or floral associations ...   Something new to try for this glorious upcoming summer.  Remember, its going to be very hot 

16/01/2014 at 17:10

What a great question Verdun.

I love crocosmia Lucifer and last year I put penstemon barbatus in the same border and they worked really well together for me, giving a lovely hot red feel.

The penstemon are still lovely and green now and I have taken cuttings, and I think both are perennial (these are the things I still need to learn). Although I have read conflicting things that say the penstemon is only half hardy I hope it comes back as nicely this year.

Can't wait to see what everyone else says

16/01/2014 at 18:11

Sounds nice Lisa 

Penstemons are at their best in their second year I feel. I now try to grow them in groups of 3. 

16/01/2014 at 18:15

I tried liatris spicata 'kobold'  with rudbeckia fulgida 'little star', was quite impressed with myself after seeing the display, and can't wait to see it next year, although I did only have two specimens of each, so am planning to buy a few more bulbs and seeds 

16/01/2014 at 18:17

Lillies.............definitely Lillies...........underplanted with Ophiopogon nigrescens - the black leaves make a nice contrast and shade the base of the lillies.

In case it isn't going to be quite hot enough for   Verdun, a shadier alternative is small delicate ferns planted around the base of  a good Fuchsia....from a distance, it looks like a completely new plant 

I concur with Lisa..........a good subject for interesting to hear. others ideas

16/01/2014 at 18:22

Philippa, that sounds interesting.  May try that lily/ophiopogon blend.  Ferns/fuschia too worth looking at.  Thanks . 


16/01/2014 at 19:07

Well for me it depends on the time of year but it will always be a combination for pollinators....

Spring / Early Summer - Astrantia with Foxgloves and Perennial Scabious under planted with Sweet William

Added for Mid Summer - Purple Loosestrife with Verbena Hostata & Verbena Bonineriasis and Veronicastrum is a winning combination (underplanted with Rudbeckia and Scabious)

Added for Late Summer / Autumn - Rudbeckia with Asters (adding to the above choice which will still be hanging on!)

The above 'later' combination will be bright and bold and look something like this...


For a completely different idea and approach that may be of interest...

The last two years I have been experimenting with planting wildflowers through my perennial borders which has proven a magnet for pollinators and here are two combinations that have proved good so far...

Helenium and annual Corn Marigolds get the pollinators buzzing in a border!...

 The other combination is perennial and is Helenium and Knapweed

 So now you have something very different to consider also!?.....





17/01/2014 at 16:28

Oh Phillippa I just googled Ophiopogon nigrescens and its lovely, is it easy to grow?

17/01/2014 at 16:46

Ophiopogon is easy to grow and has charming pinky white flowers too. Mine grow in terracotta pots, next to variegated hostas and elsewhere.  Alongside a maroon red coleus too that I liked but maybe not very subtle 

Higgy I too grow some rudbekias next to aster frikartii monch and leucanthemum broadway lights .....a creamy flowered sort......thrown into the mix.  Also heleniums as a backcloth.  Nice combinations you have there.  

17/01/2014 at 16:55

Oh hight I was going to say aster and rudbeckia .......

17/01/2014 at 17:45

Hello Lisa..............yes, as Verdun says, it is an easy plant to grow and will spread well if it is happy.  I use it in several latest combination is a "summer" pot with trailing Lobelia.  It also works well with the various House Leeks - you can get away with the 2 in one of those half wall baskets for a year or two before you need to re do.  It also blends happily with the likes of aubretia or vinca minor.

17/01/2014 at 17:46

four B's and a P for me Verdun...

Big, Bold, Blousey, and Bright and of course Full of Pollen!!

Oh I can't wait for the summer!!....



17/01/2014 at 21:01

Me too Higgy.  Not long now 

22/01/2014 at 21:52

Helenium double trouble behind aster frikartii monch behind hackonechloa .....oops, that's 3  

22/01/2014 at 23:04

Don't worry Verdun how can you only choose two? Surely that's just not possible!? LOL

22/01/2014 at 23:33

Ha ha Higgy  

22/01/2014 at 23:57

Brodea amongst agapanthus will fool every body but it works!

A colleague naturalised hardy cyclamen amongst golden creeping Jenny.I have my doubts, but she liked it.

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