Spring is a busy time of year in the garden. Not just for gardeners, but for the plants themselves. Blooms burst and colors explode. Each day something new emerges. A fiddlehead, a bud, a new leaf. I take notice of the details and the overall scene. In particular, I observe combinations that work.
Dark colors contrasted with lighter make for an impressive display. The burgundy foliage of the Japanese Maple is stunning paired with the Phlox subulata that will eventually cascade over the stone wall.
The brilliant dark blue of Aguilegia (Columbine) stands out against the lime green foliage of an Ilex verticillata.
Iris ‘Immortality’ appears illuminated against the backdrop of Penstemon ‘Husker Red.’
Soft colors and textures look great together as well. A peach Iris balances the pubescent leaves of Lamb’s Ear (Stachys).
Garden ornaments perfectly complement plants too. An elegant stone maiden is right at home amid some Pieris japonica.
A cast sunflower leans into a nearby tree peony (Peonia suffrictosa) as if to say hello.
Different textures combine beautifully in the garden like Allium Globemaster with Comfrey Axminster’s Gold (Symphytum).
Other winning combinations include the use of a common color. The purple flowers of Epimedium ‘Making Waves’ echo the purple veining in Japanese Painted Fern (Athyrium niponicum ‘Pictum’).
The Lavendar flowers of Erigeron pulchellus ‘Lynnhaven’s Carpet’ blend seamlessly with the purple blooms of Mazus reptans.
What are you noticing in the garden? I’d love to hear the winning combinations you’ve created or witnessed during this spring of quarantine.
What an eye for color you have Carol! Such beautiful combinations of contrast and harmony in the pairings. Great work! You have found your nice and calling.
Thank you John. I have found my calling and am blessed to do what I love every single day. I hope the same is true for you!
Thanks to Eric Sternfels, gardener extraordinaire who emailed me some of his favorite pairings which I wanted to share:
Geranium phaeum ‘Samobor’ with it’s eggplant purple leaf markings, with Athyrium ‘Burgundy Lace when it unfurls in spring is exciting.
Aruncus dioicus with Itea ‘Henry’s garnet and Hosta Patriot- the two ivory white blooms are simultaneous and pick up the similar leaf margins on the hosta.
Brunnera ‘Sea Hearts’, Crambe maritima (aka Sea Kale) and Tulipa ‘China Town’ with white margins on foliage. The connected foliage color also produces a great bloom moment of frothy white, frothy blue, and pale pink viridis tulips
Carol, amazing beauty! An excellent antidote for all that is going on. Thank you.
Thanks Carol. I agree – the perfect peaceful scene we need. Nature provides a great sanctuary.
Always educational and enjoyable Carol! I’m moving my garden statue over to my japonica today!
I’m glad you found some inspiration in my post Ninette!
Wonderful combinations! I particularly like the blue tones in the epimedium and Japanese painted fern combo. I need to try that one. Thank you for sharing these.
I’m glad you found a combination you want to try!