COMPANION PLANTING

While we are primarily Daylily enthusiasts, with side interests in re-blooming Iris and Hostas, no garden drama should limit itself to such a small cast of characters. Other plants need to be added for their interest and texture, and here are a few of those we've chosen for "companion" planting.
Spring color is mostly pink and white around here. Several years ago my mother gave me a tiny Columbine plant. When it bloomed it was actually two plants side by side, one pink, one white. In years since we find literally dozens of new Columbines each spring...and because the white and the pink cross-breed freely, they range from snow white to this vivid pink, and all shades in-between. We've purchased other colors over the years, but none perform like these gifts from my mom.


Richard's favorite color is red, but I admit to being a more of a pink fan myself. But both of us enjoy "Pinky", our Tri-Color Beech, which has variegated pink leaves...[unless conditions are not to it's liking....
in which case It can be get contrary, and turn a dull burgundy and olive green.]
Variegated Weigelia-still more pink and white

Here's the two original plants. Look closely and you can see a different shade of pink in the center. I pinched that bloom off and positioned it there to show what happens when two colors of columbine are left to their own devices. Bright pink and white make a soft, baby pink.
Another example of variegated foliage is this pretty variety of Coral Bell. Besides this green and white leaved type, we also have Coral Bells with solid green, burgundy, nearly black, and gold leaves. But this newly acquired variety is the most impressive, and our favorite to date. We hope it does well here, as some of the hybrids can be difficult to keep happy.
I promise....there ARE other colors in my garden....but yes, this is another pink one. This is Jupiter's Beard, and is one of my favorites because it is one of those rare perennials that will bloom all summer if properly dead-headed.
Here is a close up of the same flower, taken with our newest addition to our camera "collection", a Canon PowerShot S3 1S. Neither of us has a handle on this camera yet, but we have high hopes.
Every garden needs "texture". The mundane Bunny Ear, or as some call it, Lamb's Ear,  [below] can make bright, silver spots of light in the perennial border. However, this is a plant that must be kept under strict control, or it will over-step it's bounds and take over. Here is an interesting close up taken with the new Canon.
Other great plants for 'texture' are Hosta, and plants with burgundy leaves, such as this almost black Coral Bell.
I said our garden had colors other than pink, and I offer the next two pictures as proof.

This is the most famous and favored Clematis, "Jackmani"...in full bloom by our front window.
There is also a lovely lavendar Clematis on this trellis, and when I planted them I thought they would look stunning together. I know jack about Clematis...the lavender beauty blooms itself out about a week before "Jackmani" gets started.
(The toad's name is "Jabba".)


We tried roses early in our gardening career, and quickly found that we just weren't 'rose people'. Black spot caused most of the foliage to drop off, leaving us with bald stems. Japanese Beatles ate holes in the blooms, and the aphids sucked the life of whatever was left. Once we found out how much work was involved in keeping roses attractive, we moved on to daylilies. Less problematic.

Out of more than a dozen original rose varieties....this one survived unscathed, and has lived happily in the same spot for over 20 years. Black spot doesn't affect it, aphids seem to avoid it, blooms are always perfect atop long stems....I LOVE IT!
Which befits this gorgeous thing....
because that's it's name...
"LOVE".
One thing...to get a rose this impervious to pests and disease, one must give up something....this rose has no aroma.

(UPDATED IMAGE-taken in 2008 with Sony H50)
Wild Larkspur-We find this several places in the garden because we allow the seeds to scatter in the fall. We have no idea where it came from, it just showed up a few years ago and we encourage it to stay. I've tried hand-scattering, to get it to establish in other places, but it has a mind of it's own. We take it where we can get it.
We planted two Butterfly Bushes together to get a variation of shades, and they work as advertised. This is a Painted Lady.