Even MORE Plants That Look Good Together and Bloom at the Same Time!

After the whites, pinks and pastel purples of spring, the gardens are now hot with summer color, leading to bouquets such as this:

I've had a long love affair with Echinacea, and my new flower crush is definitely Hot Papaya, a double coneflower in the most unbelievably vibrant orange you've ever seen. These pictures don't do them a lick of justice. The flowers last a long time: these have been in the garden 2 weeks with the same blooms that came home from nursery. They are a fantastic player.

I have a stand of them right outside my dining room windows, next to a clump of not-yet-bloomed Black-Eyed Susans, and a mess of Drumstick alliums.  These alliums bloom much later in the season than their spring counterparts, in a vivid red-purple. 

At the base of the Echinacea is some Mirabilis, or Four O'Clocks (so called because the flowers don't open until mid-afternoon). This kind is called "Limelight"—it has chartreuse leaves and bright magenta flowers. I grew them from seed two years ago and they have re-populated themselves like crazy. Every year seedlings show up and I just move them wherever I want that hit of lime-green foliage.

Hot Papaya is dynamite with any purple spiky flower, like salvia or, pictured here, Veronica.

The orange pompoms are also fantastic with any silver-foliage plant. I'm a big fan of eryngium, or sea holly. I grow Eryngium Giganticum, "Miss Wilmott's Ghost," which is a true silver that looks superb next to any orange or yellow flower. It's a little hard to obtain and establish, but once you have it going, it will reseed every year.

This clump of coneflowers grows with Monarda "Raspberry Wine".

Below is Echinacea "Mango Meadowbrite" at the foreground, and "Big Sky Sundown" at the rear Clumps of Nepeta (catmint) grow at the base of them, but it's been sheared down recently. It's resting.

More Plant Combinations that Bloom at the Same Time

For a while it was all purple and white, now the pinks are making their stand in the garden.  Here are some more combinations of plants that look good together and bloom at the same time:






Siberian Iris, Baptisia and Peonies

"Bowl of Beauty" peony with purple Siberian iris is a combo I came up with a couple years ago. I had such young peony plants that it's taken until this spring to see if it would work. It works! The plants are still young—only two blooms each this year, but I love how the sword-like leaves of the iris cut through the peony leaves.  

Adding baptisia brings in another spiky, purple element. Plants take a while to establish and don't like to be moved once they are settled. These are four years old now. They don't re-bloom but the foliage stays nice for the entire season and surprisingly, the plant doesn't need stakes or a hoop. Perfect posture from April to October.

Baptisia and Poppies

This is another pairing I came up with because I love purple and red together. Depending on temperatures and weather conditions, the bloom time of these two is approximate but this year it was spot-on together.

Poppies are my signature flower (my dad calls me "Poppy"). Besides the red ones here, I have pink ones in the lower garden, and white ones that I transplanted last year, now growing next to some purple sage. Poppies don't like to be transplanted. You can divide them easily enough in spring or fall, but you forfeit a bloom season because they sulk through the next year. 

I love pink poppies with any silver-grey foliage like lambs ears or rose campion.

Lady's Mantle and Everything

Did I mention lady's mantle is the greatest filler flower in the world?  And that it and geraniums make an especially awesome p—... All right, just making sure.