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.

Plants That Look Good Together and Bloom at the Same Time

Is that too wordy a title?  

It's the question I, as a gardener, get most from people who want to garden. After ten years of active gardening, seven of them on our current property, I finally feel like I know what the hell I'm doing and like I can actually answer that question intelligently. So here are some of my favorite combos of plants, planted for both the reasons noted above: they look good together, and they bloom at (approximately) the same time.

Iris, Nepeta and Alliums

These three are made for each other. I have Allium "Globemaster" (which you can find at any garden center, or google to find online for fall planting) paired up with Iris "Immortality" (also easily found). I like "Immortality" because they are very fragrant but also because they are a re-blooming variety, so you get the bonus of another flush of flowers in the fall.  

Nepeta, or catmint, is a terrific investment, poor man's lavender. It's el cheapo, grows beautifully at the base of iris or practically any other tall flower, and its purple blooms last a long time. When the blooms are spent and the plant is getting leggy, gather it all up in one hand and shear it off with the other. I mean shear it. Hard. To the ground. It loves it. It will regroup and bloom again for you, then you shear it again, and repeat all through the season. It will also drop seedlings that you can transplant elsewhere, so you really get a lot of bang for your buck.

Together in spring they look terrific:

I also have a gorgeous blue iris called "Batik" which I don't see much in catalogues anymore but you can google around and find it on a few websites. I I had the idea that since I have colored alliums near white iris, I should plant white alliums near my colored iris. These "Mount Everest" ones would look amazing next to Batik.

Lady's Mantle and Geranium

I have Lady's Mantle everywhere, it is my favorite filler flower in the world. The little yellow-chartreuse blooms look good next to anything both in the border and in the vase. I especially like clumps of them planted with any kind of perennial geranium. You really get a great show of color and foliage. Lady's Mantle looks great at the base of irises, too.

Foliage and Shade Plants Combos

I love this shady section of my lower stone wall. There's not much flower action going on, other than a couple of rogue, purple columbines. Everything else is foliage plants: ferns, hosta, lady's mantle, bronze fennel and hellebores. It's a study in brown and green, but I love how it looks with all the different leaf shapes and textures. The hellebore, center bottom of the picture below, is not a true Lenten Rose, but what's called a "Stinking Hellebore". It's a less expensive variety with bunches of chartreuse, cup-shaped flowers. I've really grown to love them, especially since they are amazing re-seeders so from a few plants I've been able to have them everywhere in my gardens, plus share them with friends.

Speaking of columbines, talk about bang for your buck. These are prolific little suckers and if you just let them alone after they flower, they will drop seedlings anywhere and everywhere. Then you just let them grow there, or scoop them up and plant them somewhere else. I love huge drifts of them like this:

My liberal bleeding hearts are out of control. I grow the old-fashioned kind and the newer "Golden Heart" breed with the chartreuse leaves. I combine them with hostas and forget-me-nots.

Next installment of PTLGTBST will feature Siberian Iris, Poppies, Baptisia and Peonies. They're next in line to bloom.

Spring Seedlings

It really is ridiculous how happy I am having fresh herbs to cook with again. And I am days away from a first salad harvest from the garden. What's that, you'd like a tour? I'd be delighted. It's still all babies and I need to mulch it as soon as Jeeps can give me grass clippings. But anyway, come along and look.

Spinach and radishes on the left. Carrots on the right, which need thinning, which is an OCD job I loathe, but it's the nature of the beast.  

Next bed over, I'm growing fennel. Fennel fennel fennel, I planted like 24 bulbs of it. LOVE fennel. Last night I sauteed chicken sausage with red onions, yellow peppers, cherry tomatoes and zucchini. And right at the end I ran out, clipped off a bunch of feathery fennel tops, clipped another bunch of fresh parsley, chopped it all up and stirred it in. There wasn't a scrap left.

On the right are broccoli seedlings surrounded by radishes. I companion-plant whenever possible, and I read that these two go well together. So I made a grid of radish seeds and planted the broccoli inside the boxes. On the other hand, the same source said, rather vehemently, not to companion-plant fennel with ANYTHING. So if the whole garden should fail, we all know why.

Pea plants are starting to climb. Nearly a third of this crop, which was planted near the tulips, was wiped out by a vicious pack of voles. We've declared war with bait and snap traps. Killed five of them in one day. And I enjoyed it.

For dinner tonight we were having burgers on the grill, but on the side I sauteed red onion and garlic in olive oil, then added a can of drained, rinsed cannelini beans and let it cook on low about ten minutes. Then I added half a bag of baby spinach and some chopped parsley. I'm kind of a parsley whore.

Bouquet by Panda. I love handing her scissors and a mason jar and saying, "Pick something for the table." Usually she just has at it, but tonight I did give specific direction because my columbines are in bloom, and these purple ones look pretty with the chartreuse leaves of a golden bleeding heart. She arranged it beautifully though.

(Sigh)...I love spring.