Combining Plants

Tips on the art (and science) of putting plants together for a look that pleases you.
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Photo By: Photo by kennie_caper

Pretty Vignette

Pink roses form the "upper story" of a look that includes purple (salvia) and chartreuse (lady's mantle).

Same Species, Different Colors

An appealing blend of greens and yellows provides the interest in this hosta collection and focuses the attention on individual plants. The repetition of smoky green-blue creates a rhythm in the garden bed.

Same Color, Different Plants

Another pleasing combination: this Asiatic lily shares the same hue of 'Paprika' yarrow — the different foliage and texture provide the contrast. 

Variations on a Theme

Give your garden a cohesive look by using the same color combinations — with different plants — in other parts of the garden. Mixtures of salvias, garden phlox and grasses create this variation on the purple, pink and chartreuse theme. Successful garden beds depend on marrying plants that have similar needs for light and water.

Complementary Colors

Purple (salvia) and orange (lilies), near-opposites on the color wheel, provide a high-contrast perimeter for this garden walkway. 

A Riot of Color

An eye-popping focal point blends with colorful plants and bright containers. Plants include geraniums, creeping jenny, alyssum, lobelia, nasturtiums, petunias and Lamium.

Sweet Succulents

Blues, greens and chartreuses form a beautiful mosaic in this bed of sedums.

Color and Rythm

Avoid using too many different types of plants in a small space. Hostas and hydrangeas form the bones of this beautiful garden. 

Pretty Bones

While planning for a riot of color in the low, middle and upper stories of your garden, spend some time making sure you're happy with its "bones" — the broadleaf evergreens and conifers that frame the landscape in any season and give it life in winter.

Plan for Succession of Flowers

While these lilies come into their peak of bloom, other perennials nearby are forming buds. 

Plants That Highlight

A mass of coreopsis highlights the purple stokesia in this garden.

Plan for the Seasons

Map out your garden plan so that you have at least a few things in bloom in spring, summer and fall. Plants like rudbeckias and daylilies, plus late-blooming salvias, sedums and hydrangeas can keep the garden blooming from midsummer to fall. 

Plant Variety

A tapestry of pink and purple accents define this beautiful garden design.