I enjoy experimenting with different colours in a plant combination. I am a busy working mum and don’t have much time for fussy plants. So these are all low maintenance and easy. As well as being good for wildlife of course!
Below is a sweet smelling hedge with pink cosmos. Then vibrant pink echinacea with gorgeous smelling nicotiana. Finally a mix of acid green, blue and yellow in a hard working all-year-round border (including tips for what looks good in each season).
Favourite Plant Combination in October 2023
This plant combination cheers me every time I come home. It’s at the entrance to my front garden (which means that others enjoy it too!). I’m waiting for a purple plum tree to grow (see barely visible purple leaves), so while I’m waiting, I have sown bulbs and then planted cosmos around it. In the background is my wild hedge with honeysuckle growing with ivy. This hedge is covered with bees and smells wonderful. Cornus Alba Elegantissima is the variegated shrub behind the cosmos. I find it a useful plant as it has bright red stems in winter and brightens up the back of a border in summer. All plants fabulous for wildlife of course! The only bit of maintenance is the cosmos deadheading, which I have to say is very enjoyable in the sunshine.
Favourite Combination in September 2023
This is Hylotelephium Atropurpureum (foreground) with bright pink Echinacea Magnus and Lime Green Nicotiana. The latter has a beautiful scent in the evening which attracts moths. It’s super cheap and easy to grow from seed or can be bought as plug plants. The others are perennial and despite being on clay soil seem happy because it’s sunny and the bed drains well. Hylotelephium are one of the easiest plants to grow. They seem to cope with any type of summer weather, drought or rainy. Zero maintenance as I leave the seed heads all winter and just chop back in spring when I can see the new growth. They’re very easy to propagate, simply pick some and put in a vase with water, when you see roots, pot them up into separate plants! I think the green buds in late spring are just as beautiful as the flowers.
Favourite Border in August 2023
This bed faces East and starts the year with a red and orange theme from Tulips and Wallflowers, then switches to blues, acid greens and yellows (shown here). In late summer it’s vibrant orange Crocosmia with hot pink Hardy Fuchsia and Hylotelephium flowers that last through Autumn. Blue flowering Hebes also go really well in this mix (one is hidden at the back).
Shown here are: Banana Cream Leucanthemum (daisy flowers), Alchemilla Mollis (lime froth), Blue Campanula (will self-seed), Limey yellow climbing Jasmine leaves, green buds of Hylotelephium (formerly called Sedum) about to flower. There’s lavender out of shot too. Especially lovely in low evening light as it glows.
I do very little to this bed except pull out the odd weed (not much space for them though) and put in wallflowers in Autumn (spring bulbs are in already and repeat each year).
If you’d like some help applying these ideas to your own garden then please get in touch here.
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