What goes with Who…

Tue. Jul. 30, 2019

Click below to listen to my 2 min. Garden Bite radio show:  What goes with Who…

 I love getting questions from listeners, suggestions for Garden Bite topics. Today I’ll address the question of what plants get along and what plants might not…  First thing that comes to mind are invasive plants.

Obedient plant aka physostegia – this is NOT obedient except when you bend it’s flower stalks…

IF you don’t mind a plant creating your garden, then buy that invasive or “easy spreader” as they are referred to in plant catalogs. 

Monarda and Obedient Plant are at the top of the list, as is Lily of the Valley for shade.

native Monarda aka wild bergamot

If you want creative control, then be careful.

Now, what are some lovely plants together? Personally, I LOVE ornamental grasses, they really do go with everything.  Mixing textures adds another dimension.

Karl Forester grass and daylilies – in the foreground are gladiola which will bloom in late August

I like the big blooms of daylilies with the soft ethereal look of some of the panicum and switch grasses.   Switch grasses will tolerate shade.  Carex grasses even more so.

leadplant, prairie dropseed grass, coneflower and in the background baptisia that finished flowering earlier

In the shade garden, hostas are like the sun-loving ornamental grasses, they look good with anything.

  • Bleeding hearts
  • snakeroot
  • heuchera
  • wild indigo
  • spiderwort
  • ligularia

One plant that can be a bit difficult, although it’s lovely, is Astilbe.  I say this because they really do like moister conditions.  I lost a couple of them because I didn’t water them in a drought.

And then there’s the Black Walnut tree.  I have one, I do not like it for a variety of reasons.  In particular is the toxic juglone it produces.  There are a number of plants that will simply die when planted too close, others that will tolerate it.  I have a link to the University of Wisconsin Extension with a list.  It is not comprehensive and is based on observations, not documented facts, still… it’s a great guide.

If you have questions, comments or suggestions, you can always find me on my Garden Bite facebook page!