What goes with who?

Fri. Jul. 31, 2020

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

 I love getting questions from listeners and suggestions for Garden Bite topics. I was recently asked about what plants get along and what plants might not…  First thing that comes to mind are invasive plants.

Oenothera berlandieri ‘Siskiyou pink’ – Evening Primrose

Beautiful… but it spread and those didn’t flower, they just looked weedy!

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
Obedient plant aka physostegia

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.

2 varieties of grasses with coneflowers, daisies, barberry
Karl Forester grass and daylilies

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.

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.  The neighbor planted three on the property line…..  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.  University of Wisconsin Extension list of plants.  It is not comprehensive and is based on observations, not documented facts, still… it’s a great guide.

Black walnut on my property line…

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