What Should I Plant Together?

What plants go together? Pairing plants by color, season of bloom, and shape can sometimes be confusing. So, here’s a list of some of our favorite combinations with tips on how to put them to good use in your landscape.

Mix Herbs and Flowers

Create a colorful and fragrant spring garden by mixing flowering herbs and perennials that bloom together in May and June. In this border, chives and lavender bloom in front of Amsonia, bearded iris, and peony.

Use Roses Generously

Roses, particularly shrub and landscape varieties, blend well with annuals or perennials from spring to fall. In this garden, a bright pink shrub rose is a good partner to iris.

Rely on Annuals

Hot, sunny conditions are no match for annuals such as petunia and pentas. These two plants are super easy to grow and will bloom nonstop from May to September in containers or borders. They both also attract bees and butterflies.

Go Tropical

You don’t need to live near the equator to enjoy the beauty of tropical plants. As long as the temperatures are hot and humid, tropical plants will reward you with colorful foliage and flowers all summer long. This grouping includes Alocasia, coleus, impatiens, African mask plant, elephant’s ear, and Cuphea.

Brighten the Shade

Shady spots in your garden don’t have to be barren and boring. There’s a host of shade-dwelling annual and perennial flowers that will add instant impact to any location. Here, a carpet of bright green sweet woodruff fronts a bed of Japanese hakone grass and a cluster of blue- and chartreuse-leaf hosta varieties.

Mix Flower Shapes

Add interest to your summer garden by mixing flowers with different shapes together. For example, here the wide, trumpet-shape blooms of ‘Stella d Oro’ daylily mingle beautifully with the dainty white flower stalks of ‘Husker Red’ penstemon. The result looks like a living bouquet.

Choose Your Favorite Colors

Having a beautiful garden in the early summer doesn’t mean you have to plant a rainbow of colors. Instead, make a bigger impression by sticking with different versions of the same color. For example, only five species that flower in shades of blue, purple, and lavender were included in these narrow borders. Delphinium, foxglove, allium, agapanthus, and sea lavender are a blue ribbon combination.

Mix Shrubs and Flowers

Make shrubs the backbone of your flower border. They add color and structure to your garden even when everything else is not in bloom. There are also a wide variety of colors to choose from. In this border, the yellow flowers of perennial Heliopsis helianthoides, commonly called ox-eye daisy, are the perfect summer complement to the foliage of dwarf golden privet.

Keep Butterflies in Mind

Butterflies, bees, and other pollinators will flock to your yard when you include a generous supply of nectar-rich flowers in your garden. These creatures are active from spring to fall but are busiest in late summer when the temperatures heat up. Two butterfly favorites include black-eyed Susan and hardy ageratum.

Add Edibles

Want a garden that’s both colorful and delicious? Then tuck brightly colored vegetables alongside your annual and perennial flowers. In this bed, wide swaths of chartreuse black-seeded Simpson lettuce weave in and out patches of blue viola that are also edible.

Pair Annuals and Herbs

Never underestimate herbs. These fragrant and colorful plants mix well with annuals, perennials, and roses. In this border, tri-color sage and pale pink sweet alyssum make a gorgeous team at the edge of a path or walkway.

Keep Foliage in Mind

Instant impact! That’s what you’ll get when you add colorful foliage plants to your beds, border, and containers. There’s no waiting for the plants to mature and bloom; all you need to do is plant them and enjoy. In this border the rich purple foliage of Alternanthera contrasts beautifully with the spikey, gray-green leaves of cardoon.

Cover the Ground

The best way to keep weeds out of your garden is to plant groundcovers that spread quickly and smother potential invaders. Plus, they’ll give your landscape an extra boost of color. This brilliant shade border is kept maintenance-free with a thick planting of silver-leaf Lamium and two varieties of hosta.

This article first appeared on www.bhg.com