Pretty Pairings

The days are passing so quickly, and changes in the garden are happening almost faster than can be recorded. The heat and humidity stimulate growth at an accelerated pace. Plants are doubling in size overnight, and flowers come and go so quickly they can be missed entirely if a daily round is not made.

Possibly because of an increased interest in bouquets, noticing particularly good pairings seems more important. Or, it may be that reading “The Harmonious Garden” by Catherine Ziegler has increased awareness. Whatever the inspiration, here are some pairings of note today. The first one is above, a pairing of “May Queen” shasta daisies and Eremurus, or “Foxtail Lily.” Aren’t sturdy daisies, with their golden centers lovely with the airy plume of soft oranges and gold? Eremurus is a little large for bouquets, but it is certainly a standout in the garden setting.

This is a new pairing in the potager this year. The rose is “Pumpkin Patch” which is a lovely brick/pumpkin orange when it is budded and first opening, but ripens to the much softer color shown above. A happy surprise is that the “Bronze Beauty” calendula are almost exactly the same color, and also have deep orange buds at first. This pairing is definitely staying in the potager’s interior border plan.

An accidental pairing, since both of these characters are self-seeded, randomly placed volunteers, but one that will be intentionally repeated is the “Bread Seed” poppy in the foreground and the deep burgundy “Red Deer Tongue” lettuce in the background. Both are allowed to self-seed at will here and there in the potager’s beds and borders, but a little more encouragement may be given in the future.

The “Red Hot Poker” plants added to the Deck Garden last spring have grown into adults and are sporting their first blooms. I love these orange and yellow torches, especially paired with the yellow bloom clusters of the rue. And even the blue-toned background foliage of the rue and nearby irises are a nice echo of color. Some of the poker plants (tritoma or knifophia) have a bit of white at the bottom, which hopefully will pair nicely with the hollyhocks that are supposed to be white behind them. Shouldn’t have to wait much longer to see if that plan works out.

“Liberty Bronze” snapdragons have been an absolute must in the potager since it’s beginning. New ones are seeded every February in the basement, but if the winter isn’t too harsh there are often some that return, or some self-seeded individuals here and there that are always allowed to remain. One can never have too many snapdragons, especially when they are in such luscious colors. They range in color from deep orange, rust tones, copper to apricot. Some have a bit more pink thrown in than I’d prefer, but overall they are all keepers and are pairing so very well with the roses. The rose above is the “Adobe Sunset” and the volunteer snapdragon is just a happy accident there.

Here’s a pairing that will be made better next year. The blue alliums (A. caesium) were bulbs planted in the Front Island late last autumn, although they’d been purchased with the intention of being planted in the Addition Garden. It was a last minute change, but I’m glad it happened or I might not have noticed how terrific they look with the “Blue Arrow” Scilla that have been in the Front Island for four or five years. However, the alliums are about 20′ from the scilla. The alliums are only 15″ tall, while the scilla are a towering 5′! It’s a happy coincidence that they are nearly identical in color, but so different in form even though both flowers are made of small silvery blue blooms. It really causes the eye to move through the garden, and adding several more of the alliums should improve the pairing of these plants exponentially. With the white feverfew, shasta daisies, and orange or yellow daylilies already there it is a beautiful living bouquet.

That’s a few of the pairings that caught my eye on this day. Do you look for pairings and combinations in your garden? What are your favorites? Do you think of it as a living bouquet?


About carolee

A former professional herb and lavender grower, now just growing for joy in my new potager. When I'm not in the garden, I'm in the kitchen, writing, or traveling to great gardens.
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7 Responses to Pretty Pairings

  1. Rose East says:

    You’ve got some gorgeous photos of your even more gorgeous flowers here. These really are beautiful pairings.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. March Picker says:

    Very, very pretty pairings. The unplanned ones are like special gifts. Adobe Sunset is a beautiful rose.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Going Batty in Wales says:

    I really wish I lived nearer and could walk round your garden with you!


  4. Amy Rich says:

    Lovely pairings!


  5. Peg says:

    Your garden is so well planned-out! I LOVE that Adobe Sunset rose, it is gorgeous.


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