Pairings with Purpose

 

Spring has finally arrived. We are in a good season for transplanting and also for checking who and where things are returning to the fold. Although I can’t say there is much by way of flowers, I can say that there is a great variety of colors and textures available right now, right here, as we enter the season of growing.

So today I’m inspired by my perennials and their companions, old friends and new additions. Hope you agree they are worth the wait.

spring garden 5-17-1.jpgAn established perennial bed finds a new addition in its midst. Although mostly comprised of daylily, there are small hostas, a huge one on the right, cropped out, and a Montauk daisy that boasts of Brooklyn origins. The new addition, however, is a Viburnum nudum, inspired by new knowledge of native vs. non-viburnum varieties. This little one will grow probably to encompass the entire area, but hopefully will allow the plants to continue to thrive, whether under, near or apart from the trunk or trunks, as the shrub develops. All are moveable, and the area can be widened in coming years to make room for continued growth. Hopefully, this will also help wildlife it its yearly quest for food and shelter.

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Virginia bluebells (Mertensia…) are beginning to go back to ground, as sunlight is less available due to the deciduous trees overhead. As shade deepens for more of the day, the variegated Solomon’s Seal arrives and puts out these little white supposed flowers which contrast nicely with the bluebells. Eventually, as summer goes on, the Solomon’s seal will remain to spark the shade, and hopefully prevent too many weeds from invading. You can already see the ivy and some mugwort awaiting an opportunity to pounce.

spring garden 5-17-19.jpgAnother option for a cool contrast, is this fern area, which will fill in once these Bluebells leave for the summer. The light green looks good against the blue and green, and I’m hoping for more as these two groups establish their boundaries (or not), in my gazing globe garden.

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Mouse hears hosta and some lysimachia provide a contrast of color, as both wake up, the lysimachia bursting with growth, and the mouse ears more timid, hoping one doesn’t overpower the other. This should be easy to manage; both are shallow-rooted and can be pulled or transplanted if this becomes an issue. The tall stems are from daffodils that are now gone and ready to collect energy for next year’s bloom.

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Here is the whole scene, complete with heel-print left over from walking on the wet lawn. A different, larger hosta, the ground-devouring lysimachia, a Japanese painted fern, some annuals and liriope in need of a haircut, all making it possible to tamp weeds in a small area near my herb garden. Later on, they will be joined by colorful annuals – marigolds, or petunias, to keep the butterflies and bees fed.

There is much more to my gardens. I’m simply breaking them down, and seeing how pairs can complement each other, just as a fine wine or craft beer can be a perfect companion to food (my other passion) – I love to watch how plants even if small or in small groupings, work with each other for the purpose of beautifying our lives. And for the most important reason of all, to attract and support any living thing that needs help surviving and being content in my garden.

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