Companion Gardening For That Showcase Look
If you have always desired that “showcase quality garden”, then you will want to consider the possibilities of companion plants. Companion plants balance out each other with contrasts and complements that work on all levels of your gardening experience.
There are several categories of companion gardening. The categories are: flower shape, flower color, flower texture, environment and themes.
To provide continuity in your garden landscape you need to have both contrasts and complements for shape of flower. You can plant both strong vertical plants and contrasting horizontal plants as well. A flower with a vertical shape like the arborvitae is well contrasted by the flower with a horizontal or rounded shape like the Mariesii viburnum. Complements help ease the eye and can bring your visitors to follow a path planned by you. Rhododendron complement viburnum. A well-balanced landscape needs both contrasts and complements.
Color is a feature of most gardens and can help bring out the focal points in your garden. Gardeners often use pastel colors because they are easy on the eyes. The bolder colors of yellow, reds and oranges are used more sparingly and for strong visual impact when you need to direct the eye of your visitor to a particular feature of your garden. You can balance out these bolder colors with blues and purples. Use shades of red to transition between your bold colors and your pastel colors.
Remember that color can be more than flowers; you can paint a picture in your garden with foliage, berries and stems too.
Contrasts and complements can also be seen in the texture of foliage. There are finely textured plants like arborvitae and coarser looking plants like viburnum. When you put these two together they present a combined texture form that is pleasing to the eye. Plants that have differences in their leaf sizes are also good together like the viburnum and the boxwood both with rounded shapes but very different sizes. Leaf size is the best way to plan for textural variation in your garden. Good texture contrast can be found in Junipers and grasses, ferns and hosta. Good examples of complementing plants are Hollies and Rhodies, Iris and Daylilies.
Designing your garden involves more than color, texture and shape; the environment is an element that must also be considered. The environment includes factors like sun or shade, soil composition, pests, wind factor, and wildlife.
You can plan a garden around shape, color, texture, and environment and have a beautiful showcase garden with contrasts and complements that will be the envy of all your neighbors or you can have a themed garden that will impress visitors with a purposeful layout such as a butterfly garden, rock garden, or a native plant garden. Themed gardens are easy to plan because the theme determines the plant and flower arrangements. Themed gardens can be narrow in scope such as the rock garden or include a wide variety of foliage and flowers such as the native garden.