PER­FECT PLANT PART­NERS

Reap the ben­e­fits of pair­ing up your plants – and why not find like-minded gar­den­ing bud­dies, too?

Homes+ (Australia) - - MY BACKYARD -

SOME GAR­DEN PLANTS sim­ply go well to­gether, ei­ther by en­hanc­ing each other’s good looks, or help­ing their part­ners flour­ish. But plant bud­dies can stretch be­yond the botan­i­cal, tak­ing in friend­ships and com­mu­ni­ties, too. Gar­den­ing Clubs Aus­tralia hosts out­ings and lo­cal group meet­ings for shar­ing in­for­ma­tion and plant cut­tings, while less for­mal ar­range­ments in­volve a ro­tat­ing work­ing bee among friends. In some clubs, mem­bers vol­un­teer their time to main­tain the gar­dens of el­derly or dis­abled com­mu­nity mem­bers. Com­mu­nity food gar­dens on coun­cil land are also grow­ing in pop­u­lar­ity.

GREAT GAR­DEN COM­PAN­IONS

Some plants ac­tu­ally help each other grow and thrive. They do this in a few ways. NASTY SMELLS

Laven­der, rose­mary, mint and pe­largo­ni­ums are ex­am­ples of plants that emit mask­ing chem­i­cals, which de­ter in­sects. It can be help­ful to grow these near in­sect-prone plants. Onions, on the other hand, give off odours that ac­tu­ally put off other plants so it’s best to grow them in their own beds.

TOXIC TASTE

Plants such as worm­wood, tansy and pyrethrum daisy taste bit­ter or toxic to pests. Use them as a de­ter­rent to pro­tect their more “tasty” gar­den bed bud­dies. POL­LI­NA­TION PART­NERS

Some com­pan­ion plants at­tract pol­li­nat­ing in­sects or are said to sim­ply en­hance the growth or taste of their neigh­bours.

COM­MON PLANT­ING COM­PAN­ION PAIRS

Sage and cab­bage; basil and toma­toes; beets and beans; cu­cum­ber and bor­age; beans and corn; peas and let­tuce.

Op­po­sites at­tract Con­trast be­tween pur­ple and white blos­som makes each more spec­tac­u­lar.

Mered­ith Kir­ton is a hor­ti­cul­tur­ist, land­scape de­signer and au­thor of sev­eral books on gar­den­ing. FROM THE EX­PERT

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