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