Daz­zling Plant Com­bi­na­tions

Dorset - - Gardens -

Peter rec­om­mends plac­ing shrubs with con­trast­ing coloured leaves to­gether to cre­ate a de­light­ful theme. For ex­am­ple: bronze-leaved physo­car­pus op­uli­folius ‘Di­abolo’ in front of golden privet ligus­trum ‘Aureum’ or choisya ‘Sun­dance’. Or try the pur­ple-leaved smoke bush cot­i­nus cog­gy­gria in front of golden-yel­low physo­car­pus op­uli­folius ‘Darts Gold’ - a lovely com­bi­na­tion through sum­mer and into au­tumn. In high sum­mer, the vivid crim­son cro­cos­mia ‘Lu­cifer’ and the bronze elder sam­bu­cus ni­gra ‘Guin­cho Pur­ple’ make a strik­ing dis­play.

In your bor­der, plant easy to grow hardy peren­ni­als to fol­low the spring bulbs. In early sum­mer, peren­nial pop­pies pa­paver ori­en­tale have pa­pery bowl-shaped heads 4”- 6” di­am­e­ter, in­clud­ing red-or­ange ‘Al­le­gro’, dusty-pink ‘Patty’s Plum’ or salmon-pink ‘Mrs Perry’. Aqui­le­gias or Granny’s Bon­net come in a huge range of colours and grow hap­pily in front of these taller plants, and even in the rose bed.

Planted out in spring, af­ter its win­ter pro­tec­tion in­doors, the cas­tor-oil plant rici­nus com­mu­nis with its red flow­ers and red-ribbed bronze leaves adds a dash of the ex­otic to bor­ders and works well with cos­mos atrosan­guineus with its choco­lates­cented ma­roon flow­ers. Com­plete this heady com­bi­na­tion with vivid ma­genta petu­nias at the base.

In mid-sum­mer, the vi­o­let-blue flower heads of cam­pan­ula lac­t­i­flora con­trast with the ver­mil­ion ly­ch­nis chal­cedonica. For pink-to-red flow­er­ing peren­ni­als, con­sider monarda didyma ‘Croft­way Pink’ with hooded blooms and aro­matic fo­liage or star­tling red ‘Cam­bridge Scar­let’, echi­nacea pur­purea ‘Robert Bloom’, and freeflow­er­ing pur­ple looses­trife lythrum vir­ga­tum. In the midst of all this, try in­tro­duc­ing a con­trast­ing phormium tenax ‘Pur­pureum’ whose erect mul­ti­ple

‘Punc­tu­ate your pas­tel-shade flow­ers with in­tense scar­let kaf­fir lilies’

ABOVE: Cam­pan­ula lac­t­i­floraly­ch­nis chal­cedonicaCro­cos­mia

andLEFT:‘Lu­cifer’ and sam­bu­cus ni­gra ‘Guin­cho Pur­ple’

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