Combining plants


Old 03-16-07, 06:40 AM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 4
Red face Combining plants

Hello everyone !

I just moved into a new house with a garden. The garden is quite nice with lots of things growing there, but it looks a bit too simple and formal for my taste. To make it look more natural, one of the things I want to do is plant smaller shrubs and other plants below the existing taller plants & shrubs . But how do I know which plants will look good together ? I know that I have to consider colours, height, shape, flowering times, and a lot more...
So, please give me some advice ! Or links to useful sites.

Well, some of the plants that I need to combine with others are: Buddleja Davidii, Jasminium nudiflorum, Eryngium, and Aubrieta hybrida. There are lots of other shrubs and trees in the garden which I have to yet identify...

I also want to use evergreens, since almost all the plants that grow in the garden now look really terrible in the winter !
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Old 03-24-07, 02:43 PM
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: USA
Posts: 15,834
You first need a plan. You can measure your lawn, and draw in your home, driveway, public, and private areas, and your beds. Draw where existing plants are. If you draw to scale on graph paper, you can get a better perception of space.

You will want to identify what is already planted in your landscape in order to determine the plants' size at maturity. This is important in determining if what is already planted is planted in the right place to accommodate its size at maturity. You will also need to know this in order to purchase and place plants that will be properly spaced at maturity. You will also need to know something about each plants needs for care and maintenance.

Another way to approach the problem is to have a landscape designer come. They can identify existing plants and give you the estimated size at maturity. For a small fee, they can draw up a landscape design that you can complete in stages yourself or have the landscape company do it. Completing in stages helps with the budget.

You should probably also visit garden centers in your area. You can take pictures of your plants and have them identified and get info on them. Many garden centers are great sources of info and can make suggestions for improving your landscape. Most people love sharing knowledge. Your local coooperative extension service should be able to provide you with plants lists for shrubs and perennials that do well in your area.

You can also post pictures at and post the link here so that we can provide suggestions and possibly help you identify some of your plants.

Buddleja Davidii is commonly known as butterfly bush because blooms are irresistable to butterflies. It produces beautiful blooms. Depending on what variety you have they can be pink, red, white, or purple. The weeping butterfly bush can get 6-12 ft tall and have a spread of 4-15 ft. Smaller varieties can reach two feet and slightly larger varieties can reach 5 feet.
Leaves are grayish green and pendant shaped. The plant will provide you with colorful blossoms as well as a different hue of green and a different texture with its leaves.

Jasminum nudiflorum is commonly called weeping winter jasmine. This shrub can reach 10' tall and 10' wide. It blooms in winter and provides color in the winter garden. It can be pruned to make a 3-foot tall hedge. Every 5 to 6 years, rejuvenate the shrub by cutting it down to within 6 inches of the soil. Its yellow blossoms appear on leafless bright green stems. The shrub can quickly take over if not kept in bounds, so it needs to be in an area where it is not so limited for space.

Eryngium is commonly called sea holly or alpine thistle. The plant provides excellent texture with its deeply-cut leaves shaped like holly. The leaves surround the stem like frilly collars and are topped off with a raspberry-like flowerhead that looks somewhat like a thistle at the top of the stem. Depending on the variety, colors can be blue-green from navy with bottle green, through steel blues and gunmetal, to a brilliant sky-blue. This ornamental perennial is also a favorite of butterflies. Depending on variety eryngium can reach two feet or so.

Aubrieta hybrida is commonly known as rock cress. It's 6" tall perennial creeper. Depending on variety it's dark green leaves could be varigated. Flower colors vary depending on variety, and can be blue, magenta, purple, or blue violet. Creepers are usually used as ground covers and work well in rock gardens, along edges of flower and shrub beds.

There is a wealth of info on the internet that can help you with plant identification, selection, care, and other issues. There are websites on gardening, landscape design, etc.

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