All those years ago we had three young children and a house which needed fairly major renovation so when given cuttings and plants by family and friends we stuck them in, crossed our fingers and hoped! However in recent years we have begun to think more about shape and form and colour combinations.
I'm particularly fond of the effect of this Chaerophyllum against the tiny silvery green leaves of the Hebe.
Last autumn we planted some leftover tulip bulbs by the pond. They are Negrita and Angelique and I think they work really well together.
A couple of years ago I bought a book for my son, who is a garden designer, and I am dipping into that to try and improve my expertise on companion planting. It's a beautiful book by Anna Pavord.
I was also recently given a sheet of information about vegetable planting which is fascinating. Just like people, some vegetables prefer the company of others.
Plants may be good companions because:-
They like the same soil and weather conditions.
One helps the other by loosening the soil for its roots.
One fives welcome shade and protection to its companion.
One attracts an insect that is beneficial to the other.
One deters a pest that habitually attacks the other - (i.e. sage, rosemary and thyme repel the cabbage butterfly; onions and leeks repel the carrot fly).
One may leave a residue in the soil that benefits its companion.
Here is a brief list of some vegetables, their companions and antagonists:-
Plant Companions Antagonist
Beetroot dwarf beans, onion runner beans
Dwarf Beans aubergine, beetroot, onion family
celery, potatoes, sweetcorn,
Runner Beans marigold, marjoram, cabbage, onions
Carrots broad beans, lettuce, onion dill
family, peas rosemary, sage,
Courgette borage, fennel, nasturtium potatoes
Lettuce carrots, celery, garlic, radish fennel, rue
I could go on but I won't. It's fascinating stuff though and I do wonder if my courgettes have not done well in the past because they were planted near to the potatoes.
My vegetable plot is not really big enough to adopt this on a grand scale but I'm off to plant my runner beans now and will make sure not to put them anywhere near the two sunflowers we are growing for our grand-daughter. We haven't grown potatoes this year due to lack of space so I'm even tempted to have a go at courgettes again. I hate to be defeated!
Thank-you for reading and have a good week whether in or out of the garden.