Posts Tagged ‘plant combinations’

Working with Variegated Plants

'Evergold' sedge (Carex oshimensis) and variegated Solomon's seal (Polygonatum odoratum 'Variegatum') with ostrich fern (Matteuccia struthiopteris) and 'White Nancy' spotted deadnettle (Lamium maculatum) [Nancy J. Ondra/Hayefield.com]

‘Evergold’ sedge (Carex oshimensis) and variegated Solomon’s seal (Polygonatum odoratum ‘Variegatum’) with ostrich fern (Matteuccia struthiopteris) and ‘White Nancy’ spotted deadnettle (Lamium maculatum)

So much for Bloom Day here in southeastern Pennsylvania. We had flowers 2 weeks ago, even 3 weeks ago, but in the last week, May turned into January, and for the past few days, we’ve stayed below freezing and been buried in sleet and snow. In between shoveling sessions, I’ve resorted to pulling from my photo archives so I can write about another favorite subject: variegated plants. Continue reading

Matchmaking with Bulbs – Part 2

'Mars' allium (Allium) with golden lemon balm (Melissa officinalis 'All Gold') and bigroot geranium (Geranium macrorrhizum); Nancy J. Ondra at Hayefield

‘Mars’ allium (Allium) with golden lemon balm (Melissa officinalis ‘All Gold’) and bigroot geranium (Geranium macrorrhizum)

In Part 1 of Matchmaking with Bulbs, I covered some ways of choosing flowering and foliage partners to create beautiful combinations with bulbs. Another way to choose companions is consider them from a practical angle: plants that will look good when the bulbs aren’t at their best, or that will support or protect slender bulb stems and blooms. Continue reading

Matchmaking with Hardy Bulbs – Part 1

'Gladiator' allium (Allium) with 'Silver and Gold' yellow-twig dogwood (Cornus sericea), 'Edith Wolford' bearded iris, and--in the back--Arkansas bluestar (Amsonia hubrichtii); Nancy J Ondra at Hayefield

‘Gladiator’ allium (Allium) with ‘Silver and Gold’ yellow-twig dogwood (Cornus sericea), ‘Edith Wolford’ bearded iris, and–in the back–Arkansas bluestar (Amsonia hubrichtii) [May 22, 2013]

When I was writing The Perennial Matchmaker, my original plan was to include an entire section devoted to combinations featuring hardy bulbs, but as the pages filled up with other perennials, I was lucky to keep even a few set aside for alliums and lilies. Now, though, seems like an excellent time to indulge in an in-depth appreciation of these little bundles of beauty, so think of this as a bonus chapter. Continue reading

The Perennial Matchmaker – A Chance to Win

The Perennial Matchmaker by Nancy J. Ondra

It’s here! I’ve been experimenting with plant combinations, making notes, and gathering photographs for many years, and I wrote the first proposal for this book nearly a decade ago. I’m grateful to the folks at Rodale–where I started my career in publishing as a summer intern in Garden Books 26 years ago–for taking a chance on my idea and turning it into reality. I also owe thanks to excellent editor Karen Bolesta and the book’s talented designer, Joanna Williams, as well as frequent collaborator Rob Cardillo and the many talented blogger/photographers whose inspiring combinations are included in the text.

The book isn’t due out until next month, but the advance copies just arrived, and to celebrate the release, Rodale has arranged to give away 10 copies through Goodreads. It’s open to residents of the U.S and Canada from today to March 1, 2016. You can find details on how to enter here: Book Giveaway for The Perennial Matchmaker.

 

Better Together: Herbs – Part 2

Roman chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile) with 'Dali Marble' burnet (Sanguisorba) at Hayefield.com

Roman chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile) with ‘Dali Marble’ burnet (Sanguisorba)

In my last post, I focused on just four herbs; this time, I’ve chosen some of my favorites from the wide range of other culinary, aromatic, and medicinal species and their selections. Above is Roman chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile), which I’d planted with the intention of harvesting and drying the flowers for tea. It’s so cute in bloom, though, that I kind of hate to cut them. Here’s it’s planted with ‘Dali Marble’ burnet (usually listed under Sanguisorba menziesii, even though its height, flowers, and bloom time are far more like those of S. officinalis).

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Better Together: Herbs – Part 1

'Provence' lavender (Lavandula x intermedia) with Mexican feather grass (Stipa tenuissima) at Hayefield.com

‘Provence’ lavender (Lavandula x intermedia) with Mexican feather grass (Stipa tenuissima)

Surely it can’t still be winter? And yet, it clearly is–outside, anyway. In here, I’ve been immersed in my photo archives for the last few days, picking out photos of plant combinations for the book I’m working on. Revisiting the digital highlights of the last decade has reminded me of some plants and pairings I’d like to try again, including some old favorites that I’ve neglected over the past few years.

I still have herbs on my mind from my last post, so I decided to separate out a bunch of herb combination photos, in the hope that you too might enjoy thinking about these fragrant and flavorful beauties. There are a lot of them, so it made sense to focus only on lavenders, thymes, sages, and basils this time. Above is one of my all-time-favorite pairings: spiky ‘Provence’ lavender (Lavandula x intermedia) with wispy Mexican feather grass (Stipa tenuissima).

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Midsummer Highlights

Meadow and Arc Borders at Hayefield.com

As promised, a follow-up to this month’s Bloom Day, but this time focusing on the meadow, garden shots, and combinations over the last six weeks.

While lilies have been a key theme of this summer in the garden, there are two stars in the meadow.

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