Lavender and pale hues with Scabiosa, Polemonium and Violet Bleu sur Blanc. Another combination of pale hues together is Astilbe Sprite and Achillea Salmon Beauty.
Gzania Chungwa with Liatris Spicata Kobold plus the same Gazania Chungwa with smaller flowers of Campanula Bluebells of Scotland.
Foliage and flower – Arctotis Bordeaux and Euphorbia Fens Ruby compliment each other. Both of these like dryish soil and sun. Bright pink of Symphyotricum Alma Potschke is toned down a little with glaucous foliage of Lathyrus Latifolius, a perennial sweet pea. Symphyotrichum was previously named New England Aster. Whether you prefer Symphyotrichum or Aster – they are still beautiful blooms!
Campanula Snowbells is an adaptable plant to mix with. A low mound of green with grey green leaves of Geranium Philippe Vapelle. One with pure white blooms and the other, a deep blue with purple undertone. Centaurea Dealbata gives a fluffy look to the blooms with a deep pink colour. Again with greyish green foliage it mixes well.
Schizostylis Coccinea has bright red flowers. Member of the Iris family, commonly known as Kaffir Lily’s. They grow naturally in wetter parts of the Eastern Cape in South Africa. They are quite happy in colder climates as long as it is not too wet in winter. Beautiful bright red contrasts magnificently with white Leucanthemum Paladin. A mini daisy that is quite adaptable.
Magnolia Sieboldii also known as Korean mountain Magnolia. This deciduous plant has ivory cup shaped flowers with a pink base in the centre. The blooms have a delicious fragrance of honey and sweetness. You know the sweet scent that lingers in the air after a gentle rain shower. The scent you will remember for a lifetime. Plants are like that, they create memories. Magnolia Sieboldii with it’s scented blooms also has lovely thick green leaves, withstanding more wind than some other trees. It is very adaptable and may be grown in a woodland area or more out in the open. The first photo on the left it is grown with Viburnum Davidii – an evergreen shrub with white flowers. It is also quite adaptable in part shade. The second photo on the right is with Cotinus Royal Purple. This Cotinus has fluffy heads of pink in summer. Quite a colour difference. Magnolia Sieboldii, if left, will grow into a sizeable tree. However, like a lot of larger trees this Magnolia can also be trimmed to a required height by pruning in winter.
Leucanthemum Paladin with unique ruffled and layered white blooms – resembling an Edwardian collar. Geranium Philippe Vapelle has deep blue flowers with a purple undertone and purple veining. The grey green leaves are in perfect toning with the blooms.The white layering pops out with a small amount of purple. Both being mini type plants which are suitable for the front of the garden, perhaps around a bird bath, side of a path where a little height is required – endless possibilities.
Acaena Red Carpet and Agapanthus Tinkerbell. Both like it dry and sunny. The red colour of Acaena Red Carpet intensifies in a sunny position and will form a soft non-invasive ground cover. Native to New Zealand and found in gravelly river beds and tussock grasslands where it has good drainage. This does not have sharp barbs like some other varieties, so nice and soft to touch. Creamy white flower heads appear in summer. Very low growing and perfect in pots, gravelly soil and growing over rocks. Agapanthus Tinkerbell can be a real show stopper in the right conditions. Show off its variegated glory with dark mauves and purples. Also, perfect on its own planted in a pot where it will forgive some neglect.
Cupressus Totem and Nandina Firepower. The green Cupressus is a wonderfully hardy plant. Growing to 4m, let it tower or keep it down in a pot. Either way, a distinctive narrow conifer adding structure and formality. Grow in a sunny well drained site and take note, it has a dislike of rich fertile soils which cause it to lose shape. Nandina Firepower adds a pop of colour to the green. This is it’s autumn glory. Changing colour during the seasons from pale lime and pink to this fiery red in autumn. Also likes it sunny and planted in a well drained site, growing to 60cm.
Autumn Sunrise at Willowburn. Opening up to a lovely sunny day on the Taieri Plains
Autumn Wisteria at Willowburn. The flowers form a curtain of colour in spring and summer. It also rewards with colours in autumn. In winter adds another form with twisted bare branches. Wisteria plants can flower when quite young and come in different colours and range of scent. Choose a plant for your site. Some are naturally wanting to climb and others want to bush out to cover more area. Trim to whatever height you require. For a more formal plant, trim extra shoots in summer. In winter angle prune just above a bud.
Eryngium Agavifolium – impressive statuesque plant. Forms glossy rosettes with dramatic green flower spikes. Provides a fantastic tropical look. Endemic to Argentina where it is found in central-northern provinces. This soft spiny delight likes a well drained gritty soil in sun. Echinacea White Swan appreciates the sun and well drained soil as well. Bearing creamy white blooms, it is a perfect addition to classic green.
Rudbeckia Little Goldstar adds vibrant and cheerful colour from late summer into winter. Introduced by Jelitto of Germany, Rudbeckia Little Goldstar is a nice compact perennial that produces an abundance of flowers. The yellow flowers make Agapanthus Peter Pan blooms more visible. Backdrop of mini Pittosporum is just the right tone of green to make the whole colour combine so well. Both plants like sun, however in hot climates will benefit from part shade.
Geum Leonard’s Variety is a tough little perennial. As well as growing and thriving in sun or part shade, it will also adapt in a range of heavier soils. Coppery-rose flowers in spring and summer adorn this elegant perennial. Geum Leonard’s Variety will also blend well with a lot of other plants, including Chamaecyparis Green Globe pictured. A tiny bun shaped conifer reaching around 30-40cm in 10 years. This little bun has dark green foliage and super easy to grow as long as it is protected from hot sun.
So many different shades and textures of pink. Camellia, Viburnum and Hydrangea.
Plant colour combinations are a lot of fun when it comes to designing your space. Two easily adaptable perennials in many different settings are Leucanthemum Paladin and Alchemilla Mollis.
Looks so good in the middle of winter. Evergreens in different colours. Abies Hudsonia, a little slow growing shrub looking fresh all year. Leucothe Crimson Globe is at its best in autumn and winter.