You know those beautiful gardens that win awards on TV?
It’s a little known gardening fact that companion planting is actually the key behind them!
You see, planting specific types of plants near each other doesn’t just give you the ability to balance out your garden colors and contrasts – but your plants literally end up benefiting one another and becoming healthier than they normally would!
What You Need To Know About Companion Planting To Have The Garden Of Your Dreams
First you need to keep in mind some basic garden design elements: the shape of your flowers, color, flower texture and environment of your garden.
You’ve probably noticed it yourself: Any beautiful garden uses both contrasting/complementing shapes of flowers.
One example is planting strong vertical flowers (such as arborvitae) and contrasting them with horizontal or rounded shape, like the Mariesii viburnum.
Have you ever known a friend who went “a little overboard” and planted only their favorite bright colored flowers all over? It ends up literally straining your eyes if you look at it too long!
Complementary and contrasting flowers planted together will make your garden comfortable to look at and helps your visitors to “follow the path” that you plan for them.
Using Colors To Bring Out The Most Beautiful Points Of Your Garden
I know lots of gardeners who use softer, pastel colors because they’re “easy on the eyes”.
You really want to use bolder colors (like yellow, read, orange) sparingly and only when you want to direct a visitor’s eye to a special spot of your garden.
Use lighter shades of red to transition between bold and pastel colors and make sure you balance out the bolder colors with blues and purples – this works like a charm!
Flowers Aren’t The Only Way To Get Color In Your Garden
I’ve seen amazing gardens designed with foliage, berries and stems!
Garden tip for beautiful foliage: Try putting together a finely textured plant like arborvitae with coarser looking viburnum. These look very beautiful to the eye when planted together!
Another great combination is plants with different leaf sizes… like the vurburnum and boxwood… both have rounded shapes but very different sizes!
Hands down, leaf size is the best way to plan for texture variation in your garden!
Some other plants with great texture contrast: junipers and grasses, ferns and hosta.
Great complementing plants that look absolutely amazing together are Hollies and Rhodies, Iris and Daylilies.
How Environment Affects Your Garden
Many gardeners do what we mentioned so far – plan for color, texture and shape – but forget to consider the environment… this is a huge mistake!
Factors like sun, shade, soil composition, pests, wind factor and wildlife… all these things play a part not only in your garden’s health but also in how nice it looks!
Always remember: Even if you did everything right and had the best possible pair of companion plants together… they would look awful if their leaves are being eaten by pests!
Garden Ideas That Will Make You The Envy Of Your Neighbors
We already talked about planning your garden around shape, color, texture and environment.
Let’s look at some specific ways to use these in your garden to make it look spectacular…
How about a themed garden like a butterfly garden, rock garden, or native plants? (Theme gardens are easy to plan because the plants and flowers are already picked!)