Since man can not live by hosta's alone ( very debatable I know) I thought I'd share some of my fav companion plants and would love to see yours.
I'll start off with maidenhair fern and variegated Solomon Seal
Here's one with Heuchera Obsidian, Brunnera Looking Glass, Carex Bowles Golden and Japanese Painted Fern
Actaea Hillside Black Beauty and Heuchera Paprika
Here we see Guacamole surrounded by companions Fragrant Bouquet, Fried Bananas, Fragrant Blue, Avocado, Diana Remembered, Cathedral Windows, Cerveza, Mojito, Parky's Prize, Invincible, Emily Dickinson, Royal Standard, The Shining, Austin Dickinson, Sugar and Cream, Sugar and Spice, Fragrant Dream and Stained Glass.
Oh, and in the top left corner you can see a little bit of lamium 'purple dragon'. Not sure how that got in there.
Let's see. How about Carex Evergold
Heucheras are a must:
as well as Solomon's Seal:
Asiatic Lilies work very well with Hostas:
Oh, and everyone knew I was going to throw in this one, LOL. My fav, Peacock Spikemoss!
I know, you did not see that coming, right?!
Heucheras are nice, too. Tassel Fern poking in the pic, a couple varieties of lamium make a nice spot in the garden.
Don, I just LOVE your way of "companion planting!"
teeeeeheheee....cannot say that I am any different though. However, I'm making a stab at it. I have some columbines to plant....have no idea where to put them.....except in the ground? But, will wait until I get my funny moss from PDN that should be here tomorrow before I plant anything. It is so .....hot ....right now, I hate to plant anything else until the heat breaks.
Make sure the spikemoss is in shade, Mocc. It doesn't like ANY sun.
Lol Don. I guess man can live by hosta's alone!
Nice fun. Is Spanish Moss hardy down there ? Wish it was here but I could still use it as an annual. I shall do so next year.
Here's a fun little Solomon Seal called Fred Case. Only about 3" tall and spreads fast.
Ajuga Black Scallop
Going Dons route. Using Fire and Ice as a ground cover
Day lilies, astilbe, and impatiens used as fillers this year - all color echos of one another. I also use ajuga as a ground cover, which is easy for me to control.
What is the one called sun a.....? It is a really pretty bright green, bush(?). A few of you have had in pics. Next year adding some companion plants. Love the Japanese grasses and ferns. Are there ferns that can take a decent amount of sun if they get water?
Let me try to remember here. Spike moss is selaginella....or something similar? I am so tired tonight I really do not want to look it up.
At any rate, it will be here tomorrow. Funn, I had some once before and I suppose I let it have sun. So no sunlight would be good....I know right where to put it.
Now, how about those columbine? Aquilegia? Shade or morning light....which? Can I expect them to come back next year if they do not have any seeds? I'd love to have them as self sowing companion plants.
I also have some solomon seal but not the golden kind. I got the other kind to be delivered in this order from PDN too.
DD, I really like the color you mix in with your hostas, especially the astilbe. I have a few but the bloom seems to be very short lived and can never get enough water. They always dry out and shrivel mid season.
May I ask what kind of trees are those in the second picture?
Mac, using hosta as companion plants to.....hosta....good idea! I see what you mean following Don's example. :) Good one.
Now, when you use Fire And Ice as a "filler" (i.e. companion plant), have you tried any other similar hosta? I'm speaking of Masquerade, not quite such a dark green, but the white is the same. I've bought 10 of those in my time, and have one alive. I was wondering if you have any experience with that one? I was thinking of letting it naturalize if possible. But not likely at the rate I keep killing them.
Funn, lovely companion plants. What is the name of the Heuchera in the third pic - 2nd Heuchera pic? I have a similar one I am trying to identify. Mine is blooming, has yours bloomed or is it about to?
I used to just love my annuals before I fell in love with Hosta. I
Iike gazanias with my Hosta, filling in the bare spots between Hosta still maturing. They are an annual and I have them in yellow, orange, white, and burgundy. Nice mounding habit mimicking that of the Hosta.
Here is a gazania beside Fire and Ice.
I like the yellow gazania with Fire And Ice, it seems to bring out the chartreusey yellow third color in the hosta leaf.
And Mac, do you mean the draping spanish moss like from my trees? It is a member of the tillandsia family, and it too likes humidity. I'm not sure of its zone limits though. However, it drapes from oak trees in coastal Georgia, South Carolina, and perhaps as far north as Washington.
I'm glad DDonna uses ajuga, because I like it too. It hugs the ground, and sends up those purple flower spikes. It is in a few spots in my garden, stays green all winter long. Very sturdy, and does not get out of control.
Astrantia with Albopicta is lovely. Too bad the hosta blooms later. It's flower colour is similar to the astrantia.
Tiarella with Golden Scepter to right but out of frame...
Lots of astilbes in my garden...this is Sprite, a smaller cultivar.
Mac, yes, the spikemoss is hardy here, luckily. I like it a lot as a filler, but do have to keep it in check.
Mocc, sounds like you are getting some gems from PDN! I find that my columbine are pretty carefree, as far as how much light they get. It's pretty bright now in my bed with half of the tree now gone and the extra light is feeding them, it seems. They reseed for me. I don't even know where the original clumps were at this point. I also have all different colors and shades now that I know I didn't plant. Very cool. The Solomon seal is just as carefree, very reliable, always looks great. I think you'll like it.
Barb, that is heuchera Kassandra in the 2nd heuch pic. I love her highs and lows as far as colors on one plant. She is a profuse grower, and has probably quadrupled this year in size. One of my favs. I would say the edge of Kassandra's leaves are distinct in shape for her, if that helps you I.D. yours.
Mocc, here in zone 5 Aquilegia loves the sun and blooms prolifically....but it blooms just as well on the north side as east, west and south! It's your typical perennial that dies down and reappears in the spring. It doesn't need to drop seed to perpetuate itself, which of course it does quite well! I leave undisturbed whatever seedlings pop up. Once the plants get too large I usually choose to relocate its adjacent plants instead of it. I have found that although transplanting of columbines is successful, the plant tends to regress a bit from shock...as with any long tap-rooted perennial.
Loving all the spectacular pics with companions. Old Dirt - to answer your question - The trees are woodland trees "captured" on my island when walking paths were installed. They are slow to leaf out in the fall, but provide nice shade.
I love chelone and Japanese painted ferns next to my sum and substance,
Japanese forest grass and painted ferns.
Okay, Jo! Thank you for that final bit of information that they will come back next year. I know when I was asking for companion plant recommendations I said "free seeding" and did not ask whether they were coming back from previous year growth. Whew! Now I can pop those nice lovely columbines into the ground to surround my huge hosta in tubs and whiskey barrels. I will give them a spot which shades their roots with their heads in the sunlight.
The moss and the ferns which are due to arrive today from Plant Delights should take to the shade of my new Roundabout bed. It is fairly low there, so the ones which like moist shade should flourish. I have also a DRY shade spot, where some ferns might be happy.
I will show the ferns I'm getting later on. One is a new form of holly fern, something that takes a bit more sun than a lot of the ferns. Of course, asparagus ferns are champs at enduring the western sun even in my climate. The root system on them have grape size bladders which the plant uses to store water for a dry period. Mine bloom white flowers, then set small red berries which become new plants when they fall off. The cold weather knocked most of the tops down, but did not kill the root system on the pots I keep located on the western exposure of my house. I would not put many of them in the ground though, because they are really prickly, and very dense when they begin spreading. The volunteers near the fence keep critters from digging beneath the fence, which is a good thing.
Mac, as always you have such beautiful combinations. I love Paprika too - new in my garden this year.
Funn, is your Kassandra sending up bloom stalks right now? I found a site with pics and info but it says that Kassandra blooms is late spring and early summer. Here is the link: http://www.perennials.com/plants/heuchera-kassandra.html Mine looks like yours and the photo in the link but it is about to bloom which makes we wonder.
Carol, beautiful combos!
Mocc, love your refernce to volunteers - how generous of them. I'm getting a chuckle out of you with your columbines. They self seed freely in my garden and I have been pulling them out like weeds lately. Sorry I can't gift you a few!
Great non-hosta showcases, Mac. I love your heuchera that you planted in drifts; Looks very impressive like that.
My pathetic offering...Elegans with a fern. Stunning, I know. : P Elegans is still holding it's nice blue color, though.
This post was edited by Don_in_Colorado on Thu, Aug 28, 14 at 16:37
Here is what is planted with my Sunpower.
Sherry, that is a well composed scene. Sun Power is holding its own with all the companions too.
Wow. So many great pics and plants. Thanks for sharing everyone.
Now for something completely different. Well not so different but you gotta love Monty Python.
A variegated hedge maple. Acer campestre ' Carnival'
Sun King Aralia
moccasinlanding - columbine has been reliable and sturdy in my garden beds for well over 8 years. Does it self seed? You betcha--in niches like where the driveway asphalt meets my front shade bed and where the driveway asphalt meets the concrete garage apron. It seems to find crevices I didn't even know were there but wherever it comes up, it's welcome to bloom and grow as it will. It has even self-seeded in containers left over winter on my breezeway. There's little more cheerful after a cold winter than those delicate blooms.
Mac thank you for posting that sun king aralia. Kept trying to google it and couldn't remember the name.
Mac, after a few key Monty Python references...I must ask...Are you A SHRUBBIST???
-The "other' Gilliam
Lol Don. Not a shrubbist, just a knight of nim.....wits
Here's a plant I just came across that has great color and texture. It's full sun in the north but I bet it gets big enough to cast enough shade for hosta's under it or use sun loving hosta's like Royal Standard next to it. Sambucus racemosa 'Lemon Lace'
That reminds me of the Hibiscus that I just discovered this year. Mahogany Splendor.
I used two to shade some of my hostas this year b/c the loss of half of a tree that had been shading them. It's worked well and the growth was unbelievable! It was only a couple of feet tall when I got it. Check it out now.
Looks kind of dumb sticking in the air all by itself from that angle, but it looks good viewed from the street b/c it blends into the house, visually and frankly, I needed it for the shade for my hostas, no matter what.
Great plant fun. I have a similar one. Hibiscus 'Summer Storm'
That color on the lemon lace is beautiful. I've never seen plants like that at the local garden centers. What are good places online to order companion plants from?
I'm sure there are bungalow. I have a great local supplier so I don't use any online sources for companion plants. It's a proven winner plant so it should be easy to find. When I googled it it showed that Home Depot had it!
A great fern. Lady in Red
Bungalow, you asked about ferns that take a lot of sun. Here's a great one that I've found:
It absolutely loves sun and it's really growing quickly. It was planted the exact same time as the maidenhair beside it, they were the same size. Look at the difference now, LOL
Love the fine lacy texture and it even is scented when it rains or crushed. Cool.
This post was edited by funnthsun on Fri, Aug 29, 14 at 21:02
I have a local garden center that I get a few things from, but most of my companion plants come from one of four sources:
Plant Delights (local for me but online as well) specializing in the unique, hard to find perennials, etc.
Lazy S's Farm (again, unusual perennials but regular, too)
Bluestone Perennials (great source, but hate the coir pots. I just remove them before planting.)
Santa Rosa Gardens
Hope that helps
Funn, I had a burgundy leafed hibiscus for a while, but salt water killed it and I cannot find another.
I have another which is a native hibiscus doiing very very well, transplanted to the ground. It seeds prolifically and has monstrous sized bright red flowers on a plant at least as tall as yours. The clump died back last winter but is doing nicely now. I could use another burgundy leafed hibiscus. Thanks for reminding me. Shade is good, any way you can get it.
Good move, Funn. In my experience, coir pots make root rot an easy thing to get.
Fun, I don't know how I missed your response a few days ago. Really like the texture on that fern as well. What is the scent it gives off? Thank you for the suggestions on where to buy. Will check them out.