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A Match Made in Heaven

May 24th, 2011

The longer I garden the more I start to hone in on my likes and dislikes when it comes to plant combinations. For me, gardening is a creative outlet. Just as I’m constantly trying different angles and lighting to get that great photo, I’m often moving plants around to get just the right combination of texture, color, and form. Every now and then, a few things get planted together and they just work. They look as if they belong together.

I feel this way about chives (Allium schoenoprasum) and lamb’s ears (Stachys byzantina). I find them to be stunning when paired together. Both of these plants are humble common herbs, you see them in many gardens and they have medicinal utilitarian backgrounds. There’s just something about the contrast in texture and form that works in my eyes (you may feel quite differently). One of the best parts of this combination is that both plants are quite easy to propagate. I’m working on incorporating a few more pockets of this combo in other areas of my garden.

What’s a plant combination that you find stunning?

24 Comments to “A Match Made in Heaven”
  1. kristin @ going country on May 24, 2011 at 6:32 am

    I do not have an artist’s eye, but I do absolutely adore when our magnolia grove is in bloom with the forsythia hedge in full bloom in front of it. That electric yellow against the white with a bright blue spring sky above it all . . . that’s just what my color-starved eyes want to see after a long winter.

    Reply to kristin @ going country's comment

  2. goatpod2 on May 24, 2011 at 8:05 am

    I like almost everything here on our farm!


    Reply to goatpod2's comment

  3. Terry on May 24, 2011 at 10:23 am

    I think you have just helped me figure out what the mystery plant was that I bought for $1 from a lady near the farmer’s market is! I have seen a lot of it in other yards but had no idea what it is called. Mystery solved, thank you!

    Reply to Terry's comment

  4. Michelle @ Give a Girl a Fig on May 24, 2011 at 10:54 am

    Oh I agree with you…this is a beautiful combination. I have Lamb’s ears in my front yard that I need to thin…I’ll move some of it to the backyard when we’re done laying down the sod.

    Hmm…what combination do I find stunning? I haven’t found a sure fire combo for my yard yet…I do know that I love Baby tears with just about anything though! And Scotch moss…so beautiful and complimentary to so many other plants.

    Reply to Michelle @ Give a Girl a Fig's comment

  5. sarah on May 24, 2011 at 11:27 am

    Beautiful chives! I never had any luck growing them… do you start the seeds indoors?

    Reply to sarah's comment

    • Susy on May 24, 2011 at 11:37 am

      I did start these from seed 5-6 years ago and they multiply every year. If you can’t get them started from seed you can get a clump from a local gardener. They’ll seed and expand in the garden once established. I’ve been digging up seedlings and clumps to plant throughout my garden from this main clump for years.

      Reply to Susy's comment

      • sarah on May 26, 2011 at 11:32 am

        Thanks… I had no idea!

        to sarah's comment

  6. Kelly (The Sorry Gardener) on May 24, 2011 at 11:54 am

    Those do look nice together. I have the cranesbill that’s behind your chives interplanted with hellebores this year and that looks nice together.

    Reply to Kelly (The Sorry Gardener)'s comment

  7. Donna B. on May 24, 2011 at 12:34 pm

    I have on the border of my walkway an area filled with a red/yellow, and vibrant orange Butterfly weed (Asclepias tuberosa) and a huge clump of Sedum “Autum Joy” which has a backdrop of “Grampa Ott’s” Morning Glories… I love the strong colors which slowly rust as it get’s colder…
    But my chives are soon going to bloom. When that happens I might have to start growing it in more areas of my garden. The blooms are fantastic! ♥
    [and I want Lambs Ear now too…]

    Reply to Donna B.'s comment

  8. Daedre Craig on May 24, 2011 at 12:38 pm

    I like combining yellow and blue/purple flowering plants.

    I’m also a big fan of lamb’s ears…they look great with anything.

    Reply to Daedre Craig's comment

  9. Three on Grove on May 24, 2011 at 1:16 pm

    That is a great combo! I have been wanting to plant some lambs ear! I found a great combination in a sunset magazine that has worked out beautifully…licorice plant and red ivy geranium (in a pot). They had a quince in there as well, but not for my zone!

    Reply to Three on Grove's comment

  10. bonnie on May 24, 2011 at 2:49 pm

    Oh yes! Love combos.

    Rose campion + crepe myrtle trunk.
    (gray-green, magenta, and cinnamon brown)

    Rose campion + iris foliage + grey bole of maple.
    (gray-green, magenta, and gray)

    Japanese maple (first dark red leaves) + white spirea + light blue bearded irises.
    (Red, white, and blue!)

    Kerria in bloom + backdrop of dark green Osmanthus
    (gold and dark green)

    Queen Anne daffodils + veronica ‘Georgia Blue’
    (bright yellow and bright blue)

    Dark burgundy canna leaves + light creamy yellow daylily
    (burgundy/green and creamy yellow)

    I could go on and on.

    Reply to bonnie's comment

    • Donna B. on May 25, 2011 at 9:29 am

      I had to look up some of these plants you mentioned… now I think I need a Kerria!!! Hnngh. I’m weak for yellow flowers!

      Reply to Donna B.'s comment

    • Susy on May 25, 2011 at 11:54 am

      Love these combos – I’ll have to try to find images of them to see what they’d all look like together!

      Reply to Susy's comment

  11. Barefeet In The Kitchen on May 24, 2011 at 2:53 pm

    I really like that combination. It is beautiful! I’m going to copy that in our garden this year. thanks!!

    Reply to Barefeet In The Kitchen's comment

  12. David Grist, Gardener's Supply on May 24, 2011 at 3:03 pm

    Late in the summer, you see Goldsturm rudbeckia everywhere. Pair it with a type of fleeceflowercalled Firetail (Persicaria amplexicaulis ‘Firetail’) and it takes on a new look: I also love to create tulip pairings, such as Toronto and Quebec:

    Reply to David Grist, Gardener’s Supply's comment

  13. Chris on May 24, 2011 at 4:32 pm

    Love that combo! I especially like sweet woodruff in front of bloodgrass. I have that combination in a big planter with some ivy coming over the sides.

    Reply to Chris's comment

  14. alison@thisbloominglife on May 24, 2011 at 6:45 pm

    I do love that combination, I tend to throw in some Italian parsley seeds toward the back, let it go to seed and enjoy the flower heads. Gives a nice contrast. Last year I got so frustrated with my lambs ears (my fault I let them get out of control) that I pulled them out of my main border. This summer (Aussie calender) the border just didn’t work so back in they go! Lesson learnt, a little time controlling and a lot more beauty.

    Reply to alison@thisbloominglife's comment

  15. Brenda on May 24, 2011 at 7:44 pm

    I have both these plants in my garden, but not together, I love them together, so looks like I am off to move some plants!

    Reply to Brenda's comment

  16. Kathi on May 24, 2011 at 8:48 pm

    I have an accidental combo I love of purple salvia in front of double pale pink peony. Very pretty partners.

    Reply to Kathi's comment

    • Susy on May 25, 2011 at 11:54 am

      That sounds lovely. I have a few salvias and I love them, they would pair beautifully with a peony!

      Reply to Susy's comment

  17. Nebraska Dave on May 25, 2011 at 11:31 am

    Susy, from a row cropping farmer background, there used to not be a creative thought that went through my mind. One of my blogger friends pointed out that mentality has followed me into my flower growing. There’s no clumps, or combinations of things there’s just rows of flowers planted evenly spaced apart. It’s quite humorous and I had to laugh when she pointed that out to me. Since then I’ve tried to change my outlook on flower gardens but it’s a slow process for this old brain. It’s a good thing that flower beds can be changed quite easily. Hopefully, I’ll get better as I read blogs like yours to inspire me to go where I’ve never gone before. Mentally, that is. :0)

    Have a great creative flower planting day.

    Reply to Nebraska Dave's comment

    • Susy on May 25, 2011 at 11:53 am

      I don’t think it’s just something that’s tough for a “row-copper” like yourself. I think a lot of folks have trouble breaking out of the “shrubs surrounded by mulch” mentality when it comes to foundation gardens and flowerbeds.

      It is wonderful that plants are forgiving and don’t mind moving a few times until you find the “perfect” spot.

      I do however LOVE a traditional rowed vegetable garden. There’s just something simply wonderful about the neatness and the order in such a garden!

      Reply to Susy's comment

  18. Sincerely, Emily on May 25, 2011 at 2:47 pm

    I also love Chives and lamb’s ear. I have them both growing together with Purple Heart – I like the textures and colors of the three combined or else some sedum mixed in is nice too. The chives make a nice border too. I tend to keep my seeds harvested so I don’t have so many volunteers, but I keep the seed to pass on to others. another favorite is yarrow. Emily

    Reply to Sincerely, Emily's comment


This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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