Perennial Combinations

Admittedly, the sharp contrast of gold False Sunflower and red Bee-Balm is a bit brash, but it holds its colour intensity well in full sun exposures. Heliopsis helianthoides ‘Loraine Sunshine’ (Zone 3) grows 3′ tall and features yellow daisies and white foliage with heavy green veining. Monarda ‘Jacob Cline’ (Zone 3) bears deep scarlet blooms that attract hummingbirds and grows 3-4′ tall.

An elegant combination of spiky purple blooms rising above a solid cushion of finely cut green foliage with rose-pink flowers hugging the contour. Salvia verticillata ‘Purple Rain’ (zone 3) bears its violet purple blooms from June to September and grows 18-24″ high. Geranium psilostemon ‘Bressingham Flair’ (zone 4) features deep lilac-pink flowers(with a dark eye) from early to midsummer.

Orange and deep purple always make for an eye-catching colour blend, as this pairing of Asiatic lilies and Delphinium confirms – but it takes a bold gardener to try it. Lilium ‘Giraffe’ (zone 3) grows 3-4′ tall and has terminal blooms of blazing orange with red edging and tips. Delphinium ‘Black Knight’ (zone 3) bears stately spires of deep violet blue in June-July, reaching 4-5′ tall.

This old-fashioned combination of silvery-pink Garden Phlox and the deep violet-blue caps of Monkshood still works well today. Aconitum napellus (zone 3) produces tall arching stems of deep blue scull caps from July to August. Phlox paniculata (zone 3) has many fine pink forms (with fragrant blooms), including ‘Eva Cullum’, ‘Shortwood’ and ‘Laura’ – all of which attract butterflies.

This pairing of two evergreen groundcover Sedums is not only low maintenance, but both are also quite drought tolerant once established. Sedum rupestre ‘Angelina’ (zone 3) features gold needled foliage that turns brassy-orange in winter and grows 3-6″ high. Sedum spathulifolium ‘Purpureum’ (zone 5) has fleshy spoon-shaped leaves of silvery-blue with purple highlights.

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