Garden Photo of the Day

Be a Garden Matchmaker

Plants that get on perfectly

Steven W., who gardens in western Washington State (Zone 8b) with his gardening partner, Sandy Lynch, sent in these images of some inspired plant combinations from his dreamy garden. If you missed his garden last time we featured it, be sure to check it out here.

Purple coneflower (Echinacea purpurea, Zones 3–9) and bigleaf hydrangea (Hydrangea macrophylla, Zones 6–9) looking absolutely perfect together. Hydrangeas, famously, are bluer on acidic soil and pinker on alkaline soils because they require aluminum to make the blue pigment and it is easier for plants to absorb aluminum from soil if it is acidic. This hydrangea is blue just blushing into pink in a way that complements the bright magenta tones of the coneflower perfectly.

A brilliant yellow Asiatic lily (Lilium, Asiatic group, Zones 5–8) looks all the brighter for being set against the backdrop of a dark pink-purple astilbe (Astilbe sp., Zones 4–8).

Dreamy blue bigleaf hydrangeas look like a piece of sky has dropped behind soft pink garden phlox (Phlox paniculata, Zones 4–8) and brilliant rose campion (Lychnis coronaria, Zones 3–9).

A collection of bright daisies, including hybrid coneflowers (Echinacea hybrids, Zones 3–9) and a sunny black-eyed susan (Rudbeckia fulgida, Zones 3–9).

Pure white delphinium (Delphinium elatum, Zones 2–7) with a soft lavender aster.

A backdrop of deep purple asters makes this zinnia (Zinnia elegans, annual) look all the brighter.


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View Comments


  1. garden1953 12/12/2018

    Beautiful combinations. Thank you for sharing them.

  2. User avater
    meander_michaele 12/12/2018

    Thank you, Steven, for sharing another round of beautiful vignettes from your garden. Seeing your photos is like taking a master's course in What Works....whether it's the effectiveness of choosing contrasting colors (the pop of yellow against the dark pink) or blending (the coneflower and hydrangea being such good neighbors). I really enjoyed revisiting your garden.

  3. User avater
    treasuresmom 12/12/2018

    Love how those colors are echoed. Beautiful!

  4. Sunshine111 12/12/2018

    So much fun! I’m stealing these ideas ?
    Thanks for the lovely gifts.. Merry Christmas!

  5. btucker9675 12/12/2018

    Oh my... now suffering another bout of extreme garden envy!

  6. cheryl_c 12/12/2018

    Steve, your combinations are lovely! I love how the white (astilbe?) in the photo with the dark purple-pink astilbe and yellow lily, and the white of the ?Queen Anne's lace in the very next photo really contribute to the composition - the combinations would not be as engaging without them. A lesson I need to learn! Thanks for sharing your garden with us.

  7. Steven11 12/12/2018

    Thanks everyone. Cheryl it is a white astilbe. In the next picture there is elephant garlic, a happy volunteer. Unfortunately the Joepye was weak and hardly seen.

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