When plant combinations work it is because they enhance one another. I like to think of these sometimes planned, sometimes serendipitous events as conversations between the plants involved. Repeating the same plant like Malus ‘Donald Wyman’ in my Moon garden with a second tree 70 feet away on the bank of the pond, means that after a long winter the two trees speak across the cold air one beautiful white and pink blossomed canopy to another. Then in fall when the crabapples turn bright red they bond again and your eye is naturally pulled back and forth by the dramatic fruit display.
Other combinations of plants that are dialoguing right now are the shrub Potentilla ‘Primrose beauty’ its soft yellow blooms whisper tenderly to the perennial Kirgengeshoma ‘palmate’ who’s beautiful pale yellow flowers nods in appreciation. A fluke planting, I love seeing these plants making the most of each other. The third shrub Sumac ‘Tiger eyes’ joins in on the conversation with its bright glowing chartreuse leaves.
When combinations of plants work well I make a note of it for future design projects so my clients and I can enjoy similarly harmonious discussions.