Plant Combinations That Say Summer!

“For Summer, I have always loved using Allium ‘Summer Beauty.’ It is a great stand-along perennial, but part of its beauty is that it also works well with numerous other plants, which makes it so versatile,” says landscape designer Abbie Lydon.

One of Lydon’s favorite combinations is Allium angulosum ‘Summer Beauty’ with Stachys officinalis ‘Hummelo’ and Coreopsis verticillata ‘Zagreb.’ “Allium is a later summer bloomer – July into August, but by blending it with the stachys and coreopsis you get a great mix with color lasting from June well into August and September.’ she explains.

The coreopsis is the first to bloom. Beginning in June, it blooms profusely throughout the season. It has 1-2″ bright yellow flowers atop lacy foliage that gives the plant an airy texture. It grows in loosely rounded clumps 1-1.5′ tall in full sun.

Allium angulosum ‘Summer Beauty’ send up its 1.5-2″ round, lilac flowers from late June into late July. the plant grows 16-18″ tall with a similar spread at maturity in full sun. Its glossy, grass-like leaves offer a contrasting texture.

About the same time, Stachys officinalis ‘Hummelo’ joins the flower show, strutting its stuff into mid-August with 2-3′ tall rosy-lavender spikes. Hummelo has slightly crinkled medium green foliage that develops in layers. It matures to 16-22″ tall with a spread of 10-12” and grows in full sun to light shade.

Palmisano2Lydon likes the way all three plants offer a pleasing textural contrast in their flowers and their foliage. “Combining all three makes a colorful display full of texture,” she says. “This combination is a wonderful way to get the most out of your summer season.”

This article appeared in The Landscape Contractor May 2014.