In gardening, a pairing is the placement of two plants next to each other which bring out the best in each other. Contrasting colors, textures, and heights create great drama in the landscape. I’m always looking for perfect pairings, because they photograph well. I have found that garden magazines tend to make the reader feel like the gardener has to plan perfectly to bring about this kind of magic in the garden. I’ll be honest—most of my pairings are just lucky. I plant things next to each other because there is space, and then voila–I seek the results when things are blooming. Sometimes I make a note in my head—“oh I should move that plant over by that plant next year—they are blooming at the same time, and they would look spectacular together.” But mostly, it’s just luck. I took these photographs yesterday, to show some perfect pairings in an early fall garden in Oregon. Hydrangea & Roses. Tall Verbena & orange Zinnia. Crape Myrtle & a coral Dahlia. Pink Zinnia, Agastache, & yellow single Dahlias. Pink snapdragon & Perovskia (Russian Sage). Some are annuals (zinnia and snapdragon). Some are perennials (tall verbena, agastache, and perovskia). Some are tubers (dahlias). Some are what I categorize as shrubs (hydrangea and roses).
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