Companion Plant for Yellow Coneflower?
Along with perusing garden catalogs, now is the time for obsessing over where to move old plants or add new plants for spring.
For example, I love my Yellow Coneflowers (Ratibida pinnata), so in the last couple of years I’ve planted a bunch of them. Next year the younger ones should really come into their own, creating a nice drift.
But will need some companions to fill in the space to their west, facing the afternoon sun. I want these companions to have blue flowers timed to contrast with the Yellow Coneflowers’ charmingly droopy yellow daisies (and the cone that looks like a clown’s nose). And they need to have the height and habit that won’t block too much sun. My Yellow Coneflowers tend to grow about 4-5′.
Right now I’m considering 3 potential botanical mates.
1) Russian Sage ‘Little Spire’ (Perovskia atriplicifolia). In an act of random gardening, I bought one of these last summer and planted it in a really dumb place. No, I won’t tell you where. However, it occurs to me I could transplant it to the sunny side of the Yellow Coneflowers, though I’d have to buy a second plant to fill in the area I have in mind.
‘Little Spire’ is a compact variety that is supposed to start blooming earlier in summer and grow to only about 2′. I also like that it has a nice open habit with a bit of a see-through effect.
2) Anise Hyssop ‘Golden Jubilee’ (Agastache foeniculum). I already have lots of the straight species Anise Hyssop. However, even with cutting back it easily grows to 4′, too tall for my purposes here. However, ‘Golden Jubilee’ is supposed to grow just 1-3′, though it has a more dense bushy habit. The foliage is chartreuse.
What appeals to me about this choice is that it I think it will harmonize with the taller straight species, creating a more unified look. Also, the ripe seed heads make a fuzzy spike that should go well with the Ratibida seed heads.
3) Balloon Flower (Platycodon grandiflorus). This would mean adding an entirely new plant to this border, which I’m a little reluctant to do. But I like the idea of the bell-shaped blue flowers contrasting with the droopy yellow ones. It’s got the right height and bloom period.
Time for another poll! What do you think would make the best companion for my Yellow Coneflowers?
Please vote, then explain your thinking in a comment.