Try these perfect marriages | THE COMPLEAT HOME GARDENER

The third week in March is when nurseries are filling up with fresh perennials, roses, conifers, flowering shrubs and berry bushes. This is the time to get thee to a nursery while the selection is good and the weather still cool enough to make transplanting easy.

If you are looking for inspiration about what plants to add to your landscape, look at what is growing in your garden now and think about adding a plant partner to create a dynamic duo. You can also move around the plants already growing in your garden. March is a great time to transplant as well as add new plant material.

Some plants do not make good bedmates as they grow too aggressively and smother their neighbors. I never recommend planting English ivy, spreading bamboo of lamium Arch Ange. In a small garden you want to avoid any groundcover that can become invasive.

Vegetable gardeners should be aware that growing horseradish has been a plant hard to corral as the persistent roots will go rogue and take over a garden patch.

Here are a few cozy couples that share a bed happily and why the marriage is successful:

Daffodils and hosta: Why this marriage works — A marriage of convenience

Daffodils flower early but leave behind long and strappy foliage that can persist for six to eight weeks. If you remove the foliage from bulbs past their prime (yes, this means tulips, snowdrops and crocus as well as daffodils), the bulb will not have the energy to flower the following year. By planting hosta in front of your daffodils the emerging hosta foliage will screen the daffodil greens from view when they are looking their worst. Every marriage partner should be so kind.

Black mondo grass and snowdrop bulbs: Why this marriage works — opposites attract

Black and white and tidy all over is the result when you divide an existing patch of snowdrop bulbs and plant amidst a clump of black mondo grass. Early-spring color is great but add some early-spring drama by highlighting the tiny white blooms of snowdrops against a background of deep black foliage and suddenly both plants get to play starring roles on the winter garden stage.

Clematis and nandina: Why this marriage works — a support system for a diva

Heavenly bamboo or Nandina domestica (not to be confused with invasive true bamboo) is an undemanding shrub that adapts to sun or shade and will not hog the water supply in a shared garden bed. This is important to the more delicate nature of a clematis vine that needs to have its root system cool and shaded but its top growth in the sun. Plant a clematis on the shaded or north side of a tall nandina shrub and let the vine ramble through the upright form of the Heavenly bamboo. This match is made in heaven for another reason — both plants can be severely pruned almost to ground level should a hard winter or too much growth make this combo a bit unsightly after a few anniversaries together. Sometimes even a well matched couple needs a fresh start.


Marianne Binetti will be making the following appearances:

• From 7 to 8:30 p.m. March 16, “Unthirsty Landscapes” presentation at the Issaquah Water District. Free admission, but register at www.unthirstylandscapes.brownpapertickets.com.

• “Beautiful Plant Marriages” at 10 a.m. March 18 at Windmill Gardens in Sumner. Fee is $5. Register at www.windmillgarden.com.

• “Tips for the Lazy Gardener” at 1 p.m. March 19 at the Kitsap County Home Show.


Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@rentonreporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.rentonreporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 300 words or less.

More in Life

‘Don’t assume it can’t happen to you’

Federal Way resident Evelyn Allcorn shares story of her husband’s battle with COVID-19 after he tested positive on March 28.

Auburn dance studio finds creative solutions to keep going during COVID-19

Pacific Ballroom Dance moves to online classes; group returned home early from national competition

Renton March 2020 Youth of the Month
March Rotary Youth of the Month

Rotary members recognize three Renton School District high school students each month… Continue reading

Courtesy of HLN. A screenshot from a preview of an episode of a new true crime show that highlights the Ingrid Lyne case, where a Renton mother was murdered.
Infamous Renton crime to make TV debut

It’s been over two years since a man was found guilty for… Continue reading

Schindler’s legacy bounces along at Baden

CEO of Baden Sports died unexpectedly in February

Photos courtesy of Linda Smith
Celebrating Black Excellence

Local organization honors Black History Month

Alyx Chamberlain, Jennifer Keil and Mario Pilapil, courtesy of Rotary Club of Renton.
Teachers of the Month for February

As part of their commitment to education, and to celebrate teachers in… Continue reading

Photo by Haley Ausbun
                                During halftime, athletes and coaches have individual meetings, while parents watch a video prepared by Highlands Community Church for whatever biblical principle teams are learning about that week at the Upward sports league.
Sports that help kids grow

Local church league gives to neighborhood

Local scouts greet attendants at the Renton First United Methodist Church on Sunday, Feb. 9, 2020. Photo courtesy of Patrick Montemerlo.
Local scouts celebrate big milestones

Scouts in Boy Scouts of America celebrated Scout Sunday, a national opportunity… Continue reading

Luis Hernandez. Courtesy of Renton Schools
He didn’t care much for class until his teacher encouraged his photography

Local Renton student’s photographs featured in exhibit in Spain

February’s Rotary Youth of the Month

Rotary members recognize three Renton School District high school students each month… Continue reading

Photo by Haley Ausbun. An annual event, Renton High School students showed off their culture, heritage and interests through the 2020 Renton Multicultural Show, Feb. 7 and Feb. 8 at the IKEA Performing Arts Center. The student hosts of the event opened up by saying that Renton High School holds the event each year as a chance to get their one big family into the room together in “reunion.” Performances included the Multicultural Fashion Show, Black Student Union, Latinx Student Union, K-pop and J-pop performances, Filipino Club and many more.
Renton High shows off its culture

Photos by Haley Ausbun. An annual event, Renton High School students showed… Continue reading