Inspired Combinations
Inspired Combinations for low-maintenance landscaping Print

By Margareth Hop, nursery stock researcher at Applied Plant Research, Lisse, the Netherlands

Aster ageratoides ‘Asran’
A few decades ago, the use of herbaceous perennials in parks and other public spaces was similar to that of private gardens.  The plants required regular division, staking and deadheading — an amount of maintenance that has become too expensive for most public institutions. But this is not the only way perennials can be used. There are many sturdy species available that perform very well with much less maintenance, just weeding and mowing once a year at the end of winter.
The Inspired Garden Print
Tuesday, 05 October 2010 19:46
Imperata cylindrical ‘Red Baron’ (at right of bed, against driveway) and Calamagrostis acutiflora ‘Karl Foerster’ (in center).

The small private garden I will describe here is situated in the south of Holland, in the province of Limburg. This area is somewhat exceptional, in that it is not as completely flat as the rest of the country, but is covered with gentle sloping hillside. The garden is mainly situated in front of the house. As the house is just over three meters above the level of the road running in front of it, and at the same time is less than twelve meters wide, the main problem was how to overcome the difference in height. The view from the house, overlooking not only the road but also a lovely countryside, is very important to the family, so it was of vital importance to not block their view.
Jacqueline van der Kloet Print
Friday, 20 August 2010 00:00

Jacqueline van der Kloet is a renowned garden designer both in her native Holland and abroad.  After studying horticulture, with an emphasis on design and the history of gardens and art, she began her career by working for a large landscape design firm in Amsterdam for six years.  From there she went on to start her own business, which included both landscape design and garden writing. 

Inspired Combinations from the Gardens of Jacqueline van der Kloet Print
Friday, 20 August 2010 00:00

The most beautiful flower beds are created by using a limited number of well-matched perennials, chosen not just for their ornamental characteristics such as inflorescence and flower color, but also with other decorative features such as leaf shape and texture.  Also to be considered are attributes such as form and silhouette after the bloom period has passed. 

When choosing a perennial combination and planting scheme, it is also important to consider the rhythm of the overall effect, as a repetitive rhythm of alternating high and low, transparent and compact, light and dark, etc. can create a sense of peace and harmony.  And it goes without saying, perhaps, that all good border designs should provide changing seasonal interest. 
Inspired Combinations Plants - August 2010 Print
Saturday, 14 August 2010 19:40


Alchemilla mollis
Anemone ‘Honorine Jobert’
Thermopsis lanceolata

Alchemilla mollis
A must have plant for every garden, not because it is a show-stopper but for it’s subtle ability to harmonize with everything. The soft olive green foliage emerges from the bud with distinct pleats that, along with the soft coating of hair, traps dew and raindrops holding them like tiny jewels to sparkle in the sunlight.  Lady’s Mantle produces clouds of frothy chartreuse blooms in early summer supplying  an abundance of contrast for more ostentatious specimens and showing them off to advantage. Preferring partial shade and moist but well drained locations this perennial is perfect for the front of a border or in containers. Resistant to the attention of both deer and rabbits and incredibly easy to grow. 
Height: 18” (45cm) Spread: 24” (60 cm) USDA 4-8

Anemone ‘Honorine Jobert’
Another member of the Ranunculaceae family that prefers partial shade and a humus rich soil. Windflowers will naturalize in a woodland type garden providing beautiful blooms in the late summer season. This selection has been around since 1858 so it has definitely stood the test of time as a garden worthy plant. Large single flowers with 6-9 overlapping, white petals and contrasting yellow stamens appear above the dark green grape like foliage usually in August, September.  Easy to grow as long as it does dry out or sit in water especially in winter.
Height: 40” (100 cm) Spread: 24” (60 cm) USDA 4-8

Geranium maculatum ‘Elizabeth Ann' PP11,252
Known as Cranesbill (for the shape of their seed pods) or Wild Geranium, this selection of a native north American species is a lovely dwarf plant perfect for the front of the partial shade border. Beautiful chocolate brown foliage contrasts with the pale pink flowers that appear in early spring. Deadheading after flowering may encourage a repeat bloom later in the season. Easy to grow in average soil softly mounding plants make a great ground cover but do not like to dry out. 
Height: 18” (45cm) Spread: 18” (45 cm)  USDA 3-8

Helleborus orientalis ‘Double Queen’
The 15 species within the genus Helleborus are members of the Ranunculaceae family. Often known as the Lenten Rose due to their very early spring bloom time, Hellebores are a great plants for a partial shade border as they signal the return of warmer weather.  Leathery evergreen compound leaves are an interesting counterpoint for more delicate foliage.  The fascinating double flowers (on this selection) can be creamy white, or shades of pink to red, many with contrasting spotting in the throat. Slow growing, drought tolerant once established and deer resistant.
Height 24” (60cm) Spread 36” (100cm). USDA 3-8

Hemerocallis ‘Chocolate Candy’
Irresistible for the name alone!  Tetraploid genetics impart great vigor and large flower size.  For best bloom performance a full sun location is required but average well drained soil is perfectly acceptable. Very floriferous in June and July with chocolate-burgundy blooms with dark, almost black eye zones contrasted with the ubiquitous chartreuse throat. Easy to grow.
Height and Spread: 24” (60cm) USDA 3-8

Phlox paniculata ‘Blue Paradise’
Another candidate for the full sun part of the border. Phlox does best in soils that retain moisture so that the plants do not become stressed due to drought. Clusters of fragrant, lavender blue flowers  each with white eyes and tiny red centers crown these plants in July and August.
Height: 40” (100cm) Spread: 18” (45 cm). USDA 3-8

Thermopsis lanceolata
Not commonly grown but therefore an excellent plant to differentiate a border from the ordinary. The common name of Golden Banner refers to the spikes of bright yellow lupine (or pea) like flowers that cover the plant in early to mid spring.  Trifoliate foliage is gray-green and upright. Easy to grow in average to sandy soil that is moist but well drained. Plants can be slow to establish but soon form a good sized clump in a partial shade location.
Height: 30” (75cm) Spread: 24” (60 cm). USDA 3-8.

Read this issue of Inspired Combinations 

Read Jacqueline van der Kloet's bio

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