Posts Tagged ‘planting companions’

Plant associations the 19th century way

June 22nd, 2018 | Plant Talk with Graham Rice | 0 Comments

"harmony of colouring" 19th century style

So, the other day I was browsing through the June 1852 issue of the Floricultural Cabinet magazine – the way you do – and I came across some interesting observations about plant associations.

“We have frequently called attention of our young readers,” says Joseph Harrison who “conducted” the magazine, “to the desirability of paying strict attention to the judicious arrangements of flowering plants, as regards height and harmony of colouring.

“It is true,” he goes on,” that, of late years, this subject has become a matter of study amongst gardeners and great changes for the better have taken place in this respect; still we are far from supposing that we have arrived at perfection.

“Always bear in mind – if beauty, order and effect are desired – that attention to this, next to a well laid-out flower-garden, is essential to their full development.

“In producing well-arranged contrasts, the different shades of colour must be as distinct from each other as possible: for instance, white should never be placed in contact with yellow, or deep blue with crimson; but white forms a good contrast with blue or red, blue to orange, yellow to purple or violet, dark crimson to light blue, and scarlet should be placed near those which have profuse green foliage, as red and green form the best contrast. Orange and violet do well. Greenish-yellow and rose contrast well.”

This is what I’ve referred to in the past as the “right between the eyes” style of plant association: the bolder and brighter the contrast the better. And it works.

Of course, not everyone enjoys that approach. For many of us, a calmer and more harmonious arrangement of pastels is preferable – but this was clearly not in vogue in 1852.

Companion Planting Made Easy [video]

January 17th, 2017 | The flower garden, The vegetable garden | 0 Comments

Companion planting is when you choose to plant different plants together, so that one plant benefits the other. There are thousands of possibilities but choosing the correct plants can be tricky. GrowVeg has diligently researched companion planting to save you time when selecting the correct companion planting combinations for your garden. Let us guide you through easy companion planting tips to help you get it right in your garden.Lettuce 'Little Gem', an Award of Garden Merit variety. Image ©

  • Many flowering plants attract pest-eating insects. Poached egg plants are great at drawing in hoverflies which control aphids away from nearby lettuce.
  • Borage is known to attract both bees and tiny pest-eating wasps, making it a great companion for tomatoes.
  • Crimson clover has been proven to grow well with broccoli, it encourages the expansion of the local spider population which in turn controls many pests.
  • Particular companion plants lure some insects away from crops. Nasturtium is a great example of this, if planted close to broad beans, so that blackfly will gorge on nasturtiums whilst ignoring the beans.
  • Similarly, nasturtium also attracts hungry caterpillars away from brassicas, like cabbage.
  • Other plants have a very strong scent, this confuses pests by masking the smell of the host plant. For example, garlic has been found to deter the green peach aphid. Therefore a perfect companion to vulnerable fruits such a peaches and nectarines.
  • In many instances, plants make suitable companions as they offer physical advantages. Tall growing sunflowers offer shade & support for scrambling cucumbers and climbing beans, which in hotter climates can become sun-stressed.
  • The ‘Three Sisters’ method is an example of physical advantages. This involves growing beans, corn and squash together. The large leaves from the squash help to smother weeds. Whilst the beans and corn return the favour by disorientating squash vine borers. The beans also use the corn as a support to scramble up, while fixing nitrogen at their roots to the benefit of the other sisters.

These are just a few scientifically proven companion planting combinations. The video below offers a few more for you to try. If you have any great combinations, please leave them in the comments below.

GrowVeg – Companion Planting Made Easy

Mr Fothergill’s produce a world-first packaging design to help gardeners with companion planting

September 26th, 2014 | News, The vegetable garden | 0 Comments

Mr Fothergill’s believes it is the only company in the world capable of filling two different types of seeds into a perforated twin pack of two discrete chambers – and it is putting its technology to good use for the 2014/15 season with the introduction of its Planting Companions range.

Planting Companions Twin packs of seedsThe company’s production director Jeremy Sharp says “The technical developments made in our machine seed filling process now means Mr Fothergill’s can combine 80 per cent of its seed varieties in any twin combination.  We have been working towards this goal of giving customers one package of Planting Companions varieties since we acquired the packing lines in 2012.”

The launch is based on the popularity of its Value Twin Packs for the 2013-14 season.  Planting Companions Twin Packs is a mini-range which pairs eight species known to work naturally together to reduce pests when growing close to each other, otherwise known in the gardening world as companion planting.  Mr Fothergill’s believes Planting Companions will prove popular with those gardeners who prefer to combat pests by natural means.  Each is priced at £2.75 per double packet.

The pairings are:

Mr Fothergill’s unique Planting Companions are available from retail outlets throughout the UK.