The Perfect Match

by | Feb 2024

First Editions® Iceberg Alley® Sageleaf Willow

First Editions® Iceberg Alley® Sageleaf Willow. Photos: First Editions® Shrubs & Trees

When I don’t know where to start in the garden, I go back to the basics: plant pairings. And just like putting together an outfit, there are things to keep in mind to ensure you have success—plus, it’s not too early to start thinking of your spring gardening plans. Here are some go-to tips for creating beautiful pairings in the garden.

  • Consider the environment and space you’re dealing with. It’s important to pair plants with similar needs like watering requirements and ideal sun exposure. That way, you can ensure the plants will thrive together.
  • Think about color. You can do this in many ways, but a great place to start is thinking about color schemes. Do you want a garden that celebrates complementary, contrasting or monochromatic colors? Pick a color palette that suits your taste, and you’ll have direction on what plants to feature.
  • Think about seasons. Don’t forget that plants change throughout the year. While they might have green leaves in summer, the fall color can bring something new and exciting to your space.
  • Have fun! Before you get too in your head, remember to have fun. If you like how two plants look together, don’t be afraid to try it out. You can always adjust your plans and gardens as needed.

Gretchen McNaughton is the communications and content specialist at Bailey Nurseries. Learn more at


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