My next spring plant combination has such a sweet, cottage feel to it.  Again, I've included another ajuga, was inspired by tasty sweets, and kept it simple with just three plants.

This planting is for full sun in zones 4 and 5.  The plants in this design include:

Ajuga reptans 'Toffee Chip' / Bugleweed
Veronica  'Waterperry Blue'/ Speedwell
Coreopsis verticillata 'Creme Brulee' / Tickseed

What I like most about this combination:
  • The striking color contrast between the light green, almost white ajuga with the veronica's dark foliage and vibrant blue flowers.
  • The contrast of leaf textures...coarse ajuga leaves to the finer veronica leaves to the even finer coreopsis leaves.
  • The low groundcovers setting a nice base for the strong upright form of the coreopsis.  
  • The quaint feel of the soft yellow, daisy-like coreopsis flowers against the vibrant blue veronica flowers.  Ugh, I want to plant this in my garden right now!



I thought it would be fun to share a few spring plant combinations over the next three posts.

Three things inspired me:

SIMPLICITY: Sometimes we struggle with pairing plants, so I wanted to take a step back and just focus on three plants in each combination.

TASTY TREATS: It's so much fun picking a theme to narrow down plant choices.  There are many plants with delectable names, so why not try some?

AJUGA: This is a common, yet still fabulous groundcover.  It's easy to find, performs well in shade and sun, plus looks great with many other plants.  I chose a different ajuga for each of my three designs, then allowed that plant to direct the choice of its companions.

This planting is for full sun or part-shade in zones 4 and 5.  The plants in this design include:

Ajuga reptans 'Valfredda' / Chocolate Chip Bugleweed
Sedum rupestre 'Angelina'/ Stonecrop
Geum 'Totally Tangerine' / Avens

What I like most about this combination:
  • The striking color contrast between the purplish/green ajuga and the chartreuse sedum.
  • The contrast of leaf textures...coarse geum leaves, medium ajuga leaves, and the fine sedum leaves.
  • The pop of orange from the geum flowers (this plant always pops!).
For those wanting to learn more about plants on your own adventures...sign up for my NEWSLETTER to receive a free garden journaling sheet.



As I celebrate the planting of our new raspberry shrubs it made me think of a trip my mother-in-law made last year with my husband's aunt.  They visited a raspberry farm and tasted several different cultivars of these pretty berries.  I didn't realize how many types there were...even yellow and orange ones!  I would have loved to try all those sweet little things.



I am so excited! We planted our first raspberry shrubs!  Though it may take a couple of years to enjoy these sweet, red fruits - I'll attempt to be patient.  We'll just relish the strawberries we planted last year for now.



A couple of weeks ago my husband was looking at our vegetable gardens on Google Earth and realized they were not squared up (Neil Armstrong would have been sadly disappointed in the disarray). For those that know my husband you would not be surprised that he spent the next few nights squaring them up diligently off the existing sidewalks, streets and neighborhood structures into the evening darkness.

As silly as it is, it did get me excited about starting to grow all those vegetables again.  I really miss being able to whip up a meal from what was collected in the garden that day.



An interesting thing has happened to me over the last few years. I've become intrigued with how to combine my love of art and illustration with my love of garden design. I used to keep them very separate.

Of course, garden design is an art, but I want to explore this art beyond creating a beautiful, artful landscape (though I will do that too). How can I use my illustration skills to explore garden design on a different level...really as a craft?

Gardening is a craft in that we manipulate the landscape with our hands to create something lovely, but how can we extend this idea into the art world? Maybe by studying plants to create fabric patterns, choosing fashion industry colors to create new combinations of plants, using the garden for inspiration to learning simplified drawing techniques, as well as, many other ways.

Then there is my whole obsession with simplifying landscape design so I can teach others about it in a fun way. Again, using my illustrations to teach about plants, spatial arrangement, theme development, and food production (I have to pull The Lunch Box Project in here someplace!). I look forward to trying all these things! Most will be right here on this blog, but some of these experiments will take place in my newsletter too.  If you'd like these extra tidbits, just sign up here. Otherwise here we go!