Generally, the best plant combinations in my garden are unplanned. Not the plants, but the size, texture and color of the picture they make together, which is something I don’t see until they have grown together in a way that one day, has become exciting and attracted my attention.
The harsh climate here has encouraged me to grow vigorous plants. Specimens which the Thompson and Morgan catalogue coyly terms “enthusiastic” or even “reliable”, which is code for rampant and immortal, have at least a chance of surviving here. Autumn blooming clematis must be faithfully deadheaded in Connecticut lest the seed heads explode and cover the entire garden with next year’s vines, but here it dies back completely every year to grow to about 15′ and the seeds find no foothold on the stony ground in the early frost. I can grow honeysuckle, grapes, mullien and woad without fear that one day I won’t be able to leave the house for the biomass blocking the door. Where I grew up, on the Connecticut River, one had to cut the vegetation back from the mailbox with shears or risk the box being overgrown with morning glories and poppies over the course of an afternoon. Or maybe it just seemed that way to me at seven, with a pair of shears.
In this Maine garden, plants seem to incorporate each other nicely, showing each other off to good advantage.