Friends and companions

One of the joys of any type of gardening is making new friends. Anytime I encounter someone with an interest in gardening, whether it be conifers, flowers, herbs, vegetables or all of the above, I usually discover I’ve found a new friend. Those who love gardening often exhibit one or more of the following symptoms: We enjoy the smell of garden soil, become excited at the mention of compost, are thrilled by a visit to the local garden center, and run our hands over any pleasantly aromatic plant to drink in its soothing aroma. Certainly there are other symptoms, but these were the first to come to my mind.

Just recently I’ve made a new friend in a  fellow garden blogger. True, she hasn’t completely converted to Coniferism (yet), but she does have some interest in my favorite plants, so there is hope. She actually suggested that perhaps I may be a little biased in my gardening focus – but hey, I am expanding my plant interest just a little this year.

I’ve been thinking about companion plants for my conifers. One of the first questions I ask myself when considering companion plants is, will they be complementary or draw attention away from my conifers. Other considerations are whether or not they will be pleasing to my wife and if they will provide anything for the critters in the garden or surrounding area. I do believe I have found a genera of plant that will meet those needs which include a number of species and many hybrids satisfying my current specifications.

Conifers and Lavender
The lavender colored flowers of French Lavender look great near the conifers in this display garden at Iseli Nursery.

My wife and I have both enjoyed the few assorted Lavender plants we have included in our garden and containers over the years. In our climate, Lavender seems plenty hardy and at least semi-evergreen. It offers a delicious scent all year-round, an assortment of greens and grays, and silvery color tones in its foliage and when in bloom from late spring and into autumn, it supplies its wonderful lavender colored flowers which is the perfect complement for all the shades of green, blue, yellow, orange and red provided by my conifers and (my other favorite companion) Japanese maples.

I am excited to begin my exploration into the world of Lavender as I envision mounds of beautifully scented color around and amongst my conifers. I am convinced that the lively scent of both my conifers and lavender will fill my garden with a cocktail of calming aroma that will make my garden even more therapeutic than it is right now.

This year, when I visit my favorite garden center, I will surprise them all as I approach the check-out counter with a cart full of new conifers and a generous assortment of Lavender!

Conifer Lover