10 Win-Win Garden Combinations With Gentian

Gentians, despite the representative collection of species that can bloom both in spring and summer, and even in autumn, still remain plants with the reputation of "special stars". And it is not only because of the unique shades of blue gentian color, legendary status or complexity of cultivation (or rather - the selection of suitable conditions for gentians). To make this whimsical blue beauty a star in the garden, it must be presented winningly. Letting the plant sprawl freely as a fairy mat is only the first step. It is possible to present it advantageously only with the help of partners, and to choose them correctly is not an easy task at all. © Louise Tanguay

The selection of companion plants for the gentian directly depends on the characteristics of a particular plant species, the timing of flowering and preference for conditions. But the classification of these crumbs, called "sapphires of the garden", is so complex that it is impossible not to get confused in the choice of partners.

Moreover, sometimes the most "proven" combinations lead to disappointment: then too lush partner completely overshadows the beauty of gentians flowering, then, on the contrary, with its luxurious leaves it emphasizes all the shortcomings of their bushes, turning the plant-gem into an unremarkable "weed".

Despite the most eye-catching shade of blue and many unforgettable other characteristics, gentians are very easy to suppress (of course, not literally, but only visually). In order for them to become the star of compositions and really reveal all their beauty, partners for them need to be chosen correctly - both from an aesthetic and from a practical point of view. Here are 10 the most successful compositions with gentians which will make this valuable plant the star of your decoration.

Variant 1. Gentian + heather

Hothered gardens with luxuriant shrubs of heather and ericaceous, blueberry and blueberry as if transporting us in space and time to the emerald hills of Scotland and Ireland - a very impressive sight in itself. But why not add some precious luxury to the most textural of landscapes? Gentian sapphires would fit into a heather garden just fine.

For combinations with Heathers (Calluna) and other typical inhabitants of the heather garden, the best choice is the decorated Chinese Gentian (Gentiana sino-ornata). And the more varieties you find, the better. From August to the end of autumn on the background of unique textures in this magical corner will literally sparkle all shades of blue - from blue to ultramarine.

Option 2. Gentian + rhododendrons

If you want to reveal the unique ability of gentian to create solid carpets and fill glades, literally weaving fairy covers over large areas, then for the perfect combination with the base plant it is worth picking shrubs that will simultaneously emphasize the beauty of blue and compensate for the not too impressive greenery of the plant.

A really win-win option is to allocate a large area at the periphery of the garden for a landscape meadow, create structural "points" of the composition with bushes of Kalmia polyifolia and Rhododendron (Rhododendron), and then fill the entire space with gentians. It will take time to create a continuous carpet of beauty, but even the classic heather garden cannot be compared with this splendor.

The main thing is to remember that shrubs should brighten up the flat relief, make the vertical structure of the composition more expressive. If it is not possible to select varieties of rhododendrons, include a few conifers in the list of accents preferring acidic soil.

10 win-win garden combinations with gentian
Horechavka and agrostemma. © Norm's Nursery

Option 3.

The most effective and popular of all gentians - Gentiana sino-ornata - can be a good company in small, but more extravagant compositions. The principle of selection is still the same - choosing plants which prefer acidic soils.

Try to recreate a combination for penumbra on your plot - a combination of leading bushes of Chinese gentian ornamental and cranberry (Vaccinium vitis-idaea), supplemented by a bush of stonebrush cortusifolia (Saxifraga cortusifolia) revitalizing and somewhat softening colored. Gentians and cyclamen

The unexpected combination of Gentiana sino-ornata with the charming autumn-flowering Cyclamen cillicium or cyclamen hederifolium is brand new. The touching blooms of the cyclamen and their spectacular rounded foliage contrast perfectly with the dazzling blue carpet of the gentian.

These luxurious crops together seem regal, elegant and untamed. And the more freedom they get, the more beautiful the composition will look in its natural form.

Option 5. The best partners for gentian yellow

Gentian yellow (Gentiana lutea) on comfortable sites can grow without any replanting for decades. It is not just one of the most durable perennials, but also one of the most grateful partners in garden design. And it should be combined with spectacular plants, with a few overlapping lines or forms, but contrasting colors of greenery and flowers. But when planting them, remember that, unlike the main star, these plants will have to be divided. And therefore, and place them so that these works do not interfere with the development of gentians.

10 win-win garden combinations with gentian
Composition of gentian cyclamen and juniper. © Selecta Klemm

Variant 6. A lush suite of Gentiana asclepiadea

Gentiana asclepiadea (Gentiana asclepiadea) gets more and more beautiful every year. For this beauty you need to choose classic, flowering plants in autumn, which prefer the penumbra. Really win-win partners of this beauty: Aconitum, Astrantia, Solidago virgaurea and other decorative grasses that can be chosen according to your taste.

No worse in the company of tall gentian flipper looks Geranium sylvaticum, Doronicum, and all kinds of Sedges (Carex).

Option 7. Idyllia of spring gentians

While spring-flowering Gentians (spring, narrow-leaved, Dinaric, stemless, alpine, etc.) are capricious species and more difficult in cultivation than their summer and autumn "colleagues", the status of an exclusive plant only emphasizes their charm.

For any designer, a composition based on a carpet of bright blue gentians with Arnebia (Arnebia pulchra) and Venus slipperwort (Cypripedium calceolus) is an idyllic picture, which you can only dream of recreating in your garden. However, such rare cultures can be replaced by more usual ones - Carex firma, Sesleria albicans, Primula farinose or Primula darialica.

Option 8. Modest summer beauty

Summer gentians large, marsh, semidivided, etc. love textural partners. Gentian (Gentiana cruciata), whose blue flowers can decorate rocky slides, and rockariums, and even heather gardens, will allow to "turn around" in particular.

The combination of this plant with Sheep fescue (Festuca), Stemless Thistle (Carlina acaulis), Dwarf Devil (Inula ensifolia forms Compacta), Cortusian and Balkan carnations (Dianthus knappii and Dianthus carthusianoruni) will never fail. © floradania

Variant 9. The classic of a stony garden

The majority of gentians in the garden are grown exactly in the rockeries and in the rock gardens. And here the variations in the selection of partners are more than wide. But not every "company" will advantageously shade the beauty of the gentian, reveal an unusual shade of blue blooming or hide its shortcomings. Proven partners for a composition with any gentian in a rock garden are Saxifraga, dwarf Iris, Lewisia, Daphne cneorum and Arabis. And as an accent, place near at least one bush of Edelweiss (Leontopodium).

If you want to create with gentians a portable flower bed, a composition in a pot, then for a container choose partners not only by similarity of requirements, but also by the principle of shape contrast. Thus, the favorite of potted compositions is a hybrid of Gentiana scabra x Gentiana septemfida, also known as Gentiana x septemscabra.

In containers it will make a great combination with Carex, Salvia, Ivy (Hedera) and Liriope (Liriope), where you can admire the beauty of greenery and flowers almost indefinitely.

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