While some gardeners are purists and prefer either an Annual Border or a Perennial garden, others take a varied approach. The benefit, of course, to mixing up your specimens is that you can extend your bloom time throughout the entire growing season, add some showy color, and save money by not having to purchase all new plants year after year. The variation also adds interest and will make your garden a standout.

While there are no hard and fast rules as to which flowers should be planted together, keep in mind some simple design rules. First, it goes without saying, that the first consideration should be the light, water, and soil needs of each type of plant. After that, consider the height, texture, and color of the leaves and blooms. Doing a little research ahead of time will allow you to read up on plants that catch your eye, and ensure that they will work together well. While mass plantings of annuals can be showstoppers, and certainly have their place, the added interest that perennials can provide throughout the year gives the viewer places for their eyes to rest. 

In 2015, the Perennial Plant Association named the Geranium xcantabrigiense 'Biokovo' as Perennial Plant of the Year. This lovely geranium does best in sun to partial shade and boasts pretty pinkish-white flowers in the spring and reddish-orange leaf color in the fall. Works wonderfully well as a groundcover and pairs nicely with the silvery Japanese Painted Fern or Lamb's Ear. It also pairs nicely with flowering spring bulbs.

We'd love to hear from you what your favorite combinations are. Let us know on Facebook!