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CULT: Companions

From: "Dan & Marilyn Mason" <dmason@rainyriver.Lakeheadu.Ca>

One companion plant for TBs, IBs, and daylillies that has
done well for me is Artemesia 'Silver Mound.' It spreads out
low on top of the ground with fine leaved material that
offsets the irises well. It stays where planted, tolerates
dry summers, self mulches and takes care of itself with one
or two hoeings a year. It requires its own space, and should
be planted at least 2 feet from the nearest irises.

One of the bigger mistakes I made was transplanting pansies
into spaces where iris clumps had died off. The pansies
looked good the first summer, but by the fall and during the
following two summers I was hoeing several more times than
would have been needed in years before. Because the pansies
self sowed so many seeds-- and the seeds kept coming up
throughout the year. I still leave some pansy plants here
and there in the garden but I don't transplant them to fill
space on purpose anymore.

I like to use smaller bush shaped marigolds, and especially
the fine leaved marigolds (like Lemon Gem) to fill in empty
spaces between irises. These fine leaved marigolds have a
similar effect to the artemesia ---a different texture to
offset the irises. My wife grows lots of marigolds and
petunias, so I help her and make sure she starts too many
marigolds. I even use them in the vegetable garden where
there's empty space.

Dan Mason   zone 3, NW Ontario

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