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Plant Combinations, the Secret to a Brilliant Spring Display

Plant Combinations, the Secret to a Brilliant Spring Display

Bold and vibrant is trending both in the art world and gardens. The secret to a superb May spring garden display involves choosing the combinations that work well together. Pairing Bedding Plants and Perennials with suitable evergreen shrubs as a background is practical and aesthetically pleasing. It can also enhance the garden's health. 


Focusing on complementary and contrasting colours and forms enriches the garden's visual impact, regardless of location. Display 'en masse' also works well as a powerful single-colour display.  

Hanging Baskets: Dynamic Displays
Lobelia hanging flower basket at Boma Garden Centre Kentish Town London

For hanging baskets, consider both stand-alone displays of Lobelia in vibrant blues or white or combinations of Petunias with Calibrachoa, Trailing Geranium, or Verbena


Pair trailing Nemesia with upright Geraniums for a vibrant display. The soft hues of Nemesia contrast beautifully with the bold colours of Geraniums, creating a lively and attractive basket. Another excellent combination is Lobelia with Bacopa; both have trailing habits but contrasting colours—Lobelia in deep blues and Bacopa in white or pale pink.

Troughs: Long-lasting Appeal

Flower and plant troughs at Boma Garden Centre Kentish Town London

Troughs are perfect for showcasing more permanent features. Combine Heuchera, known for its colourful foliage, with brilliant yellow or apricot Osteospermum, offering a scintillating display. The foliage of Heuchera in shades of purple and silver complements the daisy-like flowers of Osteospermum, providing a display that lasts beyond the blooming season. Lavender paired with Nemesia is another great choice; the fragrant lavender complements the colourful Nemesia, creating visual and sensory appeal.

Borders: Structured yet Vibrant

Borders benefit from both structure and colour. Use Photinia, with its evergreen nature and red-tinted leaves, as a backdrop to softer flowering plants like Salvia or Iris. This combination ensures year-round interest with seasonal blooms. For a sun-loving border, combine Erysimum (Wallflower) with Heuchera; the bright flowers of the Wallflower contrast with Heuchera's rich foliage, creating a dense and colourful border.

Planters: Focal Points in Small Spaces

Glazed blue planters at Boma Garden Centre in Kentish Town London

Planters offer a chance to get creative with combinations. Pair Agapanthus with Euphorbia for an exciting mix of form and colour. The striking blue of Agapanthus flowers stands out against Euphorbia's green and white hues. Another attractive pairing is between Lavender and Verbena; both are drought-tolerant and provide a long-lasting display with minimal maintenance.

Trees and Shrubs: Adding Structure

For structural elements in your garden, consider small trees and shrubs like Olive Trees, small Acers, or Photinia. These can be underplanted with complementary perennials. For example, underplant Olive Trees with Lavender for a Mediterranean feel, or place Acers alongside Hostas, where the delicate leaves of the Acer contrast with the broad leaves of the Hostas.

Complementary and Contrasting Colours

When combining plants, consider both complementary and contrasting colour schemes:

  • Complementary Colours: Pair plants with similar hues for a harmonious look. For example, different shades of pink and purple from plants like Lavender and Heuchera.
  • Contrasting Colours: Use opposite colours on the colour wheel to create vibrant contrasts, such as yellow Marigolds against purple Petunias.

For instance, a backdrop of orange Geum and a middle ground of lavender Hidcote works well with a foreground of sunburst-yellow Osteospermum and an orange border of Heuchera. 


Complementary and contrasting combinations are a Boma speciality. The team spends hours arranging and experimenting with perfect combinations that work well together. 


The Kentish Town garden centre is designed and set up to display immediate ideas from the moment you step on site. 


Boma focuses on plants, plant care, and containers and is more relaxed about BBQs and garden furniture, which can be easily ordered online and do not require horticultural expertise. We like to focus on the essential things that uplift the soul.


Choosing the right plants and planning the landscape require horticulture knowledge and experience, which Boma offers in abundance and with a smile. We like to appeal to passionate plant lovers and gardeners. That's our thing. 


A visit to Boma Garden Centre will uplift the mind and spirit. The vibrant colours and aromas will dazzle the senses. You couldn't pick a better time to visit.


Check out Boma this week at the beginning of May, the crescendo of the spring season.  

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