Secrets to beautiful plant pairings

A garden designer shares her ideas and inspiration

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  • A water channel edges 'Jester' New Zealand flax pink and yellow Asiatic lilies purple Clematis x jackmanii and Colorado blue spruce.

    Graceful plantings edge a water channel

    Jim McCausland

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Sources of inspiration

Knowing plants helps Stockett figure out which ones grow well together. She learns by studying garden magazines, participating in horticultural organizations, and reading books.

And one more thing: "When I'm driving, I'm always looking at the plants I pass. When I see something great, I pull over and write it down."

Planning the garden

"There is no master plan for my garden," Stockett says, "but I know where I'm going: toward a year-round garden."

That means that every bed, and almost every plant, has to look good in more than one season.

A committed flower lover, Stockett usually puts evergreens in the back of the garden so that flowers stand out in the foreground.

As she speaks, Stockett seems to focus on one particular garden bed. "Gardening is an obsession with me," she says. "I'm either thinking about it or doing it full time."



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