Shrub Pairing Made Easy:
Best Buds and Companion Plants

Creating a cohesive garden is a snap when you know what to pair with what! But sometimes it can be tricky to decide which plants to put in your cart when shopping. Don’t worry, we’re here to help! To make things as easy as possible, we’ve created Best Buds.

Best Buds are perfect companion plants, shrubs, or trees that complement each other beautifully in the landscape. Think of it like a buddy system for gardening! The Best Buds concept provides home gardeners with an easy path to making the garden of their dreams a reality.

Let’s get into it!

Eclipse® Bigleaf Hydrangea + Little Spark® Spirea + Cobalt-n-Gold Hypericum

The vibrant colors of the foliage and blooms on Eclipse® (Zone 5-9) are showcased beautifully in a foundation planting as shown above. By adding in the pops of color from Cobalt-n-Gold (Zones 4-7) and Little Spark® (Zones 3-8) and the border they provide, the bed comes to life. Add in texture and even more color with dwarf fountain grass (Zones 4-11) and Biokovo Geranium (Zones 4-8).

Little Hottie® Panicle Hydrangea + Spicy Devil® Ninebark + Easy Elegance® Kashmir Rose + Endless Summer® Pop Star® Reblooming Hydrangea

Little Hottie® (Zones 3-8) works hand in hand with Spicy Devil® (Zones 3-7) to create a gorgeous low hedge to border a fence line. Round out the vignette with Pop Star® Reblooming Hydrangea (Zones 4-9) and Kashmir Rose (Zones 4-9) for an interesting visual display of mixed colors, textures, and foliage.

Cobalt-n-Gold Hypericum + Iceberg Alley® Sageleaf Willow + Bubblegum Pink Phlox

This pairing is an excellent for creating a cottage garden or a border. The finely textured blue-silver foliage and yellow flowers of Cobalt-n-Gold (Zones 4-7) complement the wider silver leaf of Iceberg Alley® Sageleaf Willow (Zones 2-6). Finally, Bubblegum Pink Phlox (Zones 3-8) adds a fabulous accent color to this wholly native species cottage garden planting.

Crimson Fire® Fringe Flower + Little Hottie® Panicle Hydrangea + Vanilla Brandy Abelia + Sweet Tea Gardenia

This design showcases how you can mix and match shrubs and still create a beautiful and cohesive landscape design. The darker colors of Crimson Fire® (Zones 7-9) offset the bright blooms of Little Hottie® (Zones 3-8) and Sweet Tea Gardenia (Zones 7-9), and Vanilla Brandy (Zones 6-9) ties it all together to line this entryway.

Eclipse® Bigleaf Hydrangea + Vanilla Brandy Abelia + Northern Exposure Black Coral Bells + Karl Foerster Feather Reed Grass

This entry way is a stunning example of how the vibrant foliage and blooms on Eclipse® (Zones 5-9) can tie together even the simplest of designs. We love this design for its symmetry, use of color, and mixture in height and texture.

Little Hottie® Panicle Hydrangea + Sunset Magic® Crapemyrtle + Easy Elegance® Kashmir Rose + Endless Summer® Pop Star® Reblooming Hydrangea

This is a beautiful example of how adding taller plants to a space can be a great way to tie the vignette together, while adding structure along as fence line. The mix of red, white, and blue colors in this design complement each other well and the dark foliage of Sunset Magic® (Zone 7-9) pops out to catch the eye as a focal point.

For even more garden design inspiration, check out our Rock Star Guides for Warm and Cool Climates. To shop all of these Best Buds and more, shop the First Editions® collection online and use our Find a Retailer tool to locate First Editions® at garden centers near you. Remember to tag us on social @firsteditionsshrubstrees if you plant one of these shrubs and sign up for our newsletter for monthly inspiration, tips, and more delivered right to your inbox.