***** When we say Companion Plants, it means the plants which are effective to other plants near by in various points of view. Sometimes they are effective from the viewpoint of display based on the color scheme or garden design. Sometimes they are effective from the viewpoint of pest and disease control. I'll explain the latter companion plants here.

***** As the organic gardening became so popular, companion plants is drawing the attention again. Still they are not perfectly effective against pests and diseases like Natural sprays. I sometimes wonder if it is really useful when I plant them.

***** However companion planting has been practised for centuries. I would not like to deny all those trials easily. The followings are some good books about companion plants. Mr. Bob Flowerdew who is the author of some of the books below, is also a famous English natural gardener. In a British best seller magazine, Gardeners' World, he writes some columns about organic gardening. He is so impressive with his long braid hair.

"A-Z OF COMPANION PLANTING", Pamela Allardice, Cassell Publishers Limited, ISBN 0-304-34324-2
"Bob Flowerdew's COMPLETE BOOK OF COMPANION GARDENING", Bob Flowerdew, Kyle Cathie Limited, ISBN 1-85626-171-9
"CARROTS LOVE TOMATOES", Louise Riotte, Garden Way Publishing, ISBN 0-88266-064-0
"ROSES LOVE GARLIC", Louise Riotte, Garden Way Publishing, ISBN 0-88266-331-3
"The Companion Garden", Bob Flowerdew, Kyle Cathie Limited, ISBN 1-85626-169-7

*** List of Companion plants ***

Mme Lauriol de Barney

***** Garlic *****

Among many companion plants, garlic powers seem to be so strong! In one of the leading American gardening program, Gardening Naturally, they were planting garlic bulbs around roses. (More than ten garlics for one rose! )
As for Mme Lauriol de Barney, as it had so much powdery mildew, I dug out and planted it again into pot with garlics around the tree, and it became so healthy. But some book says, "It will be three years before it takes effect.", so I am not sure garlics are actually beneficial to it.
It is effective against black spot and powdery mildew. We can also use it in order to control pest.
I love its unique flowers, too, which look like slender cranes.

***** Chive, Garlic chive, etc.: Alliums *****

Like garlics, Allium tribe is good companions against black spot and powdery mildew.
Also it will be three years before it takes effect. On the back of The Companion Garden, it says:
Who can resist the rich deep purple flowerheads of alliums and catmint planted under pale creamy, old-fashioned roses? The combination not only provides a dramatic display, but also prevents aphids from attacking the roses.
In my garden, roses are planted together with those allium tribes. One rose is a friend of garlics. Another rose is a friend of chives. As Chives have purple flowers and garlic chives have white beautiful flowers, they are actually good companions which provide a dramatic display as the above book says. Chives bloom on the same season of spring roses, and garlic chives bloom together with autumn roses.

***** Nasturtium *****

Nasturtium is a benificial herb for cooking. Both leaves and flowers are edible.
They are effective as Companion plants, too!
Thanks to its strong smell, they keep ahpids away. Some companion plants
are called trap crops. They themselves are attacked by pests, so they can be used as sacrificial trap plants. Nasturtium can be also used as a trap crop for slugs and snails.
I think there are not so many aphids on the roses near Nasturtium in my garden.

***** Parsley *****

Parsley is said to be effective against rose beetles, which are the headache for rose lovers. Any harsh chemical sprays cannot repel them. The only thing we can do is to pick up them one by one after our rose flowers have been eaten by them.
It seems the roses planted near parsleys in my garden were not attacked by them in this season. I'd like to plant them again next year.

***** Geranium *****

A-Z OF COMPANION PLANTING introduces us an interesting story: The white variety is said to act as a 'trap' crop for Japanese beetles, which usually attack roses. The beetles are said to eat the geranium leaves and then die.
Can you believe this? If it is true, I'd like to plant only white geraniums here and there around roses, but I have never seen dead beetles with a full stomach around my geranium flowers.

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