21 Best Companion Plants for Hydrangeas 

Companion planting is a common challenge for many gardeners, especially when it comes to hydrangeas.

I don’t know if you can relate, but I’ve struggled to find the perfect partners for these elegant blooms in my own garden.

In this article, I’ll share some of the best companion plants for hydrangeas, how to pair plants to create a stunning garden, and how to get the most out of the plants you choose.

Key Takeaways

  • Hydrangeas are versatile and resilient flowering shrubs that can adapt to various light and soil conditions, making them a perennial favorite among gardeners.
  • Astilbe, hostas, sedge, ferns, coral bells, daisies, delphiniums, daylilies, Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’, echinacea, black-eyed Susan, and clematis are all excellent companion plants for hydrangeas.
  • These companion plants add visual interest and contrast to your garden display while thriving in similar growing conditions as hydrangeas.
  • Choosing the right combination of companion plants can enhance the overall aesthetic appeal of your garden while attracting pollinators and extending the blooming season.

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Understanding Hydrangeas

companion plants for hydrangeas

As a gardener, you’ve likely become quite acquainted with hydrangeas. These flowering shrubs exude beauty with their large, sumptuous blooms that can dominate any garden landscape.

They are not just about aesthetics though; they’re also exceptionally versatile and resilient, easily adapting to various light and soil conditions making them a perennial favorite among horticulture enthusiasts.

Hydrangeas have an intriguing quality – their flower color changes according to the pH level of the soil.

In acidic soils, most Hydrangea macrophylla varieties produce enchanting blue flowers.

Conversely, alkaline soils yield pink hues while those with neutral pH create blossoms in gorgeous shades of purple or multicolored petals.

Besides these captivating transformations in bloom colors, gardening sustainability is achieved as Hydrangeas can tolerate full sun bed exposure but prefer partial sun to flourish optimally without scorching their foliage or draining soil nutrients excessively.

Characteristics of Hydrangeas

Plant Family
Watering Conditions
Well-draining soil, keep consistently moist
Mature Size
Varies by variety; typically 3-6 feet tall and wide
Soil Requirements
Moist, rich, and well-draining soil; pH 5.5-6.5
Sunlight Needs
Partial shade to full sun (depending on the variety)
Temperature Tolerance
Hardy in USDA zones 3-9 (varies by species)
Growth Habit
Deciduous shrub
Flowering Period
Late spring to summer (varies by species and variety)
Flower Color
Varied colors including white, pink, blue, purple, and more (depends on soil pH and cultivar)
Foliage Characteristics
Large, green, and often serrated leaves
Propagation Methods
Softwood cuttings, division, or grafting
Pruning and Maintenance
Prune after flowering to shape and remove dead wood; mulch to retain soil moisture
Common Pests and Diseases
Aphids, spider mites; powdery mildew, leaf spot
Companion Planting
Astilbe, ferns, hostas, and other shade-loving plants
Edible Parts
The flowers and leaves of some hydrangea species are toxic if ingested
Wildlife Attraction
Attracts pollinators like bees and butterflies; provides shelter for birds and beneficial insects
Some hydrangea species are toxic to pets and humans if ingested
Special Care Instructions
Provide sufficient water, especially during hot and dry periods; protect from harsh afternoon sun

Selecting the Best Companion Plants For Hydrangeas

companion planting hydrangeas

When selecting the best hydrangea companion plants, consider plants like astilbe, hostas, and sedge (just to name a few).

Let’s take a look at a few more amazing plants to grow with Hydrangeas.


Astilbe is a show-stealer in any garden arrangement, and with hydrangeas, it’s no different. This perennial plant contributes a delicate balance to the more robust blooms of hydrangea varieties.

Together, they make an eye-catching contrast that can enhance your garden’s aesthetic appeal enormously.

Vibrant and alluring, astilbe adds lace-like leaves and spiky flowers to your landscape design.

It thrives alongside hydrangeas as both plants enjoy similar growing conditions – acidic soil which drains well while providing sufficient nutrients, partial sun, or light shade for growth optimization.

Plus, their blooming seasons align perfectly; when the lush foliage of your hydrangeas is highlighted by full sun bed exposure during summer months, astilbe shows off its vibrant bloom colors complementing the scene perfectly.


Hostas are your garden’s best friends, especially when grown with hydrangeas. This shade-loving perennial harmonizes beautifully with hydrangea to create a stunning and lush landscape display.

Beyond their love for similar growing conditions, hostas bring an added element of visual interest to your garden design thanks to their large leaves in various hues of green.

This foliage provides a striking contrast against the vibrant blooms of your hydrangea, enhancing the overall aesthetic appeal of your yard throughout many seasons.

From my experience, I have found that planting Hostas beside or in front of Hydrangeas not only creates fuller beds but also makes maintaining them easier due to their tolerance for similar soil pH levels and watering schedules.


I highly recommend considering sedge as a companion plant for your hydrangeas. Sedge is an excellent choice because it can be used as a border plant in front of the hydrangeas, creating a beautiful visual display.

It also complements the lush foliage and abundant blooms of the hydrangeas, adding texture and interest to your garden.

Another advantage of using sedge is that it thrives in similar growing conditions as hydrangeas, requiring similar soil pH and maintenance requirements.

This makes it easy to care for both plants together and ensures they will flourish side by side.

It’s sure to enhance the overall aesthetic appeal of your garden while providing a stunning backdrop for your beloved hydrangeas.


Ferns are an excellent choice for companion plants when it comes to hydrangeas. They not only add interest and texture to your garden display, but they can also create a stunning visual contrast alongside your hydrangeas.

With their lush foliage and elegant fronds, ferns bring a touch of elegance to any landscape.

When selecting ferns as companions for your hydrangeas, it’s important to choose varieties that can tolerate the same light conditions – whether partial shade or full sun.

This ensures both plants thrive in harmony without competing for soil nutrients.

Ferns can be strategically placed throughout the garden or used as a border around your hydrangeas, creating a cohesive look that enhances the overall aesthetic appeal.

The various types of ferns available offer different sizes, shapes, and foliage colors, allowing you to get creative with your combinations and truly make your garden stand out.

And the best part? Ferns are low-maintenance plants that require minimal effort on your part while still adding significant visual interest to your garden display.

Coral bells

Coral bells, also known as Heuchera, are a fantastic choice as companion plants for Hydrangeas. These herbaceous perennials offer a stunning contrast in foliage and can add a pop of color to your garden display.

With their vibrant leaves in shades ranging from deep burgundy to lime green, coral bells create visual interest and complement the lush blooms of Hydrangeas beautifully.

They thrive in partial sun conditions and prefer well-draining soil, making them an ideal match for many Hydrangea varieties.

Whether you choose coral bells with striking red leaves or opt for more subtle hues like silver or chartreuse, these plants are sure to enhance the overall aesthetic appeal of your garden.


Daisies are the perfect companion plants for Hydrangeas, offering a burst of color and interest to your garden.

These delightful flowers provide continuous blooms from late spring all the way into fall, extending the blooming season for your Hydrangeas.

With their simpler, individual flower structure, daisies beautifully complement the opulent blooms of Hydrangeas, creating a stunning display in your garden.

Not only do they enhance the appearance of your Hydrangea beds with their vibrant colors, but daisies also offer a textural contrast that adds depth and visual appeal to your landscape.

In addition to their aesthetic value, daisies require minimal maintenance and can be easily planted alongside Hydrangeas to create a fuller and more lush look.

Also, these delightful flowers attract pollinators to your garden, benefiting not only your Hydrangeas but other plants nearby.


Delphiniums make a stunning addition to any garden and are the perfect companion plants for your hydrangeas.

With their tall, vertical growth and vibrant shades of blue, they beautifully complement the range of hydrangea colors.

Delphiniums provide a striking visual contrast in the garden and extend the blooming season by adding flowers when your hydrangeas are not in bloom.

These elegant blooms will create a sense of drama and elegance in your garden design.

Planting delphiniums alongside your hydrangeas will enhance both the aesthetic appeal and overall health of your garden.


Daylilies are a gardener’s best friend when it comes to adding vibrant color and extended blooming periods to the garden.

These low-maintenance perennials thrive in either full sun or partial shade, making them an ideal companion for hydrangeas.

With their showy blossoms that come in a variety of hues, daylilies not only add visual interest but also complement the delicate beauty of hydrangea blooms.

Whether you choose classic yellows and oranges or opt for more unique varieties with stunning reds or purples, daylilies will definitely make your garden pop with color throughout the growing season.

Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’

Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ is an excellent choice as a companion plant for hydrangeas.

This sun-loving perennial adds a burst of color to the garden with its stunning pink-to-bronze flowers that bloom from late summer to fall.

Not only does it provide a beautiful contrast in both color and texture when planted alongside hydrangeas, but it also enhances the overall aesthetic appeal of your garden display.

One of the great things about Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ is its low-maintenance nature, making it an ideal choice for any gardener looking for hassle-free plants.

It thrives in well-draining soil and requires minimal watering, perfect for those who want stunning results without all the fuss.

Additionally, Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ can create layers of color in your garden when paired with hydrangeas, as they both have a wide range of vibrant hues to offer throughout the blooming season.


Echinacea is a sun-loving perennial that works great next to hydrangeas in your garden. Not only does it thrive in similar growing conditions, but it also adds a beautiful burst of color to the surrounding area.

Echinacea’s vibrant blooms and cone-shaped centers create a stunning contrast against the large, opulent blooms of hydrangeas.

Plus, its long-lasting flowers will keep your garden filled with vibrant colors throughout the blooming season.

If you’re looking to enhance your hydrangea display and attract pollinators to your garden, consider adding Echinacea as a companion plant for a truly eye-catching combination.

Black-eyed Susan

Black-eyed Susan is a vibrant and sun-loving perennial that can be the perfect companion plant for your Hydrangeas.

Its cheerful yellow blooms with dark centers add a pop of color to any garden display, complementing the soft hues of Hydrangea blossoms.

Not only does Black-eyed Susan provide visual interest, but it also attracts pollinators, such as bees and butterflies, enhancing the overall ecosystem of your garden.

With minimal care requirements and its ability to thrive in well-draining soil and partial sun, Black-eyed Susan is an excellent choice for creating a stunning garden display alongside your beautiful Hydrangeas.


A beautiful companion plant for hydrangeas is the stunning clematis vine. Not only do hydrangeas and clematis thrive in similar growing conditions, but they also create a visually captivating combination in the garden.

Clematis vines can be trained to grow up and around hydrangea shrubs, adding vertical interest to your flower beds.

With their wide variety of colors and bloom shapes, clematis provides endless possibilities when paired with hydrangeas.

What’s even better is that clematis blooms at different times than hydrangeas, allowing for an extended blooming season in your garden.

The contrast between the vertical growth of the vine and the rounded shape of the shrub creates a visually appealing display that will surely impress any gardener or visitor to your garden.


Roses are some of my favorite plants and are the perfect companion plant for hydrangeas. They add a touch of romance and fragrance to your garden display.

These versatile beauties not only provide structure and greenery but also extend the blooming season when paired with hydrangeas.

With their preference for full sun, roses should be planted accordingly with your hydrangeas to ensure they thrive.

The combination of these two blooms creates an interesting and diverse visual contrast in your garden, enhancing its overall aesthetic appeal.


Boxwood is a versatile evergreen shrub that can add structure and greenery to your garden when planted alongside hydrangeas.

With its dense foliage and compact growth habit, boxwood creates a beautiful backdrop for the large, opulent blooms of hydrangeas.

Not only does it provide a visually appealing contrast with its small, glossy leaves, but boxwood also acts as a year-round companion by maintaining its lush foliage even when hydrangeas are not in bloom.

This low-maintenance plant requires well-draining soil and can tolerate both full sun and partial shade, making it an excellent choice for creating a cohesive garden display with your beloved hydrangeas.

Japanese maples

Japanese maples (Acer palmatum) are the perfect companion plant for hydrangeas, adding a touch of elegance and sophistication to any garden display.

With their beautiful foliage and bark, Japanese maples offer year-round interest, making them an excellent choice for creating visual contrast in your garden.

The fern-like leaves of Japanese maples provide a contrasting texture to the large blooms of hydrangeas, creating a stunning display.

These trees come in various sizes and can be selected to complement different hydrangea varieties.

Both Japanese maples and hydrangeas thrive in well-draining soil and partial sun to partial shade conditions, ensuring they’ll grow harmoniously together.

Plus, the vibrant fall foliage of Japanese maples adds a burst of color to your hydrangea beds, enhancing the overall beauty of your landscape design.


Gardenia is a stunning flowering shrub that can be an excellent companion plant for hydrangeas.

Known for its beautiful white or cream-colored flowers with a delightful fragrance, gardenias add elegance and charm to any garden display.

These shrubs prefer partial shade and well-draining soil, similar to hydrangeas, making them an ideal pairing.

Gardenias also have lush evergreen foliage that provides visual contrast to the large blooms of hydrangeas.

With their longer blooming season, gardenias can extend the beauty of your garden alongside your hydrangea varieties.

Rose of Sharon

Rose of Sharon, also known as Hibiscus syriacus, is a stunning flowering shrub that can be an excellent companion for hydrangeas.

With its tall stature and beautiful blooms, Rose of Sharon can create a striking backdrop that helps hydrangeas stand out in the garden.

This versatile plant typically blooms from late summer to fall, making it a perfect match for hydrangeas’ blooming season.

With its visual contrast and seasonal interest, Rose of Sharon adds both beauty and structure to any garden design.

Plus, just like hydrangeas, Rose of Sharon is low-maintenance and thrives in similar growing conditions.

If you’re looking to enhance your garden’s aesthetic appeal with a harmonious display of flowers, consider planting Rose of Sharon alongside your beloved hydrangeas.

Crepe Myrtle

One stunning companion plant for hydrangeas is the crepe myrtle. This versatile shrub adds a touch of elegance to any garden display with its beautiful clusters of vibrant flowers that bloom in shades of pink, purple, and white.

Crepe myrtles thrive in similar growing conditions as hydrangeas, requiring well-draining soil and partial sun.

They are also known for their ability to withstand heat and drought, making them a resilient choice for those looking to enhance their garden’s visual appeal.

With its lush foliage and attractive bark, the crepe myrtle offers both aesthetic value and structural interest when paired with hydrangeas.

It’s no wonder why this beauty is often chosen as a companion plant alongside these beloved blooms.

Traditional evergreens

One of the most classic choices for companion planting with hydrangeas is traditional evergreens.

These low-maintenance shrubs, like dwarf blue spruce and junipers, offer a beautiful contrast to hydrangea blooms while providing structure and greenery in the garden.

Whether you’re aiming for a formal or informal garden design, traditional evergreens can be versatile companions for your hydrangeas.

Their different shapes and sizes allow for creative arrangements that enhance the overall aesthetic appeal of your garden.

Plus, these evergreens are known for their resilience and ability to withstand various growing conditions.

Add some traditional evergreens as companions to your hydrangeas for a stunning garden display that will keep its beauty year-round.


Annuals are a fantastic option for companion planting with hydrangeas, providing bursts of color and vibrant blooms throughout the growing season.

These plants can be easily incorporated into your garden beds or container plantings to complement and enhance the beauty of your hydrangeas.

Consider adding annuals like snapdragons, which come in a variety of sizes and colors, creating a stunning visual contrast alongside the large opulent blooms of hydrangeas.

Another great choice is the purple cranesbill, with its delicate flowers that add an elegant touch to any garden display.

Common boxwood is a popular annual that works well with hydrangeas, offering lush foliage and year-round interest.

Experimenting with different annuals will not only add excitement to your garden but also create dynamic and ever-changing flowering displays throughout the seasons.

Other Hydrangeas

In addition to the popular Hydrangea macrophylla and Hydrangea paniculata varieties, there are several other stunning hydrangeas that can be used as companion plants in your garden.

One such variety is the Hydrangea quercifolia, commonly known as Oakleaf hydrangea, which boasts large oak-shaped leaves and conical flower clusters.

It does well in partial shade and acidic soil conditions, making it a versatile option for planting alongside other hydrangeas.

Another unique choice is the Hydrangea serrata, or Mountain hydrangea, which features delicate lacecap flowers and compact growth habits.

This variety prefers filtered sunlight and slightly acidic soil. By incorporating these lesser-known hydrangeas into your garden display, you can create even more visual interest and diversity among your plantings!

Benefits of Companion Planting with Hydrangeas

hydrangea companion planting

Companion planting with hydrangeas offers a multitude of benefits that can enhance the overall beauty and health of your garden.

First, by carefully selecting companion plants that thrive in similar environmental conditions, you can create a harmonious and cohesive garden design.

This ensures that all plants receive the necessary sunlight and well-draining soil they need to flourish.

Another advantage of companion planting is the opportunity to maximize the ornamental value of your garden.

You can create stunning visual contrasts throughout the year by strategically choosing companion plants with different blooming seasons or foliage colors.

Imagine vibrant azaleas or delicate ferns complementing the opulent blooms of hydrangeas during their flowering season.

Furthermore, companion plants for hydrangeas provide practical benefits as well.

Some species, like hostas or sedge grasses, act as ground covers that help retain moisture in the soil while preventing weed growth.

Additionally, certain companions attract pollinators such as bees and butterflies to your garden, leading to increased biodiversity and a thriving ecosystem.

Overall, incorporating companion plants with hydrangeas not only improves aesthetic appeal but also enhances plant health and ecological balance in your garden space.

With careful selection and planning based on their specific needs and preferences, these beautiful combinations will elevate your gardening experience to new levels.

Companion perennials for Hydrangeas

hydrangea companion plants

If you’re looking to enhance the beauty of your hydrangea garden, here are some stunning companion perennials to consider:

  1. Astilbe: With its delicate lace-like leaves and spiky flowers, astilbe adds a touch of elegance to hydrangeas.
  2. Azalea: These acid-loving shrubs thrive in the same well-draining soil as hydrangeas, making them a perfect match.
  3. Campanula: Also known as bellflower, campanula’s vibrant blue or purple blooms create a striking contrast against hydrangeas.
  4. Dogwood: Whether it’s the flowering variety or the traditional red-barked dogwood, these trees provide shade and complement any hydrangea.
  5. Heuchera (Coral Bells): These low-growing perennials come in various shades of foliage and produce attractive flowers that harmonize with hydrangeas.
  6. Perennial Geranium: These hardy perennials come in an array of colors and add pops of vibrant hue next to hydrangeas.
  7. Rhododendron: If you’re looking for bold color combinations, rhododendrons with their large blooms will pair beautifully with hydrangeas.
  8. Veronica (Speedwell): The vertical spikes adorned with tiny flowers create visual interest when planted alongside hydrangeas.
  9. Nepeta (Catmint): Catmint is not only loved by feline friends; its lavender-hued flowers create a stunning contrast against hydrangeas.
  10. Japanese Forest Grass: This grass adds a touch of elegance with its golden foliage, providing a striking contrast to hydrangeas.
  11. Lamb’s Ear: The soft, silvery leaves of lamb’s ear create texture and visual interest when paired with hydrangeas.
  12. Perennial Geranium: These hardy perennials come in an array of colors and add pops of vibrant hue next to hydrangeas.

Companion shrubs for Hydrangeas

When selecting companion shrubs for your hydrangeas, it is important to choose ones that complement the beauty of these stunning blooms. Here are some great options:

  • Astilbe: These shade-loving perennials add a splash of color with their feathery plumes of flowers.
  • Azaleas: Their vibrant blooms create a striking contrast against the lush foliage of hydrangeas.
  • Campanula: Known for their bell-shaped flowers, these perennials come in various shades and sizes.
  • Dogwoods: With their elegant flowers and attractive bark, dogwoods make excellent companions for hydrangeas.
  • Ferns: Adding texture to your garden, ferns thrive in shady areas and provide an interesting backdrop for hydrangeas.
  • Heuchera: These colorful perennial flowers come in a range of hues and bring vibrancy to any garden bed.
  • Hostas: Known for their large foliage, hostas can fill in empty spaces around hydrangea bushes beautifully.
  • Japanese Forest Grass: This ornamental grass features arching blades that add movement to your garden while creating a soft contrast to hydrangea blooms.
  • Japanese Maple: These small trees offer stunning foliage colors and delicate branching patterns that enhance the beauty of hydrangeas.
  • Lamb’s Ear: With its velvety leaves, this low-growing perennial creates a lovely silvery border around hydrangea plants.
  • Nepeta (Catmint): This aromatic perennial with its lavender-blue flowers attracts pollinators to your garden while providing visual interest alongside hydrangeas.
  • Perennial Geranium: These long-blooming plants come in various colors and add elegance to any garden setting.
  • Rhododendron: These shrubs produce large clusters of showy flowers that complement the opulent blooms of hydrangeas perfectly.
  • Sweetspire (Itea): With its fragrant white flowers and beautiful fall color, this shrub adds interest throughout the seasons.
  • Veronica (Speedwell): These perennials offer attractive spikes of flowers in various colors, creating a striking contrast with hydrangea blooms.

Final Thoughts

Selecting the perfect hydrangea companion plants, you can create a stunning garden display that will envy all your neighbors.

From the elegant astilbe to the vibrant daylilies and everything in between, there are so many options to choose from.

Whether you’re looking for pops of color, lush foliage, or seasonal interest, these companion plants will enhance the beauty of your hydrangeas and create a visually captivating landscape.

Plant some hydrangeas and watch as your garden comes alive with vibrant blooms and textures!

FAQs About Hydrangea Companion Plants

What Are The Best Hydrangea Complementing Bushes? 

Some great choices for bushes that complement hydrangeas are boxwood, azaleas, and rhododendrons.

All three create stunning displays growing next to hydrangeas. A few other great options include hosta, coral bells, ornamental grasses, roses, and Japanese forest grass

Can You Plant Hydrangeas With Other Flowers? 

Yes, you can plant other flowering plants near your hydrangeas. Some great options include white hydrangea, blue hydrangea, and panicle hydrangea.

However, it’s important to consider factors such as sunlight, soil conditions, and moisture requirements when choosing companion plants.

Flowers that thrive in similar growing conditions as hydrangeas, such as shade-loving plants or those that prefer moist soil, can be good choices to plant alongside hydrangeas. 

Do Peonies And Hydrangeas Grow Well Together? 

Peonies and hydrangeas can grow well together and make a beautiful combination. Both plants have similar light and water requirements, making them suitable companions.

The large blooms of peonies and hydrangeas can create a visually striking display when planted together in a garden bed or as part of a flower arrangement.

Should Hydrangeas Be Planted Together? 

Hydrangeas can be planted together, but it’s important to consider their mature size and spacing requirements. Some hydrangea varieties can grow quite large, so giving them adequate space is essential for healthy growth and airflow.

Planting them too close together can lead to overcrowding, reduced air circulation, and increased chance of diseases. It’s recommended to follow the spacing guidelines provided for the specific hydrangea varieties being planted.

What are some ideal companion plants to pair with hydrangeas in a garden display?

Ideal companion plants for hydrangeas include hostas, ferns, astilbes, and lilies. These plants complement the beauty of hydrangeas while providing contrasting foliage or blooms.

Can I plant roses alongside my hydrangeas as companion plants?

Yes, roses make a great companion plant for hydrangeas. Both roses and hydrangeas are known for their beautiful flowers, making them a perfect pairing in the garden.

One thing to keep in mind is that both require different care and maintenance. Roses need more sunlight and specific pruning techniques compared to hydrangeas.

I recommend asking a horticulturist before combining these two plants.

Are there any companion plants that can help deter pests from damaging my hydrangeas?

Yes, certain companion plants have natural pest-repellent properties that can help protect your hydrangeas from common pests like aphids or slugs.

Marigolds and lavender are examples of fragrant flowers that can repel pests when planted near your hydrangea bushes.

What are some easy-to-grow companion plants for hydrangeas?

A few easy-to-grow companion plants for hydrangeas include hosta, coral bells, ornamental grasses, and roses.

Do hydrangeas prefer certain types of companion plants?

Many plants thrive next to certain plants, and hydrangeas are no different.

Hydrangeas prefer companion plants that can grow in similar growing conditions, such as plants that like full sun or well-drained soil.

Can I plant shrubs next to my hydrangeas?

Yes, you can plant shrubs next to your hydrangeas. Some suitable shrub companion plants for hydrangeas include coral bells, roses, and ornamental grasses.

Are there any plants that don’t grow well with hydrangeas?

While hydrangeas are relatively tolerant, there are some plants that may not grow well with them.

It is best to avoid planting plants that prefer acidic soil or those that have aggressive root systems.

Can I plant ornamental grasses next to my hydrangeas?

Yes, ornamental grasses can be planted as a border or behind your hydrangeas to add texture and movement to the garden. They complement the shrubby hydrangea plants nicely.