Is your garden suffering from overall dullness? Do you envy your neighbor’s luscious landscape? Would you like to add a bit of bravura to your beds? If so, here are a 5 simple tips to help spice up your garden, patio or landscape.
1. Dazzle with Contrasting Colors
Colors from opposite sides of the color wheel are “contrasting colors” or “complimentary colors.” Blue and orange, yellow and purple, green and red are all examples of contrasting colors. Using them together to create a vibrant look is easy: plant contrasting colors together; add a contrasting-colored garden accent to an existing bed, or use containers that contrast with plants to add impact to patios and decks. Shown here is Tropicanna Gold; the cobalt blue pot really makes its bright orange and yellow blossoms stand out!
2. Spice Up Your Beds with Swaths of Color
Create a stunning landscape with long stretches of identical plants, or plants of the same color. Mix tall pink cleomes and zinnias, mid-height Volcano phlox, lower growing Flower Carpet Pink Supreme and add a low border of pink Wave petunias to create a long-blooming color-filled border or bed. If you want to keep it simple, select a long-blooming plant such as Rudbeckia (Black-Eyed Susans) or Flower Carpet roses and plant in multiples – at least 6-9 plants in total. If you’re limited to container gardening, select several plants that have similar colors, either in their foliage or in their blooms.
3. Don’t Forget Fabulous Foliage
We often forget that foliage can play as important a role in the garden as flowers. Foliage plants come in a variety of colors, shades, shapes and sizes and can easily add impact to any garden or container – from small trees and shrubs to perennials and annuals, foliage can play an important role in any setting. Create a border or bed using mixed foliage, combining shades of green, purple, white and yellow, remembering that planting multiples of each will have the most impact. And, even when they’re not in bloom, fabulous foliage plants continue to add interest to the garden – some even more so as we move into autumn.
4. Texture is Tops
Using texture in the garden to create more interest is easy to do if you use the same principle we did with contrasting colors, only with this, you’re combining plants of opposite textures. The basic plant textures include bold (hostas, elephant ears, cannas); fine (astilbe, bleeding hearts, ferns, thyme); intermediate (salvia, bee balm, coleus, euphorbia); and strap-like (grasses, cordylines, daylilies, iris, carex, alliums). Adding to that are fuzzy-leaf plants like sages, lambs ears, Artemisia and much more. So give it a try! Combine lacy Japanese painted ferns with bold hostas in a shade bed, or plant broad-leafed Tropicanna canna with delicate draping Begonia bonfire in a container. In small gardens, using plants that have smaller or medium textures can make the garden appear larger. Large-leafed and bold foliage used in larger spaces helps to bring things together and make the space feel more intimate.
5. Take a chance
And finally, don’t be afraid to go bold with colors. Years ago we were taught to not combine plaids and stripes, to not wear pink and purple together, and to stay away from bright colors if you didn’t want to attract attention. But those rules certainly don’t work any more, especially in the garden. So, take a chance! Plant those bright pink Flower Carpets next to bold purple salvia; mix bright orange impatiens with purple petunias in a blue pot and add a few spikes of strappy carex! Have fun, and happy planting!
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