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Continuous Garden Color

Continuous Garden Color

Spring brings with it a beautiful explosion of color that seems to disappear as quickly as it comes (sad!). Creating a gorgeous landscape includes using color as a continuing element of the garden, seamlessly evolving throughout the seasons, creating a symphony of hues, shapes, textures and scents. This is done through a deft balance of steadfast perennials and color-accenting annuals that make for a visually stunning and dynamic garden. The May garden looks different from the June garden, the June garden looks different from July—you get the idea.


Perennials—Color Foundation


Perennials provide the garden with structure, creating landscape focal points as well as functioning as backdrops for annuals and other garden elements. They include all aspects of plantings, from ground covers to herbs, flowers, ferns, shrubs, evergreens, trees and ornamental grasses.


Annuals—Pops of Color


During the spring, summer and fall, the garden centers are brimming with annuals that are ablaze in color. From early spring’s cheerful pansies to summer’s gorgeous geraniums to fall’s brilliant asters and mums, there are rainbows of colors in every shape and size for every soil and environmental condition (sun, shade, damp, dry).


New Annuals produced by Proven Winners for 2017:



Where to Start


So where to start with all of this? Begin with where you’re at—meaning, what’s your garden environment? Full sun, south-facing? North-side and shady? Poor drainage? Sandy soil? A soil test is a good foundation step to determine the health of your soil and determine which if any soil amendments should be added. Tilling your garden’s soil with organic matter has numerous benefits such as a boost in nutrients, moisture retention and healthy microbial activity.


Knowing your planting environment is a crucial guideline for which plants to select for garden success. There’s no point planting a sun-loving succulent in a spot best suited for a shade-craving hosta.


Next Steps


Your soil’s primed, your environment is identified—now’s the time to start picking out some plants! Here’s how to start narrowing down your options:


Height: Taller plants towards the back, shorter towards the front. Basic enough. (It lets you see every plant you have.)


Bloom time: It’s easy to find garden sites and catalogs that note bloom times for each plant (early spring, May-June, etc.). Think in terms of having plantings that keep the garden show going from early spring to late fall.


Texture: Mix things up! Evergreens, broad-leafed beauties, feathery flora—having a variety of textures in the garden help showcase each individual plant’s unique characteristics. Ethereal Russian Sage looks striking next to dark, shiny Wild Ginger.


Color: Pick your favorites shades and have fun or take a look at a color wheel for inspiration:

Colors can be grouped in terms of warmth: cool colors (blues, purples, greens, greys and certain pinks) or warm colors (reds, yellows, oranges, pinks and creams). Don’t forget to include white (very restful and beautiful in the evening garden) and black (high drama and an excellent companion to brilliant hues like poppy, canary yellow and hot pink). Variegated-leaf plants add fabulous color interest as well.

Color schemes can include: soothing monochromatic (different shades of one color – deep red to pale pink for example); analogous for a monochromatic feel with punch (red and oranges, blues and greens); high-contrast/dynamic complementary (red and green, yellow and purple) and balanced triad (purple, orange, green)

Groupings: when choosing and placing your plants, groupings tend to look better unless you have one large plant you want to highlight as a specimen plant (think of a magnificent Chinese Maple). Odd numbers of groupings work best (groups of 3, 5, 7, 9, etc.) and provide more color and visual impact than a series of individual plants peppered throughout.


Want to know more about non-stop seasonal color for your garden? Call us at Farmside Landscape & Design. We’ll help you plan your garden or create one for you so you can sit back and just enjoy the (color) show!