As the first day of summer is around the corner and frost warnings are finally gone, the colors of summer come to mind. There’s nothing quite like the moment in the movie The Wizard of Oz when the screen goes from black and white to brilliant Technicolor – not unlike what spring looks like after months of winter grey; grass begins to green, sunny yellow blooms appear in forsythia & daffodils, purple crocuses peek through softening soil, pink and white tufts of blossoms grace tree branches, tulips pop up in rainbow colors from creamy whites through vibrant ruby red.
But after spring, the long hot days of summer often fade spring’s colorful palette. How to keep the color show going?
Think beyond just flowers when planning for color – consider trees, shrubs, decorative grasses, ground covers, herbs as well as flowering perennials and annuals.
Opt for clusters of plantings for greater color drama. A single plant of flowering color here and there is pretty, but those plants grouped together make a truly stunning color statement in the garden.
Introduce plants with variegated leaves – leaves that are a mix of green and non-green pigmented areas (typically in shades from cream through yellow) for additional visual interest. And don’t forget coleus, which comes in a wide variety of leaf colors!
Annuals – plants that you need to add to your garden each year – are the easiest way to add instant color to your landscape. Hard-working annuals such as marigolds, begonias, phlox and proven winner petunias are popular favorites due to their continuous blooms and rich color variety.
Perennials – plants that come back year after year. Perennials typically have a limited period of bloom so include perennials that bloom at different times in the season to keep your garden color fresh and dynamic. Perennials with long blooming periods that last can carry you through the bulk of summer include Yarrow, black-eyed-susans, lilies, carnations, geranium and salvia just to name a few of the many choices available.
Herbs – herbs love summer heat, and often thrive in drier soil conditions. Lavender, purple coneflower, creeping thyme, anise hyssop, bee balm, meadowsweet, yarrow, feverfew and Joe-Pye weed are flowering herbs that not only add color, but many are deliciously fragrant and attract beneficial insects that keep your garden healthy, naturally.
Ground Covers – Ajuga, lamium, vinca, snow-on-the-mountain, campanula, creeping phlox, snow-in-summer, sweet woodruff, veronica, are just some blooming ground covers that spread easily to blanket your garden in color.
Shrubs – Rose of Sharon, Butterfly bush, potentilla, shrub rose, spirea, purple smoke bush, summersweet, and hydrangea are great shrub choices that provide color and blooms throughout summer.
Decorative grasses – From towering pampas grass to ground-hugging blue oatgrass, purple millet, fountaingrass, zebragrass, purple moorgrass and blue fescue, these beautiful grasses add color and textural interest to your summer garden.
Call us at Farmside to help you create a gorgeous landscape that provides you with brilliant color throughout even the sultriest of summers. We believe that creating a beautiful outdoor environment is life enhancing, because, like Dorothy said – there’s no place like home.
Visit our garden center website for a photo gallery of selections available locally – http://www.farmsidegardens.com/gardencenter.html