Ask a Question
Notify Me On Question Update
Email this Question
Do you have tips for making my yard more colorful this spring?
Rate This FAQ
Color is starting to creep back into our landscapes. Bulbs and a few shrubs are beginning to blossom, and soon the spring perennials will be blooming. Before long we will be rushing to the nurseries and garden centers to pick out annuals of every hue and color to fill empty spaces invading our landscapes. Here are some tips:
* Make a plan for what to plant in those vacant spaces. Designing the flower bed before ever looking at a flower or entering a garden center ensures that the flowers will fit the design, instead of the other way around.
* First thing to do is measure the flower beds. Then, using graph paper draw the beds to scale. Typically, make one square on the paper equal one square foot. Make drawings as accurate as possible to the actual shape of the beds; and then make several copies.
* Next, use colored pencils or crayons to start the design. Draw in borders and group plantings, indicating desired colors and mixes. Play around and have fun with the design. Do not think about what type of flowers, just use the colors and pretend any color is available. If you don't like the design, you can always grab another copy and start again.
* You do not have to be an artist to design a beautiful flower bed. Any color will look better than brown. Certain colors will give different effects. Warm colors such as red, yellow and orange, bring a sunny feeling to a cool shady area. Cooler colors such as blue, green and violet bring a soothing coolness to a hot patio or walkway.
* Complementary colors provide eye-catching, dramatic plantings. Complementary colors are opposite each other on the color wheel. These might include planting blues with oranges, purples with yellows, or reds with greens. Some of my favorite designs include complementary plantings. Purple nierembergia is wonderful planted with the deep yellow Dahlberg daisies.
* Harmonious colors are next to each other on the color wheel. Examples would be combinations of red with purple or orange, blue with purple or green, yellow with green or orange, or orange with yellow or red. These plantings are not as vivid but have a more softening effect. This is why red geraniums look at home surrounded by violet and pink lobelia or alyssum.
* Monochromatic plantings can also be quite attractive. These color schemes use different flowers in a single color throughout a flower bed. For example, an all-pink garden might use pink geraniums, petunias, verbena and vinca. The different hues and forms add interest and appeal.
* After determining the colors needed to fill the design, calculate the amount of flowers by counting the number of squares on the graph paper in any color. Most annuals are planted on about one-foot centers. I prefer them closer together, so they fill in quickly and look full the whole summer.
* The last step is going to the nursery to buy the flowers in the desired colors, taking them home and incorporating them into the beds. Try different annuals from year to year. Try to stay away from the predictable petunias and marigolds as often as possible. There are many other beautiful annuals with fewer problems and that are in less demand during the spring planting rush.
Submit Your Suggestion
Other Questions In This Topic
- I have about an acre of commercial property that I want to control all vegetation. Is there a good ground sterilizer on the market? Where can I purchase it?
- I am actually in Colorado, I am interested in the zone(s) in Eden. I am designing a landscape there and want to plant accordingly. I, also, am interested in a list of noxious plants, I'd like to avoid them. Thank You!
- When should I be pruning my roses?
- How do I keep my lawn green during the hot summer months?
- I live in rose park and am selecting trees to add to my backyard. I have full sun and dark rich soil. I want a good shade tree but am not sure what would be best. I have been looking at different types of maple trees but am wary about their growth rates. Are there any trees that you could recommend?
- What are the best cures for fungus type lawn diseases. We've tried infrequent deeper watering, which makes it worse, higher mowing in the hotter months, airation shoes, and everthing else suggested. We know we have clay under the topsoil.
- Why are my older pine and spruce trees dropping their needles?
- Could you pleae identify the pine-like tree on the north side of our home? The needles are on two sides of the twig rather than on all four sides. They (the needles) are very soft and are dark green. At this time of the year (Sep), the trees bear red berries. The trees are approximately 35 years old and are 12-14 feet tall. Thank you very much for your assistance!