Ask an Expert: Landscaping Tips for Season-long Color

    Ask an Expert: Landscaping Tips for Season-long Color

    May 24, 2019

     Ask an Expert: Landscaping Tips for Season-long Color

     By: JayDee Gunnell, USU Extension regional flowerbed1horticulturist jaydee.gunnell@usu.edu 

     Sheriden Hansen, USU Extension assistant professor, Davis County, sheriden.hansen@usu.edu

     Color in the landscape adds visual appeal and seasonal splendor. Many homeowners try to select plants that will offer season-long interest, add consistency and tie the landscape design together.

     Harmony in a landscape is often accomplished when the same color schemes are repeated. When planning and planting, it is good to remember some general rules: 

    * Cool colors, such as shades of green, blue and soft pastels, blend well together and tend to make an area seem larger in appearance. These colors also suggest calmness or tranquility.

    * Warm colors, such as shades of red, orange and yellow, jump out visually and act as colorful accents. These colors invite and imply liveliness.

    * Complementary colors are those colors that most optimally accentuate each other. Yellow is considered complementary to purple. Red is complementary to green. Orange is complementary to blue. White is a universal color that complements all colors.

    * When planting for color, it is important to think of the importance of the foliage effect as well as the flower color. Some plants offer different textures while others put on a spectacular show in the autumn as their colorful leaves proclaim the end of the season.

    * Choosing a variety of plants with staggered bloom times, along with those that add unique textures and distinctive leaf colors, adds seasonal interest to any landscape. But with literally thousands of options to choose from in plant material, it can be overwhelming when deciding which plants to buy. Browsing through catalogs and magazines can help give ideas. It is also helpful to visit nurseries and garden centers throughout the year to see what plants are in bloom at what time.

    * For simplification purposes, the following bloom times have been organized:

    spring bloomers - March through mid-May; summer bloomers - late May through mid-August; fall bloomers - late August through October. As a general rule, most perennials provide blossoms for 3 to 4 weeks. Deadheading or removing spent blossoms will encourage re-blooming.

    The USU Extension fact sheet, Landscaping for Seasonal Color, includes some of the more commonly sold plants and trees and their approximate bloom times, along with plants that offer variety to the landscape in the form of texture and seasonal leaf color.

    As always, it is important to remember that Mother Nature is consistently in charge. Weather variations and other climatic changes can influence bloom time and color intensity.

    Published on: May 28, 2019

    Related Articles

    Ask an Expert - August Yard and Garden Checklist

    Ask an Expert - August Yard and Garden Checklist

    The heat is on, and yards and gardens are trying to keep up with the temperatures. Consider these tips from the USU Extension Gardeners Almanac to keep your garden thriving this month. Also included are links for further information.

    Read More
    Ask an Expert: Three Tips for Tree Planting

    Ask an Expert: Three Tips for Tree Planting

    Trees are an integral part of landscaping, and it's important to know the basics of starting them out right so they will flourish for many years to come.

    Read More
    Ask an Expert: Poinsettia Care During the Holidays and Beyond

    Ask an Expert: Poinsettia Care During the Holidays and Beyond

    Poinsettias are native Mexican plants. They thrive during the holiday season because they are short-day plants that require long nights to launch their color change. The colorful bracts of these plants are leaves, not flowers, with the most common bract color being red.

    Read More