Last week the topic was texture adding to the interest in garden, this week it is color. Who does not want a colorful garden? Obviously the flowers provide the most dramatic and bold colors in a garden bed, but the foliage colors are just as, if not more important. Flowers only bloom for a certain period of time but the foliage of a plant is out for a majority of the growing season.
The most common colors of leaves are green and blueish, but an array of colors can be found: deep reds, oranges, yellows, purples, greys and many types of variegated foliage. Variegated means more than one color on a leaf, usually the margins are white or yellow paired with green. As you can see below there are many combinations of colors on the leaves only.
When planning a garden it is important to keep foliage colors in mind to enhance the overall look of the space.
Every gardener wishes for a beautiful garden from early spring into autumn. Using a succession of plants that bloom at various times throughout the season is the best way to ensure continued interest. Another component is texture. When you plan a garden it is so important to account for the time the plant is not in bloom. Using a variety of textures and leaf colors keeps the plant interesting even when it is not in flower.
A mix of textures like these really give another dimension to the garden. Rosette, palm-like, feathery, lobed, bumpy, sword-like, evergreen and spikey are just a few types of foliage you can find. In addition to trees, shrubs and grasses you will have a well rounded garden all year!
The time has come! For some of us it is a joy to get out in the yard and get working, while others are dreading all the work to do. Either way, lets get started….
If you are planning to plant vegetables now is the perfect time to get many of them in the ground: Peas, Potatoes, Carrots, Beets, any leafy greens, Cabbage and Onions are all happy with warm days and cool nights. Plant in stages so you don’t have all of your produce mature at the same time.
Annuals that like the cooler temperatures can also be planted in beds or containers now. If you use lightweight containers you can move them into a garage or covered patio if the weather takes a turn for the worse. Snapdragons, Pansies, Dusty Miller, Dianthus, Ornamental Kale and Alyssum are all options for this time of year.
You can also get some perennials in the ground as well. A general rule of thumb- if it is coming out in nature, it should be able to handle the weather. Just give the plants a few days outside but protected before you plant them. Columbine, Heuchera, Iceland Poppy, Creeping Phlox and Primrose are some examples.
If last fall you left flowers and seed heads for winter interest, it is time to cut them down. Ornamental grasses should be sheared to 6-10″ high. Give the garden beds a good rake to get rid of any old leaves and accumulation from the winter. Also check trees and shrubs for damage.
With a little work now, your yard will be in good shape for the upcoming summer season!