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Landscape Makeover: Use shrubs, flowers and furnishings to make your garden the colorful envy of the neighborhood

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Story by SHARON ST. JOHN // March/April 2017

We all enjoy how color boosts our moods and lifts our spirits, even when the weather brings gloomy days. Adding color into home landscaping is easy when you use the right approaches.

The first step is to consider the color and style of your home. After all, your home serves as the backdrop of the yard. Look for the colors and types of plants that will complement existing outdoor surroundings. Keep a unified theme.

SELECTIONS

Build the landscape around shrubs. Remember that shrubs do just as much as flowers to add color and visual contrast. Evergreens bring substance and keep the landscape full, especially during winter when other plants are dormant.

Evergreen shrubs come in many shades, shapes, sizes and textures. They help to create an overall soothing and serene outdoor atmosphere.

Not all shrubs are green. Loropetalum produces dark burgundy foliage and works well when paired with light colored perennials and annuals. Sunshine Ligustrum, a selection from the Southern Living Plant Collection, delivers brightness with colorful leaves in yellow and chartreuse tones. It is a good companion to purple and blue flowers.

Flowering shrubs and perennials draw attention to certain areas in the garden and create focal points.

Use plants that produce red and orange blossoms wisely. Separate these hot colors with sections of green plants. This will give the eye a rest as it scans the yard and prevents a chaotic scene. Spacing vivid colored plants in this way also creates balance and repetition with visual weight.

The cool colors of blue, purple, pink and white create a more relaxing atmosphere in the garden. Grow plants that produce these colors in larger groupings so that they will stand out and have greater visual impact.

A soothing garden that features plants in monochromatic shades takes more effort. Plants with white blossoms or white and green variegated foliage provide harmony and look lovely paired with dark evergreen plants.

Limelight hydrangeas, variegated hostas, drift roses, daisies and bearded iris all work well together. They also create the bonus of being more visible at night. If pink is your color of choice, plants are available in shades ranging from pale pink to rich magenta. Selections include Encore azaleas and roses.

Plants that produce berries and trees that have interesting bark are options for adding interest and texture to the home landscape.

FURNISHINGS

Hardscaping used in outdoor entertainment areas and to create walkways through the garden is another way to add color and texture. Brick and stone come in many colors and visually can help set off plants.

Outdoor furniture — benches, tables and chairs — also come in many colors, sizes and styles. Colorful cushions and pillows on chairs and benches can be changed throughout the year.

Keep beautiful plant containers at the top of your garden shopping list. They create wonderful focal points. You can change out the plants in planters each season.

Planters work well in flowers beds. Add drip irrigation lines so that the water drains out of the bottom of the planter and into the flower bed. Taller planters enable plants to be positioned off the ground for better visual appeal.

Many facets are involved in creating a beautiful landscape bursting with color. Careful planning is worth the time. It is a fun and a delightful experience full of possibilities!

Sharon St. John is a landscape designer with Petty’s Irrigation and Landscape in Tyler, Texas.

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