Posts Tagged ‘garden design’

Front Garden Plantings: Hosta’s Lush Foliage

hosta planting

Hostas take centre stage in a mixed shady front-yard planting of mostly foliage. ‘June’ at right.

This spring, all the rain we received has made for some spectacularly lush garden foliage, especially on hostas. 2017 has, so far, been the exact opposite of last year, when hostas were in danger of being sunburned and drought-stressed. When mother nature does the irrigation work for us we are lucky indeed. The cooler weather and abundant moisture have provided some gigantic, and lush specimens of hostas this season. And all are looking healthy and happy.

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Using Dahlias As A Hedge


red dahlias along a fence

A row of dahlias makes a striking blooming hedge.

Here’s a great use of dahlias, which effectively creates a flowering hedge. Seven identical plants have been  planted here, along a decorative metal fence. These dahlias grow in partial shade for part of the day, and the flowers pop out of the shadows like glowing red stars. It’s a terrific effect and one that could be used year to year. Dahlias are a tender perennial, and the tubers should be dug up every fall, after frost, and brought in for the winter to be replanted next season.

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Garden Colour: Matchy Matchy Makes Curb Appeal

yellow magnolia

A “doubled colour” effect when the house colour matches garden material, like this yellow magnolia.

Does the garden shrub match the drapes, er, shutters? Or even a door? Let’s hope yes! Garden elements, like colours of flowers, shrubs or trees doubly compliment your front yard curb appeal when you provide a matching paint colour. It’s a effect that guarantees a pleasing colour harmony on your front step. Good painting contractor like can suggest you and help you to have good painting work at your home and steps as well.

There are many effective examples of harmonious paint and plant pairings. Consider orange daylilies, or a Japanese Maple with orange bark against an orange door. While these opportune colour pairings may only last part of the season, they are worth keeping in mind when selecting either house paint or plants. This yellow magnolia comes into bloom with a sunny cheerfulness in early spring and warms the whole corner. The yellow flowers wouldn’t have the same satisfying effect against red brick.


Ornamental Grasses Add Movement to the Garden

That ornamental grasses catch the breezes and sway in the wind is one of the best reasons to have them in the garden. Daisies, while pretty, just stay put. Grasses move, adding a fourth dimension to the garden—movement through time—showing off whenever the wind kicks up. Ornamental grasses are low-maintenance, and their texture and  year-round colour, especially in the winter, is another plus. Winter interest of ornamental grasses is one of the single best reasons to add grasses to your garden, whether they are glowing copper in a winter sun, or arched over and covered in snow. Things to remember when considering grasses:

  • full sun is usually needed for most tall, vertical grasses like ‘Karl Foerster’ (Calamagrostis acutiflora)
  • part sun is fine for hakonechloa grass (Japanese Forest Grass)
  • grasses look best when planted in larger groups, of at least three clumps
  • grasses are part of the new, naturalistic style of garden, popularized by designer Piet Oudolf
  • grasses have mounding, vertical or fan-like shapes, consider these shapes in your garden design
  • grasses pair well with flowering perennials, like rudbeckia, coneflower, ‘Autumn Joy’ sedum, and many others

Easy Garden Design in Colour: Big Blue Pots

blue ceramic pot in the garden

The contrast of blue amongst green is an analogous contrast, making it pleasing and easy on the eyes.

One of the quickest ways I know to make a design statement in a garden, without having to try very hard, is to find the biggest, honkin’ blue ceramic pot you can find, and set it somewhere in your garden. Important: Don’t put it right in the middle, but rather place it off-centre; to the left or right, and toward the front or back of your garden space.
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