The advent of the warmer months heralds a bright profusion of color – jewel-like tones of cerulean blue, Persian green, and cotton candy pink come together to create a living tapestry of color. For those that prefer a more dramatic color scheme, opt for orchids a deep red wine, dahlias edged in carmine, and black calla lilies. If you have a drab spot in your garden or want to remedy eyesores, integrate those colorful flowers and plants into your garden.
Before you start, you need to take into account the requirements of each plant. Certain plants may thrive in dappled shade while others prefer full sun. Although the idea of toiling in the soil may seem grueling and uninviting, gardening does not necessarily entail arduous labor. Raised garden beds allow for easier gardening because they eliminate the burden of tiling the soil and preparing the bed before planting. They also reduce the amount of fertilizing and weeding needed.
Often thought of as houseplants, variegated plants are popular outdoors as well, their variegated look lending a tropical accent to the garden. Along with the usual staid colors of white and green, these plants come in bright hues of red, pink, and maroon. Coleus is a low-maintenance plant with striking foliage that adds interesting texture to garden beds. The ‘Black Dragon’ variety, with its rich burgundy color, is a perfect addition to a goth garden. With most preferring shade, they are ideal for a shade garden, where they can brighten up patchy ground and other dull areas.
Varieties to try: Hostas, Coleus, Dogwood
2.Ornamental Edible Plants
Though vegetable gardens are known for their utilitarian purpose rather than beauty, there are many edible plants that can brighten your garden. The highly fragrant and pastel-hued flowers of sweet pea plants – an ethereal infusion of crimson, apricot, and purple – resemble haute couture gowns. When in bloom, sweet peas create beautiful displays on trellises or other vertical structures.
New varieties of strawberries, raspberries, and strawberries, designed to be compact, are a picturesque delight to behold. Others, like black tomatoes or artichokes, present an intriguing element to the garden.
Varieties to try: Sweet Pea, Strawberries, Black Tomatoes, Artichokes
With their cheery yellow color and buoyant flower heads, sunflowers have an instant mood boosting effect. In addition to the ubiquitous yellow, there are red, white, and ‘Strawberry Blonde’ varieties you can choose from. True to their name, they need full sun, so place them in well-lit areas that suffer from a dearth of color to liven them up. Plant them as a hedge, as a backdrop interspersed with other flowers, or in pots for a sunny effect.
Whether as a symbol of lovelorn love or a harbinger of death, roses have taken an extensive hold in popular culture. Whether as trailing vines or as prolific bushes teeming with blooms, roses add a sculptural elegance to any garden.
Though roses have the reputation as being picky, there are many sturdy varieties that require minimal care, such as a shrub or landscape rose. For the more serious gardener, one might try growing those unique rose varieties.
Some of the loveliest flowers are the deadliest. Often disguised among the bright blooms and shiny foliage as innocuous garden guests, these plants contain poisons and neurotoxins that could paralyze and kill if wrongly handled, some figuring as deadly poisons in folklore. Some, like rhododendrons and azaleas, are mildly poisonous, while others, like deadly nightshade, can be fatal if ingested. Whether you have a predilection towards the macabre or want to cultivate a garden of old-world specimens, a poison garden may sound appealing. Make sure to carefully research the properties of each plant, and keep them separated from the rest of your garden, if necessary.
Varieties to try: Azalea, Foxglove, Elderberry, Hyacinth, Lily of the Valley
An underrated garden feature, ornamental grasses add an interesting dimension to the landscape. Noted for their ability to stabilize hills and slopes, they are used as erosion control and are often drought-resistant. Ornamental grasses are known to bring aesthetic value year-round, even in the stark isolation of winter. Long after the flowers have wilted, seed heads and sturdy plants, blanketed under a light frost, come to life. Many gardeners are surprised to find their gardens transformed into an unexpected winter wonderland with colorful berries and dramatic wintery silhouettes.
Varieties to try: Black Mondo Grass, Blue Fescue Grass, Purple Fountain Grass
At once delicate and rustic, a prairie garden presents multifaceted layers of textures, heights and variations – the American version of the English cottage garden. Though they may not appear very interesting to the untrained eye, there is something whimsical about the gossamer-like plumes that form from the mosaic of ornamental grasses and native wildflowers. Prairie gardens are often considered low maintenance because they incorporate native plants, require less irrigation, fertilizer, and pesticides than conventional gardens. Even if you don’t have a large backyard, a prairie themed garden is still feasible.
Varieties to try: Purple Coneflower, Coralbells, Prairie Smoke, New England Aster
If you live in a hot or humid climate – zones 8 or higher – consider growing a tropical or subtropical garden. Transform your garden into an oasis with vibrant blooms, foliage with bold colors, and lush fruit trees. Good choices for plants include birds of paradise, palms, orchids, callas, and hibiscus. Calla lilies, which can range from shades of fiery red to a velvety black, pair well with hostas, ferns, and dusty miller. Plant some citrus trees or dragon fruit in containers to brighten up a yard, deck, or patio.
An easy way to add vibrant colors to challenging areas is to incorporate ground covers. Ground cover plants are versatile and can be used to fill crevices or areas with subpar soil – many are low-maintenance and drought resistant.
Like ornamental grasses, ground covers help stabilize slopes and prevent erosion. They also suppress weeds and can aid in nutrient and water retention.
Varieties to try: Sweet Potato Plant, Dusty Miller, Phlox, Dragon’s Blood Sedum
A carnivorous plant garden is not for those that prefer subtlety. A bog garden, whether repurposed from an existing soggy area or created using water siphoned from a pond or stream, can host a variety of extravagant and exotic plants. Typically, a bog garden consists of a raised bed or elevated platform filled with substrate conducive to growth. Bog gardens should be situated in full sun, in wet, acidic conditions. Only distilled water or rainwater should be used, as carnivorous plants can be sensitive to the minerals in tap water.
Varieties to try: Pitcher Plant, Venus Flytraps, Sundews