More Color in Your Yard

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Add Some Color to Your Home with Annuals and Perennials

There are tons of great plants you can add around your home to add color and interest. No matter if you have a large, manicured yard or simply just a doorstep, your home can still benefit from some added color. You can add plants to existing flower beds, create new ones, or add a few containers to your doorstep or balcony. Choosing plants can be the fun part, so get creative!

Figure 1 Annuals keep blooming all summer long

Annual plants, such as petunias, impatiens, coleus, vinca, etc., won’t survive the winter needing to be replaced each year, but they continue to provide bursts of flowers and dramatic foliage from spring into first frost. You can tuck annuals into your flower beds between perennials and shrubs, in spots where you don’t have much color, or in containers on your porch or balcony. Feed them fertilizer every two weeks, and they will continue to reward you with color throughout the season. You can find a variety of them throughout the county, at local hardware stores and greenhouses.

Because annuals have to be replaced each year, you can also consider using perennials. This simplifies your yearly gardening routine, but it requires more patience on your part. Perennials often do not flower as much the first year as they are establishing. Don’t get frustrated, though, they will catch up with shows of flowers in subsequent years. You won’t have to replace them each year, and many of them will spread, enhancing your display. Tuck them into containers or find places through your yard to contribute to that added seasonal color each year.

Figure 2 Perennials add color to any landscape

When placing new plants in the yard, remember to leave enough space for them to grow to their full width and height, and mulch well afterward. Pay particular attention to not placing plants right up against the house or buildings, as they will still grow outward in all directions. The plants may look like they are tiny and swimming in a sea of mulch at first, but they will grow into their space soon enough. If you place plants too close together, they will become stressed, resulting in disease, pest, nutrient, and water issues down the road. Also, be sure to place taller plants further back in a bed, with shorter plants in front to create a nice layered effect. Trees can also be used to build layering, and established trees can form a foundation for a shade garden underneath.

While it’s still hot right now, fall is coming, and that is a great time to establish new plants in your yard or garden. Start figuring out what you want now so that you have a plan when it becomes time to plant, and your yard will reward you with tons of color next year. For more tips and ideas, join me next month for the More Color for Your Yard class happening at the Patrick Beaver, Newton, and Maiden Libraries in August.