Incorporating Color Into Landscaping

by Jessica Brita-Segyde

Color trends ebb and flow. Good design balances the timeless with the trendy and should reflect both ends of the spectrum. Fortunately, homeowners can incorporate color into landscaping without overcommitting on the details. There are many ways to bring a variety of colors and designs to your home’s exterior, and you can change with the seasons!

Annuals Are Fun to Change

The best thing about annuals is the short-term commitment. Annuals are only here for a season or two. New years bring new trends and you can update when things change! Some annuals bloom all summer, like petunias and geraniums. Chrysanthemums and snapdragons can be planted in late summer for fall blooms. Winter in colder climates may not bode well for outdoor planting, but many homeowners display poinsettias indoors and in windows during the Holiday season. Once the threat of frost is over, look for calendula flowers and pansies at your local nursery. These flowers can tolerate the chilly weather of early spring.

Perennials that Deliver

Perennials are a great investment in your home’s landscape. From flowers to shrubs to trees, these plants bloom year after year. If you’re just starting out, consider hiring a landscape architect to help with planning and planting. Well-placed perennials will compliment your home’s look with minimal yearly work. Your landscaper will know the plants that work best in your climate and soil, and he or she can also make recommendations based on your long-term color preferences.

Incorporate Containers

Containers like pots, planters, and urns are great for plants of all kinds. They’re mobile and can be relocated if you want to change up your outdoor display mid-season. Containers can also be pulled indoors when the weather doesn’t cooperate with your plant’s thresholds for temperature and humidity. If you want to encourage growth for a particular plant, repot into a larger container when its root system maxes out on space.

Responsibility is Beautiful

Yes, you CAN take care of the environment while still inviting beautiful colors into your landscape. A pollinator and/or rain garden can support your palette of choice. Work with a landscape architect or trusted local nursery to help you pick perennials. Pollinator-friendly flowers like coneflowers and marigolds come in many colors. Hibiscus plants like the Rose of Sharon bush are also colorful and bloom every year. Ask your gardener if he or she knows the bloom color before you buy a particular plant.

Rain gardens benefit from a mix of green grasses, perennials, and flowers. The perennial Black-Eyed Susan blooms yellow for several months out of the year. Daylillies come in many colors. Annuals, such as impatiens, can be mixed with the perennials to keep the colors and look fresh.

Color the Accents

Mulch is a great way to add or balance color in your landscape. Natural mulch ranges from light brown to dark black. Somewhere in the middle is reddish-brown. Dyed mulch comes in a variety of reds, browns, and blacks. Dyed rubber mulch can even be found in bright blue!

Accents like garden spheres, decorative fencing, and lawn ornaments add color and can be switched out according to the seasons. A semi-permanent accent such as a fountain or boulder add natural color to your landscape. Lawn furniture can also create a nice pop of color. Metal lawn furniture can be spray-painted when the current color falls out of popularity.

During the winter months, when trees and flowering plants go dormant, bring out the Holiday lights and bows. Natural garland made from pine or cedar gives a beautiful green accent to snow-covered yards and porches.

Playing with color is fun in any season. Happy planting!

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