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Color Your World

Good to Know
Once you get the right medley of plants in your garden, help them stay colorful all summer long by maintaining their health. Three keys to keeping your plants looking good:
consistent watering
regular feeding
deadheading (removing spent flowers)

I want color, color and more color!" That's what I often hear from homeowners eager to fill their gardens with bright, beautiful flowers. So what's the secret to creating nonstop color in your borders? It's all in the mix. By combing several types of plants, you can create a lively, ever changing tapestry of flowers and foliage. Try them and see what a colorful difference they make in your garden this year.

Think Foliage First, Then Flowers
HostasWho hasn't been swept away by all those beautiful blooming plants in garden centers? The instant you plant them, they say, "Color!" The problem is, many flowering plants put on a good one-time show, but then fade, leaving you with a bed of green leaves. One solution is to look for colorful foliage plants. All summer long the leaves will mix and mingle with your flowering plants, compounding the color in your borders.

Great Foliage Plants:
'Black Magic' Elephant Ears
'Chocolate Chip' Ajuga
Cuban Oregano
Purple Heart
Coleus
'Tropicanna' Canna

Create Large Swaths of Color
ImpatiensThere are many annual bedding plants that are so loaded with blooms that when you plant them in bold, dramatic sweeps or large blocks, your borders will sing with color all summer. Rather than a spotty planting of 5 or 6 plants, punch up your color volume with 2 or 3 flats and pack them in for some real pizzazz.

Top Designer Annuals:
'Laguna Sky Blue' Lobelia
'Supertunia Vista Bubblegum' Petunia
'Superbells Red' Calibrachoa
'Spirit Frost' Cleome
'Angelface Blue' Angelonia

Add Colorful Trees, Shrubs and Perennials
Roses in a Mixed BorderBuild on the beauty of foliage and annual bedding plants by mixing in a variety of colorful trees, shrubs, roses and perennials. The advantage of this approach is you don't have to begin each spring filling your entire bed with new plants. You can rely on these returning seasonal bloomers to enhance your garden's palette.

Super Shrub Roses:
'Caldwell Pink'
'Carefree Wonder'
'Old Blush'
'The Fairy'
'Russell's Cottage'



Woman's Day MagazineThis article originally appeared as my "Your Garden" column in the May 25, 2004 issue of Woman's Day magazine. To read more of my garden and home advice included in the magazine visit www.womansday.com and become a subscriber.