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Past Articles Library | Gardening Design | Five Easy Ways Add Color


Question: I have a design question: My husband likes everything green and I'm the colorful one, how can we have both in a small garden?

Chantell Strauss, Springs, Gauteng, South Africa

Answer: Hi Chantell! This is a great question and is a good extension of what we talked about last month: Add A Bold Statement With Colorful Pots

Now I don't know the reason your husband likes everything green, I am guessing it's because like some people, he equates colorful plants such as annuals and perennials as high maintenance, time consuming, and needing more water.

Those points are not necessarily true, but because of those things, he sticks to green lawn and shrubs because he thinks they are fast and fairly easy to take care of. This is a partially correct assumption on his part, but I think we can add a few things to make you both happy.

I am going to assume your yard has mostly sunny areas, so here are five ways to easily add some colorful spots to your small garden to brighten it up, keep it low maintenance, water friendly, and fit into your small area.

1. Add Succulents

In your climate zone which is around a USDA Zone 8 to 9

Zone 8:
(10 to 20° F, -12 to -7° C)

Zone 9:
(20 to 30° F, -7 to -1° C)

You can easily support the growth of succulents. Many people don't use succulents to their best advantage because they think they are boring, but with so many new varieties available now, don't overlook these useful plants!

They come in all shades of gray, gray-blue, green, red, purple, and pink foliage, and many flower profusely for several months out of the year.

Just look at some of these pictures for ideas and to see how they could easily brighten up your yard!

2. Add Hanging Baskets

Another quick and easy way to add color to your yard is to have a few hanging baskets. They are fast to make, easy to care for, and take up very little space.

If you need some container ideas, go to our Container Gardening Ideas Section in the Plant Gallery.

3. Add Plants With Different Sizes, Variegated Leaves, And Texture

There are so many different varieties of trees and shrubs these days, it's easy to pick out plants that, just through their color and texture, can add a lot to a yard or garden. Plants such as hosta, viburnum, and maple.

4. Add Plants With Different Leaf Color

Plants like Coleus, Croton, or New Zealand Flax (Phormium) naturally add interest with their bold colors.

5. Add Colorful Pots

We talked about this last month (Add A Bold Statement With Colorful Pots), that by just adding a few colorful pots, with or without plants, you can really add some zest and pop to your yard.

Thanks for the question Chantell; see you all next month with another Gardening Design Idea!

If you have a design problem you would like us to talk about, fill out the form below.


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Lady Beetles

Commonly known as Lady Bugs, eat aphids, mealybugs and many different types of insect eggs.

If you want to use them as beneficials in your garden, release them at night, or keep them in their wire topped containers for a day or so before release.

Either technique will help keep them in the area, and working on your specific insect problems, instead of just flying away.

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