Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Late Summer Color Fixes for your Fading Landscape

Like many people, you may not have planned your garden to accommodate the fading color palette that often happens in the last summer.  There are several plants you can plant to fill  your landscape with color through early fall.  If you missed planting them in the late spring then you might be able to find them in your garden center now.  If you do, then strategically place them where you need to brighten up things and bring the color back to your landscape.  

Coleus.  A plant with amazing foliage color.  New varieties arrive each season, and the bright color combos will fill your yard with sunshiny happiness until frost.  Many of the new varieties don't flower, so the care is easy and most love the full sun and heat.

Alternanthera.  Another plant with amazingly lush foliage is the Calico Plant.  This easy to grow plant produces leaves in purple, bronze, orange, red and yellow to make it a rich color addition to your beds or containers.  Planted in the spring, the color will continue to produce until frost.  Although it's a tropical, it's tough enough to handle some rough weather and will often return the next season in some subtropical areas.

Salvia.  Varieties include both annuals and perennials and many varieties bloom through frost.  Salvia plants need good drainage and grow rather quickly.  Quite a few varieties will invite hummingbirds to your garden and the colors range from purple to blue to pink and white.

Scabiosa.  The Pincushion Flower blooms from spring and into fall.  It will come back each year, and during particularly mild winters, you may even see a bloom from time to time.  Varieties include Butterfly Blue, Pink Mist, Samantha's Pink, Mars Midget and Vivid Violet.

Dwarf Crape Myrtle.  During the hot, hot heat of August, a crape myrtle may be the only bright color you'll see.  If space is a consideration, then consider planting some dwarf crape myrtles.  They will give you color through the month.  Varieties include Red Filli, Cherry Dazzle, Diamond Dazzle, Strawberry Dazzle and Sweetheart Dazzle.

Coreopsis.  This plant has one of the longest blooming seasons.  If you didn't plant it in the spring, then most garden centers come out with a new group for the late summer, early fall season.  Colors vary and the daisy like flowers are always a welcoming sight.

If you missed the late summer color planting in the spring or can't find them in your favorite garden center in August, then there's always next spring!


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