Are you interested in adding color to your yard this year?  It’s time to start thinking about planting spring annuals.  Below are a few helpful hints to make the process more successful.

Start by taking a picture of each side of your home, standing far enough back to get a broad view.  Print several color copies.  Using markers or colored pencils, draw in areas where you want color.  Use fine point tips to add fine textures and broad strokes to make coarse textures.  Keep in mind large groupings of the same type of plant/flower versus a sparse mix of many colors throughout the yard.  Lead the eye throughout the whole garden by repeating the same groupings in several places. Practice many designs on several sheets of copies until you are satisfied.

Go outside and measure the designated areas noting sun and shade patterns throughout the day.  When shopping, keep in mind textures, sizes, and colors, as well as what plants will thrive in your climate or hardiness zone.

A mix of textures will add depth and visual interest to the garden.  Planting only medium textures is not interesting to look at while planting too much contrast is overwhelming to the eye.  Finely textured plants have small leaves and feel light and airy.  An example is Baby’s Breath.  It makes small spaces appear bigger.  In contrast, coarse plantings have larger leaves or blossoms.  They have a heavy tropical feel like Hostas.  Used in masses, coarse textures make spaces feel smaller.

Consider height and spacing of all plantings in the garden, including perennials.  Varying heights are more interesting to look at and be careful not to plant taller plants in front of shorter ones.  Some plants spread out quickly, others slowly.   Make room for growth.

Every color of the rainbow can be found but that doesn’t mean you should use all colors!  Use two to three colors that look good together.  Arrange them together in the store to see if you like it.  Too much of the same color is boring while too much color contrast is overwhelming.

With forethought and proper care, as well as hard work and patience, a glorious garden will surround and nurture you.  Have fun with it and, remember, there’s no right or wrong and it’s not a permanent decision.  Next year you can do something completely different!