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How to Give Your Garden a Splash of Color

Now that spring is upon us, it’s time to start planning your flower gardens. In addition to figuring out whether your garden(s) are sunny or shady, you need to figure out if you want perennials (plants that come back every year) or annuals (plants that have to be replanted every year). Most gardeners have a mixture of both.


You also need to consider colors. While you might think it would be great to have lots of different colors, your garden will look more composed if you have a color scheme. Do you like warm or cool colors, e.g. reds & oranges or blues & purples? If you want to mix warm & cool colors, use a color wheel to properly match complementary colors, like purple & yellow or blue & orange.  


Don’t forget to look at the bloom time for the flowers. Try to plant things that bloom at different times, so you have color throughout the spring, summer and fall.


Once you know these basics, it’s time to pick some colorful flowers!



  • Blanket Flower (aka Gaillardia) is drought- and heat-tolerant. Comes in shades of red, gold, or brown. Blooms through the summer and into the fall.  


  • Russian Sage loves the sun and is tolerant of drought and heat. Creates clouds of lavender or blue flowers in late summer. Bees & butterflies love it.


  • Purple Coneflower (aka Echinacea) is a wildflower that tolerates heat and drought, and blooms all summer long. Comes in shades of purple or pink.


  • Coreopsis comes in a wide range of sizes and several colors, producing blankets of daisy-like flowers all summer long in yellow or pink, with soft, ferny foliage.



  • Marigolds are a summer star. They bloom consistently all summer, adding a colorful punch of color to a sunny spot. Most are yellow, orange, or cream. 

  • Begonias are about as easy as it gets. They do well in a variety of conditions, but really like some shade. Come in many hues of red, pink, blush, peach or white.


  • Morning glory is a fast-growing vine that is great for creating privacy on trellises or fences. Produces trumpet-shaped flowers in blues, pinks, purples & reds.


  • Nasturtiums are easy to grow. Just sow the seeds directly in pots or garden, and they bloom until frost. Available in colors like red, orange, yellow or cream.



  • Lavender has beautiful purple blooms & an enchanting scent. Place along pathways or near seating areas.  Drought-, heat-, and wind-tolerant.


  • Chives have bright green stems and pinkish-purple pom-pom blooms. Versatile and    easy-growing. Thrive in containers or can be used as edging in beds.



  • Sweet woodruff is a great groundcover in the shade garden. In spring, the plants are smothered with white flowers, and the foliage has a sweet fragrance.


  • Chamomile has white, daisy-like blooms. Makes a nice flowering groundcover, edging for beds or a cascade over the rim of containers.