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Contrast Colors and Texture to Add Pizzazz to the Garden

Is your garden looking a bit drab? It’s time to liven things up with a few new plant combinations.  

Pair plants with opposite features to create a focal point and add a bit of pizazz to the landscape.

Start with color. Pairing plants with colors on the opposite side of the color wheel is sure to grab your attention. Blue salvia and yellow coreopsis, purple heliotrope and orange blackberry lily are just a few examples.

Look for opportunities to add some interesting textures. The fine leaves of ornamental grass are great against the bolder leaves of canna. Or, mix Russian sage with your coneflowers.

And look for interesting and contrasting forms. Plant tall spiky speedwells next to round flowered zinnias or set a squatty round birdbath in front of a stand of tall hollyhocks.  These contrasting combinations emphasize each partner’s unique features.

A bit more information: The same design strategy works in the shade.  Combine the yellow daisy flowers of leopard’s bane with the spiky blue flowers of camassia. Or try mixing Japanese forest grass (Hakonechloa) in front of a big blue leafed hosta.

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