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Perennial Garden Design

It's not just about the color. Consider the form and texture when planning your gardens.

Let's look at the elements in this garden that make it work.

Repetition of color, form and texture and massing of plants creates a pleasing flow to the garden.

Using more of fewer species increases the visual impact and decreases your workload. You'll have fewer seedlings to discern from the weeds and less maintenance know how needed.

The big round flowers of the allium are bold elements in the garden that grab your attention. The repeated use helps guide you through the garden.

The vertical spikes of the salvia peak out through the grasses adding a seasonal splash of color.

The mix of tall and short plants is not rigid but rather designed so all plants add to the overall visual impact of the garden.

And the finer texture of the sedges and ornamental grasses makes a nice backdrop.

A bit more information: Use the same principles when designing gardens in the shade. The bold leaves of the shade tolerant perennials like hosta, ligularia and Rodgersia create a focal point in the garden. The finer texture of the shade tolerant sedges (Carex) as well as Japanese forest grass (Hakonechloa) are a nice contrast to these. Use spiky flowers of Astilbe and Bugbane (Actaea formerly Cimicifuga) for vertical accents.

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