Need to add variety to your garden or add color year-round? We’ve got you covered. Try some or all of these ideas to spruce up your yard.
1. Greet Guests with Flowers
Flowers always make a home seem more welcoming. Adorn your entrance with assorted annuals and perrenials to keep color year long. Petunia, Snapdragon, Lily-of-the-Nile, and ‘Gertrude Jekyl’ roses are great additions.
If you have a small space beetween your house and the street, try putting a low fence in front. It gives the illusion that your house is farther from the street than it really is, and it also makes for a great space for planting flowers and vines.
2. Plant Rambling Vines
Clematis is one of the showiest vines we have. It offers blossoms of blue, purple, red, pink, or white. Grow them on a fence, on a trellis, or in a container. Or let them scramble over shrubs and perennials.
Clematis Planting Guide
When to Plant: Fall and spring are good times, because the weather is cool.
How to Grow: Plant clematis in fertile, loose, well-drained soil with lots of organic matter. It likes cool roots, so plant where the leaves get sun but roots are shaded.
How to Fertilize: Feed monthly in spring and summer with an organic fertilizer labeled for roses or tomatoes.
When to Prune: Some types bloom on new growth and some on old growth. When you buy, ask at the nursery what type you have and when you should prune.
Where to Buy: Local garden centers have lots of choices in spring.
3. Dress Up Your Driveway
By carefully sculpting the landscape and choosing the right plants and materials, you can hide your unattractive driveway. Start by creating a slightly raised island of lawn in the center of the drive. Then, add a low boxwood hedge toward the back of the island with roses, annuals, and perennials rising above the hedge in the front. Blend a variety of colors, textures, and heights for a great look. Try ‘Crystal Fairy’ rose for height, lamb’s ears for texture, and ‘Butterfly Deep Rose’ pentas for color.
4. Plant No-Fuss Lilies
Crinums laugh at drought, don’t need fertilizer, and welcome hot, humid summers with lily-like flowers that perfume the air. Growing into huge bulbs over time, they’re practically indestructible.
Crinum Planting Guide
Why You’ll Love Them: Fragrant, trumpet-shaped flowers in many colors appear in spring, summer, or fall.
How to Grow: Most prefer at least five hours of sun a day. They’re not picky about soil.
Where to Grow: Most do best in the Lower, Coastal, and Tropical South (zones 8-10). Some, such as Crinum x powellii ‘Alba’ and ‘Ellen Bosanquet,’ are hardy farther north.
5. Deer-Proof Your Garden
To keep your flowers from being gobbled up by deer, choose flowers that people find glorious and deer find disgusting. Choose perennials like butterfly weed, globe thistle, ‘royal red’ butterfly bush, or purple cornflower. Find these at garden centers, and plant them in well-drained soil.
6. Add Height with Planters and Baskets
Add dimension to your yard with elevated planters and hanging baskets. It creates a sea of beautiful color. Plants love the good drainage and aeration that raised planters provide.
Basket Planting Guide
Each basket should contain three types of plants-a “spiller” (something that hangs down over the edges) like begonias and variegated sage, a “filler” (something that mounds and fills in) like Kong coleus, and a “thriller” (something that is tall and eye-catching for the center) like purple cordyline.
7. Grow Blooming Shrubs
Chinese snowball is one of spring’s showiest shrubs. White flower clusters 6 to 8 inches across festoon its branches in late spring. The plant gets big—12 to 20 feet tall and wide. Though it looks like a hydrangea, it’s actually a viburnum.
Chinese Snowball Planting Guide
Where to Plant: Find a prominent spot where it will have room to grow.
How to Grow: Give it full to partial sun and fertile, well-drained soil. Prune, if necessary, just after it finishes flowering in spring.
Where to Buy: It’s available at home-and-garden centers.
8. Hide Outdoor Structures
Sheds, garages, and outdoor workspaces are not always the most attractive in your yard. Use these spaces as a setting for a beautiful display of plants and flowers. Try adding brackets and a wooden plank to create a shelf on the exterior of the structure above the entrance or windows. Then, set lightweight fiberglass planters filled with flowers atop it to hide the structure. Potted ferns are great additions for the base of the structure.
9. Plan a Garden Surprise
Create a garden paradise in your yard with intersecting trails, meandering streams, inspiring vistas, and hidden rooms. Design small hideaways where people can gather for drinks and try mixing formal with informal for stimulating visual tension. You can also get creative and save the biggest garden surprise for the farthest spot in your yard instead of putting it directly next to the house.
10. Enjoy Color Year-Round
A great thing about gardening in the South is that we get treated to colorful flowers, leaves, or berries in every season. Look for these each season:
Seasonal Flower Guide
Spring: azalea, daffodil, forsythia mandevilla, dogwood, wisteria, bearded iris (pictured), peony
Summer: hydrangea, daylily, gardenia, crinum, lantana, crepe myrtle, impatiens, zinnia
Fall: pansy, aster, sugar maple, beautyberry, ginger lily sasanqua camellia, holly, autumn crocus, mum
Winter: winterberry, Colorado blue spruce, amaryllis, Lenten rose, rosemary, saucer magnolia, flowering quince, crocus