Now that spring is here, you’re probably thinking about your outdoor garden. You can’t wait to get a little color back into your life after the dull gray winter. Remember, when you plant your garden, you’ll want to look at more than just flowers. Flowers only last a short time before they fade. That can leave your garden looking pretty dull. Focus on foliage to add color and texture to your space. Foliage exists that will work in either sunny or shady areas.

Do you have a perennial garden? Plant a mix perennial plants and shrubs of different heights and shapes. Use the large shrubs as a backdrop, and place smaller plants and shrubs in front to create a layered effect. Create lots of layers by pairing full sized shrubs with dwarf shrubs, perennial plants and colorful ground covers. An evergreen shrub might not add exciting color to the garden, but it can add a dramatic contrast to perennial plants with contrasting colors.

You can use a variety of shrubs like Aucuba, Otto Luken Laurel, Hakonechloa (Japanese Forest Grass), or Mahonia to create beautiful foliage in your garden, and to gain that layering effect.

Perennials that offer foliage include Coral Bells (heuchera), Lady’s Mantle (alchemilla molds), Japanese Painted Fern, Hostas, and Brunnera.

You can also add in some annuals with foliage like Coleus, Caladium, Sweet Potato Vine, and Persian Shield (Strobilanthus). Annuals will not come back each year, so you can change them out from year to year to give your garden a different look.

In addition to taller flowers and foliage, you will want to add colorful ground covers to your garden as well. Ground cover adds another layer of color to your space, in addition to helping with weed control and soil erosion problems. Most ground covers can take light foot traffic, so you won’t have to worry about being careful when stepping into the garden.

If you need assistance selecting the best flowers and foliage for your garden, we can help. Contact Hufnagel today at 201-869-5680. We’ll make your garden look colorful!