Great Garden Plants
Plants are like people, each one has a personality of its own. Some are quite eye-catching and showy, while others are humble and dependable. For gardeners, getting to know the various personalities of the plants they grow is half the fun.
Selecting garden plants is a journey of discovery. Celebration is in order when the right plant for the right place is found. Whether you are beginning a completely new planting design, or you are just looking for a seasonal refresh, you must consider the plants needs and the look you are trying to achieve. Be careful not to pick one of everything you like at the nursery, instead start with a plan so that you will end up with colors, textures and forms that work together to create a cohesive whole.
When designing with plants there are many different approaches. Countless gardeners prefer the tried and true style of planting in well-defined beds, while others like using bold drifts of perennials and grasses for a more naturalistic look. Spend some time determining which planting approach suits your tastes and home best before selecting plants.
This collection of articles will help familiarize you with some of the most prized plants for the garden. From flowers to trees, you’ll find plenty of information on how to design with plants.
'Henry Duelberg' Salvia
Salvia farinacea 'Henry Duelberg' is a gorgeous Texas native plant that is easy to grow, attracts hummingbirds and butterflies, is exceeding drought-tolerant, and doesn't attract deer. It grows between 2 feet and 3 feet tall and has flower spikes that are 1 foot long and covered in dark, purplish-blue flowers. Cutting back the spikes after the flowers are spent encourages the plant to rebloom. It can be in bloom virtually all season. Once established, this salvia is incredibly heat- and drought-tolerant. It's perfect for water-wise gardeners. The only thing this plant doesn't like is wet feet. Zones 7-9
Botanical name: Jasminum floridum, J. humile (Italian jasmine) J. laurifolium nitidum (Shining and Angelwing Jasmine), J. officinale (Common White and Poet's Jasmine), and J. sambac (Arabian Jasmine and Pikake).
Details: Some jasmines are unscented. If you're looking for the fragrant ones, try Jasminum floridum, J. humile (Italian Jasmine), The popular Star Jasmine is not a true jasmine, but wonderfully fragrant. Star Jasmine (Trachelospermum jasminoides) comes from China and grows to a twining 20-30-foot vine with support.
15 Best Patio Plants for a Lush Outdoor Space
Here's how to make your patio beautiful with gorgeous plants.
No matter how tiny or big your patio is, flowers in containers can add color, fragrance, and beauty to your outdoor space in a hurry. You can change them up from year to year and season to season to keep your look fresh. And if something starts to fade, it's easy to swap it out for new plants. But before falling in love with plants online or at the nursery, do some homework. How much sun does your patio get? Is it all-sun, all the time? Or is it shady for most of the day? You need to select plants that can take the conditions. If a plant label or description says full sun, that's about 6 or more hours per day. Part sun or part shade is about half that. Consider what time of day your patio gets sun, too. Is it gentle, morning sun or hot-as-blazes afternoon sun? Plants that prefer part shade aren't going to be happy sizzling in hot afternoon sun.
For best season-long color, display both annuals and perennials (which come back for many years) on your patio. Just read the labels to be sure perennials are suited to your winter climate (check your USDA Hardiness zone). Now, read on for our favorite patio plants to provide to any container. (And check out these best balcony plants too!)
Fan flowers, which look like tiny fans, are pretty, hardy annuals that bloom all summer long. They come in shades of purple, blue, white and pink and look great spilling out of containers. Fan flowers need full sun.
Why not add perennial edibles to your patio garden? New ever-bearing strawberry varieties sport little berries that are almost too pretty to eat! Keeping them in tall pots also prevents your friends, the chipmunks and other rodents, from gnawing on them. Strawberries need full sun.
Replace faded annuals with these harbingers of fall in late summer. Mums come in a rainbow of shades, which pair well with autumn’s gourds and pumpkins for a fun seasonal display. They need full sun.
If you want hummingbirds, plant these amazing annuals! Bright orange-y tubular flowers keep pollinators coming back all season long. These annuals need plenty of space to grow, so give them their own container. Cuphea needs full sun.
Begonias come in a ton of deep, saturated shades including white, pink, orange, rose, or red. They bloom continuously without deadheading (pinching off spent flowers) until a hard frost. They’re almost impossible to kill! Some types are grown for their spectacular foliage. Most need part to full sun.
Roses are hardier than you think! Shrub or landscape types work well in pots, but make sure the pots can withstand freezing temperatures over the winter. For example, ceramic and terra cotta aren’t good choices plastic and wood are better options. Roses need full sun.
These climbing plants have trumpet-shaped pink, red or white flowers on vines that climb gracefully up any trellis you provide. You can bring it in over winter in cold climates, but they’re fussy and will drop leaves. They need mostly sun, but give them some shade during the hottest part of the day (especially in Southern climates).
There’s nothing like popping a freshly picked cherry tomato off the vine and into your mouth! Look for newer varieties which remain compact and pretty in containers, rather than heirloom types, which are sprawling vines. Cherry tomatoes need full sun.
If you're looking for annuals that thrive on neglect, choose marigolds! They don't mind heat or drought and will last until the first hard freeze. Their bright colors really pop in planters! Pinch off the spent flowers to keep them blooming.
Make your patio pots do double-duty by adding beauty and giving you fresh herbs for dinner! For full sun, you can’t beat basil look for different types including Italian, Genovese, purple and Thai. Rosemary is another sun lover. If you have mostly shade, consider cilantro, parsley and thyme, which like sun but do okay in shade.
These cheery, low-maintenance annuals resemble petunias, but they’re actually a different plant. They come in a stunning array of colors with single and double flowers, including pinwheel varieties. They'll even handle a light cold snap. They need part to full sun.
Lantana is as tough-as-nails. This annual blooms all summer with zero help from you! It is drought tolerant and loves the sun, so it won't fade when summer is sizzling. Pollinators love it! Lantana needs full sun.
These hardy plants with silvery foliage and deep purple-blue flowers create a sense of romantic charm. And they smell amazing! Plant these perennials in pretty pots or baskets and place near seating areas so you can run your hands over the flowers to release their fragrance. Lavender needs full sun.
This sturdy annual looks amazing cascading out of planters or window boxes. Place pots near seating areas so you can enjoy its honey-sweet scent. It prefers full sun but will take a little shade.
This fast-growing annual vine comes in creamy white and cheery oranges and yellows. Give Black-eyed Susan vine its own pot and trellis so it can climb to its heart’s content, and create a colorful privacy screen too. It needs part to full sun.
Botanical Name: Dianthus
Details: Sometimes referred to as "pinks", these papery thin, variegated flowers are perennially popular flowers in English and European border gardens. Popular Dianthus hybrids include 'Doris', 'Charles Musgrave', 'Loveliness', 'Candy Floss' and 'Fruit Punch'. Deadhead for repeat blooms.
14 Perfect Plants That Make For Captivating Walkway Borders
Whether it's the swooping line of a tightly shorn boxwood leading to a dramatic sea view or the soft edge of hostas on the charming walkway to a poolside patio, plants are a natural choice for walkway edging and borders. After all, like a room without baseboards, a garden without walkway borders is a garden unfinished.
While edging and borders may seem optional, don't underestimate the impact they can have on defining an outdoor room. And the possibilities are as numerous as you can imagine—from flowering shrubs to evergreen shrubs like boxwood to plants that thrive in the shade.
Here, we propose 14 plants for garden borders and paths, each with their own selling features (some are great plant choices for shade, while others would be perfect alongside a stunning outdoor fountain). Whether your outdoor room is in need of a sharp contrast to a romantic seating area or a dose of classic French-inspired flare (hello, lavender!), let these Veranda-approved examples help guide your eye to a garden walkway inspiration.