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Article: Planning a Colorful Border Garden

Created on: Monday, June 09, 2003

In choosing plants for the garden border, you'll want to consider a variety of plant types for a year-long succession of bloom and interest. Perennial flowers do have the advantage of being permanent residents of the border, and this provides its framework, but the warm-season annual flowers have a longer season of bloom. This makes them indispensable for color during the quiet periods in the garden as they replace faded perennial blossoms. Spring and summer flowering bulbs are important to any mixed border because of the variety of unusual flower shapes they provide, such as daffodils and grape hyacinths, and because the spring flowering bulbs bloom well in advance of most perennials and annuals. The midsummer border would be dull without the addition of lily hybrids, dahlias or gladioli, all summer flowering bulbs or tubers. If hardy shrubs or small trees are included, you'll have something to look at during the cold months to assure you that there is, indeed, a garden under all those leaves or snowdrifts. Choose shrubs with pretty evergreen colors and textures, or those with colorful fall foliage or berries, and trees and shrubs with attractive branching forms even when the plant is bare. Crabapple, cotoneaster horizontalis, pyracantha, and the winter blooming heaths are only a few of the fine shrubs you can add to the mixed border. Be creative and bring some variety to your border gardens this year!

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