"Designing with colorful, low-maintenance plants that bloom year round is one of my greatest pleasures," says Susan Olinger, president of the Association of Professional Landscape Designers.
For the average person that's not as simple as it sounds, but coming this spring, it will be easy to add plenty of "flower power" to any garden, patio or balcony with new Bloomtastic! flowers and plants from Hines Growers.
These easy, low-maintenance flowers have been handpicked to provide rich color and gorgeous blooms that turn ordinary yards into show-stopping gardens from spring to late fall.
Check out these tips from garden pros for eye-popping color and abundant blooms spring through fall.
1. The right plant for the right spot. Too often we're seduced by pretty plants at a garden center, only to find it withers and dies when we plant it in our garden.
"You'll have greater success if you know what plants work best in your yard's conditions," says Justin Hancock, garden editor for Better Homes and Gardens online. "Know how much sun, soil and water the plant needs and make sure it can handle the heat and cold in your area before you buy it."
Lack of rain can ruin a garden. Plants like new Agapanthus Summer Sky and a new Black Hawaiian Spider Lily called Crinum Purple Dream can handle drought conditions once established.
If you have deer, choose plants they don't eat like Agapanthus Summer Sky. This airy plant with striking blue flowers and variegated foliage is perfect for containers, English gardens or mass plantings throughout your landscape.
2. Design for continuous garden interest. When designing your garden, don't buy plants that bloom at the same time. Instead, Hancock suggests you add plants that bloom in spring, summer and autumn. "Look for long-blooming plants to be the backbone of your garden design."
Decorate your patio, deck or garden with spring and early summer bloomers like the new Bambino bougainvillea in eight dazzling colors with unique foliage. Then turn up the color wattage for summer and fall with the new Hibiscus Bahama Bay Amazon Queen. Its deep orange tones add tropical punch to any patio or yard.
3. Create drama with foliage. "Don't forget how powerful foliage can be," says Hancock. Many plants have different colors in their leaves and can show off brilliant color in a small garden or in containers.
"Plants with deep purple leaves are important in garden design because they look good all season long," Hancock adds. Purple Dream's leaves look almost black when grown in full sun and are dramatic against its showy pink flowers.
4. Make your garden nature friendly. Flowers that attract hummingbirds, butterflies or song birds are good for wildlife and add extra interest beyond their beautiful blooms.
A new dwarf butterfly bush, Lavender Veil, grows low to the ground and is covered with fragrant flowers that attract hummingbirds and butterflies well into fall. "This new butterfly bush is perfect for hanging baskets or containers and drapes any landscape in a sea of purple," says Hancock, who recommends mass planting three to five of the compact butterfly bush for vivid flower power.
With a little planning and the right plants, you can transform your garden from winter doldrums to a vibrant garden paradise with little maintenance.
For more information on the new Bloomtastic! plants, visit www.hineshort.com.