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A Garden Must: Spring Color

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A Gardening Life – May 8

Nearly all of my consultation clients want more color in their landscapes and who can blame them. Nature’s neutral is the color green…a lovely hue but so ubiquitous that we take it granted as the background of our lives. Green is the perfect setting for all the other colors of flowers and foliage that delight hearts and lift moods at this time of year. Spring color is a garden necessity.

If you have a slope, you must plant creeping phlox. In my front garden it pairs well with Sedum 'Angelina' and the marvelous Cool Wave pansies.

If you don't have much space for a large tree, consider an Autumn Moon full moon maple. Yes, this is the color of the new foliage in early spring. These grow only 8 to 12 feet tall and about 8 feet wide. When the morning or late afternoon sun shines through this foliage you just can't be in a bad mood. Full good mood maple, they should call it.

My perennial garden gets more colorful every day. The bright yellow leaves of Tradescantia 'Sweet Kate' (far right) echo the foliage color of Hakonechloa macra 'Aureola' (bottom left and in the background). And although it's kind of a weed, I can't help but love my variegated Lunaria. The white splashing on the leaves almost outshines the purple flowers.

I am drunk on spring color.

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