Category: Gardening and Landscaping

Great Garden Combo: Planting for Fiery Shade and Beautiful Wildlife

There is something magical about seeing butterflies and hummingbirds in summer time. While butterflies flit gracefully from flower to flower, their vibrant wings lazily dancing on the warm breeze, hummingbirds appear to always be in a great hurry, bobbing up and down, in and out and chasing off any intruders — these feisty little critters.

In addition to supplying us with several hours of amusement, both these creatures are important pollinators for our gardens, and as such it’s worth taking time to encourage them to visit. When choosing a plant palette to fulfill their preferences, remember to plan for a succession of blooms over several months, and place these within a framework of bold foliage. This leafy backdrop will both boost the floral screen and hold the overall design together even when the flowers are not at their peak.

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At first glance that is merely a well-designed summertime mix, with fiery shades of burnt orange, burgundy and scarlet offset by cooling chartreuse. Yet that is a veritable buffet for both hummingbirds and butterflies, giving them a few months of nectar-rich blossoms.

Tall verbena opens the floral symphony in late June, immediately followed by Flasher daylily, which compels heaps of vibrant orange blossoms for nearly two months. The Lochinch butterfly bush combines in next, showing off endless blossom lavender, panicle-type blossoms while its silvery foliage becomes a striking backdrop for its renowned Lucifer crocosmia.

When these begin to fade, there is a large collection of Joe pye weed ready to take centre stage with their burgundy stems and horizontal rose-colored flower heads. These can continue to blossom together with the tall verbena until the end of the summer.

Yet without a strong framework of foliage, all these would be merely a collection of pretty blossoms. The gold locust tree along with Grace smoke bush add strong blasts of colour to fulfill our individual desire for construction and make certain our hummingbird garden is attractive to all garden visitors.

The finishing touch is a local chair. Not necessary, clearly, but the ideal place for enjoying the heady odor and seeing exquisite garden visitors on a warm summer afternoon.

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Ways to Get the Look

1. Choose Nectar-Rich Plants

Not all daylilies are equivalent. Many suffer with poor stalks, untidy foliage and also a short bloom time. Flasher daylily is different. The flowers are held high on sturdy stems and blossom for more than a month, while the foliage remains clean and requires minimal cleanup.

The burnt-orange colour stands up to strong sunlight without fading and looks superb against dark foliage such as the Grace smoke bush shown in the opening mix.

Botanical name: Hemerocallis ‘Flasher’
Common title: Flasher daylily
Gains: Attracts hummingbirds, butterflies and bees
Where it can rise: Hardy to -40 degrees Fahrenheit(USDA climate zones3a to 9b; locate your zone)
Water condition: Average to low
Light requirement: Full to partial sun
Mature size: 2 ft tall and 4 ft wide
Seasonal interest: Summer
When to plant: Spring or fall

Caution: Daylilies are toxic to cats; see different plants to eliminate pets.

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Tall verbena filters the view with no obscuring it, including a touch of mystery to the summer garden. Completely drought tolerant, it can be left to create its own plant combinations at will as it self-seeds with abandon. This is not a problem in my garden, where it’s easy to remove unwanted seedlings.

Botanical name: Verbena bonariensis
Common title: Purpletop vervain
Gains: Attracts hummingbirds, butterflies and bees
Where it can grow: Hardy to 0 degrees Fahrenheit (USDA climate zones 7 to 10)
Water requirement: Low
Light requirement: Full to partial sun
Mature size: 6 ft tall and 3 ft wide
Seasonal interest: Summer to fall
When to plant: Spring

Caution: Tall verbena is considered invasive in some regions of the U.S. Check with your regional cooperative extension office for information.

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A stand of scarlet Lucifer crocosmia is a memorable sight in any summer garden. Arching stems of brilliant red flowers appear to explode in the swordlike foliage in the summer, while hummingbirds vie for the ideal position like fighter pilots.

Botanical name: Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’
Common names: Lucifer montbretia, Lucifer crocosmia
Gains: Attracts hummingbirds
Where it can grow: Hardy to -20 degrees Fahrenheit (USDA climate zones5 to 9)
Water requirement: Low
Light requirement: Full to partial sun
Elderly size: 4 feet tall and wide
Seasonal interest: Summer
When to plant: Plant bulbs in spring; plants can also be planted in spring or autumn.

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Butterfly bushes have gotten a bad reputation since appearing on a lot of countries’ noxious weed lists. Do check to see which species are considered invasive in your area (if any), as you may unwittingly miss out on a few of the very beautiful hybrids — Lochinch butterfly bush. Although the one in my Seattle garden isn’t sterile, I have never had a seedling from it.

The silvery felted foliage would be outstanding even when the plant never bloomed, but the fragrant lavender blossoms, each with an orange eye, are what attracts hummingbirds, butterflies and bees by the dozen.

Cut down this plant to half size in spring to keep a tidy form.

Botanical name: Buddleia ‘Lochinch’ (syn. Buddleja x ‘Lochinch’)
Common title: Lochinch butterfly bush
Gains: Attracts hummingbirds, butterflies and bees
Where it can grow: Hardy to -40 degrees Fahrenheit(USDA climate zones3a to 9b)
Water requirement: Average to low
Light requirement: Full to partial sun
Elderly size: 6 to 8 ft tall and wide
Seasonal interest: Spring to fall
When to plant: Spring

Caution: Although this hybrid isn’t recorded,the speciesBuddleia davidii is considered invasive in some regions of the U.S. Check with your regional cooperative extension office for information.

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2. Extend the Display With Great Foliage

Hold a layout together with fantastic foliage, so it is eye catching even when flowers are not at their peak. This gold locust tree shines a foliage spotlight on the whole scene.

Botanical name: Robinia pseudoacacia ‘Frisia’
Common title: Golden locust tree
Where it can rise: Hardy to -30 degrees Fahrenheit (USDA climate zones 4 to 9)
Water requirement: Low once recognized
Light requirement: Full sun for best color
Mature size: 30 to 50 feet tall and up to 20 feet wide
Seasonal interest: Spring to fall
When to plant: Plant it into well-drained dirt in spring or autumn.

Caution: Golden locust trees can create unwanted suckers in some parts of the U.S.

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Grace smoke mulch provides deeper tones using its rich burgundy leaves.

Botanical name: Cotinus ‘Grace’ (syn. Cotinus x ‘Grace’)
Common title: Grace smoke bush (syn. Grace smoke shrub)
Where it will grow: Hardy to -30 degrees Fahrenheit (USDA climate zones 4 to 9)
Water condition: Average to low
Light requirement: Total sun
Mature size: 10 to 15 feet tall and wide; 6 ft tall and wide with yearly pruning
Seasonal interest: Spring to fall
When to plant: Spring or autumn

Caution: Smoke bushes are thought to be invasive in some regions of the U.S. Check with your regional cooperative extension office for information.

See more ways to attract butterflies and bees

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All-White Gardens Light Up the Night

Have you ever wandered through a backyard at night? While the sounds and scents seem to intensify, it is usually difficult to enjoy any of those sights without a flashlight. A white backyard is a different story: You will want to leave the flashlight behind and revel in how the white blossoms glow. Not only are those luminous blooms beautiful to check at, but many have intense night fragrances and bring wonderful white nocturnal pests for its whole sensory experience.

Here you will find ideas for plants with beautiful white blooms, how to arrange them and how to work them in your garden’s style.

Hydrangeas are perfect in formal gardens but work just too in more informal settings. A path lined with those beauties is the best sidewalk manual for nighttime strolls.

Amy Renea

Spiraea is a great choice for a snowy spring bloomer. It conveniently blooms at precisely the exact same time as tall white iris and midsize white peonies. Combine these 3 plants to get an easy-care, high-impact garden.

Matthew Cunningham Landscape Design LLC

Working with a shady place? White astilbe is your solution. Brightening the darkest color with waving plumes of white, astilbe is a timeless, easy-to-grow shade perennial.

Tips to get a White-Blooming Border

Produce a mix of heights that will bloom at precisely the exact same moment. This boundary does a fantastic job of spreading the blooms to create a balanced appearance.

Deborah Cerbone Associates, Inc..

Imagine what this walkway looks like at night — small dance blooms all along the left side and a wave of glistening white softening the fence to the right. Pure magic!

Glenna Partridge Garden Design

Consider situating white plants round curves from the backyard. When you’re strolling through a garden at night, it is helpful to observe the twists and turns forward, so use white blooms as a natural type of fluorescent arrow.

Glenna Partridge Garden Design

Your white backyard doesn’t need to be expansive. Plant a few white flowering plants close to the entrance of your home. When people approach the front door at dusk, they’ll be greeted by observable blooms.

Working White Blooms Into Every Garden Style

Conventional. White gardens may go ubertraditional with row after row of white blooms perfectly set in geometric arrangements.

Lenkin Design Inc: Landscape and Garden Design

Another option is to encase a sea of white-blooming showstoppers in boxes of trimmed hedges.


Rustic. Go to get a more organic, woodland appearance by integrating minimally pruned trees and naturalistic plantings.

Aiken House & Gardens

Victorian. Charming at the daytime and enchanting at night, this snowy backyard is full to bursting with blooms. Choose white furnishings iron, wicker or wood to add to the theme.

Whether you are gilding the lily of a classic trimmed estate or beginning a nation garden from scratch, consider the effect white blooms can have on your space. Create an all-white backyard, add a few white bloomers around curves, or line paths that night travelers will be taking.

Tell usCan you have white blooms in your garden now? Show off them below!

See more great design blossoms and crops

What to Do On Your Garden This Month

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Spring Forward! Making the The Majority of Evening Sun

DST begins this week end, meaning that people have got to remember to set our clocks ahead and, regrettably, drop an hour of slumber that is sweet. But let us concentrate on the good, shall we? The good thing is we’ll acquire an hour of of sunshine at night. Time to bask in brainstorm methods and this lining to take advantage of each additional minute of sunshine. Here are a few to get the ball rolling …

Westover Landscape Design, Inc.

Take a seat outdoor. Even supposing it’s only to get some minutes after work, a second spent outside is a relaxing approach to wind down the day.

Tim Cuppett Architects

A row of rocks that are matching beckons for contemplation and dialogue.

Barbara Cannizzaro

When the current weather’s warm enough, provide outside some studying as well as sit awhile.

Cherie Marcel

Amuse after work. restore cocktail hour using a postwork nip outside. And since clean-up is very simple outdoor (only bust out the hose), the more the merrier.


Catch up with neighbours on a roof top deck that is communal. Bring some beverages and also you immediately become the favorite in the creating of everyone’s.

Elad Gonen

Eat alfresco. Consider your supper outdoors to soak in the waning sun. It is about time you got that patio established cleaned and from storage, right?


Go for grand fashion using a chandelier and chairs for 10 …

Greg Trutza

… or make sure it remains relaxed and a deux. The eating area is prepared for its first twist of the time, although the pool must wait.

debora carl landscape style

Love a fire. okay, so perhaps the climate has not turned warm however where you’re. Throw a login the fireplace and guess if this is true.

It could just feel like springtime is completely here in the event you nestle upclose enough.

Secret Gardens

Take a dip. It Is likely too chilly to jump in the pool, but nevertheless, it might have started enough as you are able to now put up with a swimsuited dashboard exterior into a jacuzzi. Now that that there surely is the skies that is mild, you will not stub your toe on an operate that is blind out there. And yeah, you could be greeted using an incredible perspective.

Browse mo-Re outside layout thoughts