The Q&A Archives: Garden planning

Question: I have two beds in my backyard that are outlined with boulders and are in the shape of half circles and the back of the bed is up against a fence. I was wondering what type of shrubs and perennials would be a wide variety of color but still look symetrical to one another. My style is very traditional. I love things that flower but I appreciate green shrubs like the Ivory Halo Dogwood. I don't want the beds over flowing but I want them to look full and in unison. My house faces west and I don't have mature trees to shade anything yet. So I think it's considered full sun. If you have any ideas please help. Also, I have a rockwall with about 6 feet of planting room behind it. I have trees that just got planted last year. I was going to put flock and vinca vine in between the layers of rock wall, any other ideas for variety?

Answer: Here is a collection of plants that would look really good in a sunny garden spot:
PINK SPICE CRANESBILL Geranium x'Pink Spice'
SNOWFLAKE CANDYTUFT Iberis sempervirens 'Snowflake'
DWARF LILY OF THE NILE Agapanthus africanus ?Peter Pan?
MAIDEN GRASS Miscanthus sinensis ?Gracillimus?
PETITE PLUM(R) DWARF BUTTERFLY BUSH Buddleia davidii nanhoensis ?Monum?
FERN LEAF YARROW Achillea x?Moonshine?
BLOODSTONE THRIFT Armeria maritima ?Bloodstone?
PALACE PURPLE CORAL BELLS Heuchera micrantha ?Palace Purple?
PURPLE CONEFLOWER Echinacea purpurea
ROYAL STAR MAGNOLIA Magnolia stellata ?Royal Star?

If you prefer a more formal look, try planting:
COMPACT GOLD COIN DAISY Asteriscus maritimus ?Compact Gold Coin?
LAVENDER COTTON Santolina chamaecyparissus
FRENCH LAVENDER Lavandula dentata candicans
TUSCAN BLUE ROSEMARY Rosmarinus officinalis ?Tuscan Blue?
BRILLIANCY ROCK ROSE Cistus x?Brilliancy?
LITTLE OLLIE(R) DWARF OLIVE Olea europaea ?Montra?

A final suggestion is a plant grouping with late season color:
SIZZLING PINK FRINGE FLOWER Loropetalum chinense 'Sizzling Pink?
AUTUMN JOY STONECROP Sedum x 'Autumn Joy' (S. 'Herbstfreude')
PURPLE FOUNTAIN GRASS Pennisetum setaceum 'Rubrum'
MAIDEN GRASS Miscanthus sinensis `Gracillimus`
PINK SPICE CRANESBILL Geranium x 'Pink Spice' P.P.# 12172
FRAGRANT OLIVE Osmanthus fragrans
TUSCAN BLUE ROSEMARY Rosmarinus officinalis ?Tuscan Blue?
JERUSALEM SAGE Phlomis lanata
FRENCH LAVENDER Lavandula dentata candicans

Hope these suggestions inspire you to create that perfect garden!

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