In northern and Midwestern states, this weekend marks the official start of gardening season. By early May, snow is finally a memory and nighttime temperatures can be expected to stay above freezing. Gardeners who have spent their winters pouring over home and garden magazines and watching websites for new plant announcements are ready to descend on local garden centers and fill their carts with colorful plants for the garden from Green Circle Growers.
In choosing plants for your home garden, consider color, height and sunlight requirements. Some gardeners like the mixed palette look of English gardens where a wide variety of flowers seem to grown in wild confusion, spots of different colors mixing and blending without apparent planning. Most American gardeners, however, seem to prefer a more organized look to their gardens. They give careful consideration to plant height and color. Large showy displays of a single plant type or single color can be stunning.
Gardens are often planted in three tiers with taller green-leaved shrubs or long-stemmed flowers like Ranunculous (Ranunculous), also know as Tall Buttercup, providing a colorful backdrop for medium-height plants such as broad-leaved Coleus (Coleus), also known as Solenostemon, with low-growing small flowers like delicate, fragrant Alyssum (Alyssum) in front.
Gardeners should strive for variations in color and texture to create contrast in the garden. Interesting displays can be created by pairing bright blooming flowers like fuzzy-looking Argeratum (Argeratum), also known as Floss Flower, with large-leafed greenery such as Hosta (Hosta), also known as Plantain Lily. Or contrast feathery Kimberly Queen Ferns (Nephrolepis), also called Boston Fern, with large-lobed blossoms like colorful Papaver (Papaver), also called Iceland Poppy.
Gardens are a very personal statement. There is no one right way to create a garden. Browse through your garden center looking for interesting plants and fill your garden with flowers you love.