Looking to add life to your outdoor space? Try placing a few plants for a vibrant touch that will last throughout the summer. These low maintenance high-impact perennial flowers transform your space from everyday to extraordinary!
Hydrangeas thrive best in part shade.
“Low-maintenance perennial flowering shrubs serve as the backbone of a garden, adding eye-catching interest, color and structure to an outdoor space when they bloom at the same time each year,” says Jan Johnsen, author of Floratopia (Buy from Amazon, $16.69) and Gardentopia (Buy from Amazon, $18.79). “Here, a colorful medley of hydrangea shrubs transforms a simple backyard path into an exuberant garden.”
To get the look, nestle roots of four pink and purple hydrangea plants into soil along a walkway that gets part shade, leaving 24 inches or more of space between the plants and the walkway (this prevents crowding as hydrangeas grow). For added interest, create a lush green “underplanting” by nestling hosta and heuchera plants in the soil in the space between the walkway and hydrangeas; keep soil moist.
Note: Hydrangea and rhododendron can be toxic if ingested, so keep away from pets and children
Rhododendron thrive best in part sun.
“A rich display of fuchsia, purple or white rhododendrons in bloom is a memorable sight,” notes Johnsen. “Try placing a potted rhododendron near a porch for a clever and quick way to add welcoming floral flair to an entryway.”
Because rhododendrons are acid-loving plants, she recommends filling a large pot with potting soil, then mixing in peat moss to lower the soil’s pH. Nestle the roots of a rhododendron plant into soil, place in a spot that gets dappled sunshine and water regularly.
Roses thrive best in full sun.
“This colorful rose shrub and herb combination is a nice display for brightening up a bare corner on your patio or deck,” says Johnsen. “Plus, the aromatic combination will add refreshing fragrance to your outdoor living space.”
To get the look, fill a large pot that’s equipped with holes for drainage with welldraining soil, drop a garden rose plant in the center, then nestle herbs (like sage, lemon thyme, and chamomile) into the soil around the edge of pot. Give full sun; water well when top inch of soil feels dry.
This article originally appeared in our print magazine, First For Women.
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