Sunny Landscape Ideas

Plants with showy blooms and pretty foliage are welcome additions to sunny garden spots.

By Kelly Roberson

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Right Angles

    Geometry supplies beauty in this stately garden.

    -- A series of squares and rectangles lends calming visual interest.

    -- Sculptures and stately containers, such as the patterned pieces in this space, can reinforce a garden's design.

    -- A long metal bench provides a spot to enjoy shrubs and trees.

    -- Place tall trees and shrubs to shield house facades from view.

    -- Showy flowers dress up most sun-loving gardens; this one relies on elegant compositions of shrubs to define interior spaces.

Gorgeous Garden Bed

    Foliage and trees fill a gently sloped site.

    -- Many trees do best under the warmth of full-sun.

    -- Curves in this sunny garden bed soften the squares and angles of the house behind it.

    -- Sun-loving beds aren't just for flowers; consider ornamental grasses, which often demand full-time rays to reach their full height.

    -- Lavender and black-eyed Susans provide pops of color in the garden bed.

    -- Plants conquer the gentle slope of this site, filling what would otherwise be a boring garden vista with graceful foliage and blooms.

Better Blooms

    A show-stopping collection of sun-loving plants supplies front yard brilliance.

    -- A parking strip offers a good place to include additional plants and flowers.

    -- Give a garden bed a bit of presence with an edging material that provides vertical support.

    -- Nearly hidden by showy foliage, lower-height stucco walls offer terraces for plants.

    -- Many flowers -- iris, verbena, freesia, daisies -- do double duty: Pretty blooms outside can be cut and brought indoors.

    -- Pops of color brighten the ivy-covered front facade of this house.

Sun Lovers

    A lovely collection of plants adds beauty to a yard.

    -- Place plants with contrasting colors -- hot purples and pinks versus pastel oranges -- in separate areas of a garden.

    -- Edging can be formal or informal; the former, shown in this sunny bed, provide a neater border for a garden.

    -- To draw winged visitors, offer a moving source of water, such as this pretty birdbath.

    -- Patches of annuals, such as petunias, fill in empty spots in a mostly perennial bed.

    -- Strategically placed stretches of boxwood break up large expanses of flowers.

Spectacular Blossoms

    Purples and yellows supply a flowerbed with subdued color.

    -- Narrower beds are easier to access from both sides, making them easier to maintain.

    -- Repeating plants and colors, shown here in a planting of cranesbill and coralbells, fills a pretty flower border.

    -- Mounding plants maintain a view of the rest of the garden.

    -- To create a more casual appeal to the garden, flowers and shrubs are left to grow in a natural pattern.

    -- The foliage of bearded iris offers vertical visual interest to the garden.

Bend in the Bed

    A rippling flowerbed dresses up a garden.

    -- Undulating curves create a gentle edge to both the border and the beds in this garden.

    -- In place of a hardscape material, a stretch of lawn serves as walkway.

    -- A castor bean adds vertical height to the flowerbed.

    -- Repeating plants, including delphinium and phlox, supply visual consistency.

    -- Annuals such as snapdragons add welcome bursts of bright color.

Soft Shades

    Hard- and softscape elements complement each other in this sunny bed.

    -- Stone columns define the edges of a slim garden bed.

    -- A wood fence provides the flowerbed with a bright backdrop.

    -- Planted at regular intervals, ravennagrass offers wispy foliage.

    -- Large patches of Shasta daisy accent the color of hardscape elements (such as the fence).

    -- Purple asters lend pops of color to the space.

Bountiful Border

    Blooms brighten a slim space between sidewalk and fence.

    -- A sunny spot is a good spot for a trellis planted with a climbing rose.

    -- Matching containers planted with bright annuals flank a home's walkway.

    -- Chosen for their height, flowering plants don't obscure the fence.

    -- Grouping flowers in threes is a common planting rule of thumb, but alternating plants, as this border does, also offers a visually appealing design.

    -- Lights cling close to the ground, supplying security and highlighting flowers.

A Tower of Plants

    Tall flowers play up color and foliage.

    -- An open spot in a lawn provides a good spot for tall, sun-loving flowers.

    -- Most ornamental grasses love full sun. A bonus: They offer good structure during winter months.

    -- If plants need more day-to-day maintenance, such as daylilies that require deadheading, put them in front to enable easier access.

    -- Many flowerbeds include plants that gradually transition from short to tall, but this flowerbed offers dramatic height all the way throughout.

    -- Dahlias and lilies supply bright pops of hot color.

Pretty in Pastel

    A casual cottage garden distinguishes itself with a loose collection of plants.

    -- Oftentimes places to sit or display are separated or surrounded by flowers; here, a table nestles naturally within a bevy of plants.

    -- Glass cloches are used to shield plants from cool, early-season temperatures, but later in the year, they provide an interesting hardscape element for a garden.

    -- Tall flowering shrubs, such as butterfly bush, supply vertical interest and draw wildlife, too.

    -- Another good addition to sunny gardens: herbs, which work well either planted in-ground or in containers.

    -- Clusters of pastel plants, including zinnias, coneflower, and cosmos, provide color without being too overwhelming.


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