Sunny Landscape Ideas

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The bright days of summer bring out the best in flower gardens. Try the ideas in these sunny landscape gardens and enjoy the blooms (and your neighbors' envy) all summer long.

Hardscape 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 a fence.

Purple asters lend pops of color to the space.

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Gorgeous Garden Bed

Fall front yard with maple and ornamental grass

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.

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Video: Create a Colorful Garden

Watch this quick video for easy tips on boosting the color quotient in your garden.

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A Tower of Plants

Summer Garden

Tall flowers play up color and foliage.

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

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

If plants need 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 throughout.

Dahlias and lilies supply bright pops of hot color.

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Sun Lovers

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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.

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Bend in the Bed

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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.

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Pretty in Pastel

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

Places to sit or display are often 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.

Herbs are good additions to sunny gardens; they work well planted in-ground or in containers.

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

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Spectacular Blossoms

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Purples and yellows supply a flowerbed with subdued color.

Narrow beds are accessible from both sides, making them easy 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 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.

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Right Angles

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Geometry supplies beauty in this stately garden.

A series of squares and rectangles lends calming visual interest.

Use sculptures and stately containers, such as the patterned pieces in this space, to reinforce your garden's design.

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

Site 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.

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Better Blooms

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

A parking strip is the perfect place to include flowers.

Give a garden bed 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.

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Bountiful Border

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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.

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