You may notice that I love color. You can see it in our logo, our paperwork, promotional materials etc. Heck, I even have multi color coffee mugs here at work. The funny thing is, when it comes to selecting plant material for a landscape, color is one of the lowest priorities for me. I always start with the hardscaping and bed lines of course to lay the foundation for the design. Next is typically the larger trees and screens that typically become an anchor or foundation for the landscape as well. Can you guess how I decide which plant to put in the design next? The answer is relatively simple but oddly vague.
What type of plant is it?
I can hear you saying, that’s really helpful, thank you.
Maybe this will help. I choose what types of plants to put in based on whether it’s deciduous, evergreen, grass, or perennial. I look for that balance throughout the landscape. The next part of the criteria is usually size, then maintenance or hardiness based on the location, and then finally color. There’s not always a lot of opportunity for color choices after all of that. Overall, plant material for the shade tends to lean more toward white. Also there seems to be more bluish sunny perennials than anything else. Many types of plant material selected for specific growth habits really only come in one color. A perfect example of this is a climbing hydrangea. I love to use the Hydrangea petiolaris, but it only comes in white – sorry. More and more varieties of perennials are cultivated every year which often means more colors. Just look at Coneflowers. Remember when there used to be just the purple ‘Magnus’? now there are dozens of different colors and shapes of coneflowers. When thinking about landscape design for your home, remember color is great, but there are a lot more important factors to think about first.