Ever wonder how the pros create those gorgeous  gardens we love looking at? The process of designing a  garden is easier than you think. Here are 5 strategies  often used by garden designers. First, pick a color  theme. Color is one of the first things we notice about a  garden. And by establishing a color theme, you create  a mood. Combine hot colors, for example, red, yellow  and orange, to create excitement and drama or mix  cool colors such as the blues, the pinks and whites for  a softer look. After you select the color theme to begin  looking at plants, be sure to vary the plant heights. It  creates visual excitement and energy so use short,  medium and tall plants, all in the same garden bed. As  you select your plants, employ repetition to make your  landscape seem cohesive. This is wonderfully easy.  Pick plants or colors and repeat them throughout your  yard. If you have a long, narrow border along the  sidewalk, for example, plantings cups of hoyas like this  will draw your eye through the plantain. Also use  different textures. Mix plants that have different  shapes to contrast each other. A low potato vine, for  example, creates a conflict that plays off upright crops  like Karl Foerster’s feather reed grass. Pay  attention to your plants as foliage, too. Mixing different  leaf shapes and sizes creates a ton of interest. Here’s  a bonus tip. Create interest with colorful foliage as well  as beautiful blooms. Purple leaves really stand out in  the border and they look good with just about any  color of flowers. Chartreuse leaves create a fun pop  against darker colors and are especially fun in shaded  gardens.


Sure, there are great blooms and wondrous nature sights to enjoy in a garden — but it takes hard work and lots of care to get there. From choosing the best plants for your yard to deadheading and watering, these tips will help you make your garden the best it can be. Make easy work of the plants you want to include in your garden with steps to starting your own seeds. Or, if you prefer, there are ways to get the most from nursery plants, and we show you how. You may be starting a brand-new bed; find eight steps to build it from scratch. Springtime is a crucial time for the garden, and our spring checklist will help yours get a good start on the growing season. Once your plants get established, they need trimming, deadheading, and staking, as well as proper feeding. Find 10 essential plant-rearing tips (as well as even more ideas to make gardening easier) that will nurture a successful flower garden. It’s also easier to think of caring for your garden if you break it down by time of year and type of plant; turn to seasonal landscape maintenance lists — including how to put your pond to bed for the year.