Yard Smarts Grow blooms in bold col­ors

Spice up your sum­mer gar­den with easy-to-grow flow­ers in hot hues.

Birds & Blooms - - Contents - BY DEB WI­LEY

At­ten­tion-grab­bing red, or­ange and yel­low flow­ers add some se­ri­ous pop to your sum­mer yard. The vivid hues, strate­gi­cally placed, act as ex­cla­ma­tion points when scat­tered among a big yard’s green­ery, and the eye-pop­ping patches tie dis­tant sec­tions to­gether. In a smaller yard, use hot shades in con­tain­ers wher­ever you may need a burst of hap­pi­ness. They look es­pe­cially wel­com­ing on a porch or deck or along a gar­den path.

An­nual Ben­e­fits

To paint a sea of bright color, an­nu­als are your best bet. They last only one sea­son, but their con­stant blooms of­fer a big bang for your buck. For a stun­ning first im­pres­sion, in­vest in sev­eral flats or seed pack­ets of an­nu­als and place them in wide beds. Large group­ings cre­ate vis­ual drama, es­pe­cially when they con­sist of just one type of flower in a sin­gle color or sim­i­lar hues. If you’re plant­ing many kinds of flow­ers, amp up the charm by group­ing each type in its own sec­tion.

Most hot-col­ored an­nu­als are sun lovers. The eas­i­est to grow are begonia, celosia, cleome, cosmos, marigold, pen­tas, petunia, salvia, sun­flower, ver­bena and zin­nia. Zin­nias are a su­per choice—they come

in many col­ors, sizes and shapes. Plus, the more you cut, the more blooms you’ll get.

And check out sun tol­er­ant coleus; it makes a state­ment with bright fo­liage in­stead of flow­ers.

Shade Seek­ers

Perk up shad­owy spots with col­or­ful im­pa­tiens va­ri­eties, in­clud­ing gar­den bal­sam, New Guinea and hy­brids. These types stand up to the downy mildew dis­ease that af­fects im­pa­tiens in so many parts of the coun­try.

Most be­go­nias grow well in the shade—and sun. Choose from wax leaf, Dragon Wing, tuber­ous and Bo­li­vian be­go­nias. And try plant­ing wish­bone flower, vinca and the shade-lov­ing types of coleus. When choos­ing coleus, al­ways check the tag to see if it thrives in sun or shade.

Pleas­ing Peren­ni­als

Many peren­ni­als bloom in bril­liant col­ors, but most put on a flower show for only one to three weeks. Dou­ble-check tags be­fore buy­ing to see if the plants are win­ter-hardy in your re­gion.

For sun-seek­ing peren­ni­als with longer-last­ing blooms, try plant­ing cone­flower, red va­le­rian, salvia and yarrow.

Dahlias and can­nas of­fer a gor­geous blaze. To grow them for a sec­ond sea­son, dig up the tu­bers in fall and store them un­til spring in a cool, dry place that doesn’t freeze.

Lus­cious Royale Cosmo lan­tana fea­tures hot ma­genta and or­ange blooms.

Add a fiery bronze color with Freck­les coleus.

In­fin­ity Or­ange Frost New Guinea im­pa­tiens Color­blaze Al­li­ga­tor Tears coleus Goldilocks creep­ing Jenny

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