White tulips stand out against green
Judy White/GardenPhotos.com

Just Add White

Concentrating on one color can pay dividends. Unlike a rainbow mix of flowers, which would have been distracting, white tulips allow the eye to focus on the sculpture in the middle of this boxwood parterre.


Bright red grass stands out next to subdued cacti
Jerry Pavia

An Unusual Couple

Opuntia cactus and the succulent senecio share the same blue-gray tones and are therefore familiar bedfellows. Less common is pairing them with Japanese blood grass, whose tips look even more arresting next to cool hues.


Bright plants
Roger Foley

Cascading Design

Bold leaves and flowers simulate backyard waterfalls, cascading from their raised planter toward the inky depths of a swimming pool. The splashes of chartreuse, red, and salmon keep the mood light around the dark-bottomed pool.


A blue-toned garden
Judy White/GardenPhotos.com

Blues Garden

Fatsia, fern, spider plant, and turfgrass illustrate the broad array of greens planted in this garden. In the same small area, nemesia, a low wall, gravel, and concrete pavers contribute harmonious shades of blue.


Colorful greenery
Clive Nichols/M.A.P.

Not-So-Green Greenery

Sometimes greenery isn’t actually green; it’s purple and red. If not for the colors of the leaves in this border, it might not merit a second glance. But combining plants with different foliage palettes can list a garden out of the ordinary.

From Big Ideas for Small Gardens

For more garden, porch, and patio inspiration, purchase Big Ideas for Small Gardens.


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