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Garden Conservancy Walk
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Fabulous use of annuals and perennials, burgundy and lime green.

The lovely little garden house below anchors an elaborate potager (kitchen) garden masterfully maintained by horticulturist Nick Michaud.  

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Love the contrast of Japanese forest grass and Japanese maple here in garden writer Lee Randhava's garden (below).  

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I'm a big proponent of choosing a color palette--whether it's for indoors or in the garden--and sticking with it.  The perennials and annuals used around our house, which is taupe-gray cedar siding, are shades of purple, magenta, deep rose, mauve, blue, pink, violet and white.  Elsewhere, I may use hot colors, but sticking with a color theme creates a serene setting.  

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In keeping with the English pastel border, courtesy of my mum,  I use pots in neutral colors, or in vibrant shade of plum and purple.  Two such pots, filled with lantana to attract butterflies and hummingbirds, flank the path to our front door, which is a painted a deep mauve...or, as I like to think of it, a deep Pepto Bismol. 

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Olbrich Botanic Garden
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June in the Rose Garden

I love using annuals not only for their flower power--long bloomers that keep on going from spring through the first fall frost--but also for their unusual foliage and textures.  Great plants for containers and window boxes.  

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Window boxes filled with coleus, calibrachoa, sweet potato vines on a friend's deck, after a day shopping at Sun Rise/Woldhuis greenhouses near Manteno, Ill.  The repetition of plants in all of the boxes creates a cohesive, thoughtful design in a small space.  The great thing about using annuals is that you can change the look every spring. 

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Roger and Dianne's wonderful country garden.  The wrap-around deck is a great place for Dianne's ceramic designs and pots of annuals grouped together.  Wonderful focal points from inside the house.

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Garden Conservancy Open Days visit.

 

Here's a great example (below) of using warm colors effectively.  The Morton Arboretum in Lisle, IL, featured these wonderful pots of cannas, coleus, begonias and other annuals in a warm bronze-and-orange combination.  

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Why this works: The color palette is limited to 3-4 colors. Fabulous--at the Morton Arboretum.

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