Don’t be shy! Put some passion into life on the patio this summer. Bold colors and dramatic textures are fun and invigorating when high summer hits.
Hot colors and dramatic foliage will definitely liven up your outdoor areas. Sun lovers like Passion flowers (pasaflora), bougainvilla and mandevilla vines will climb happily on trellises or fences.
Hibiscus offer big bright faces of color, showing off in yellow, pink, red and orange. They can be purchased as plants or trees. Full sun will ensure great flower production.
Canna lilies can give you great height, some growing as tall as 7′ in the summer garden. Dwarf varieties are also available if you love the flowers and foliage, but don’t necessarily want the height. Plant these in sun.
Don’t ignore foliage plants because they don’t flower. The large bold leaves of “Limelight” dracaena or tricolor cordyline are truly some of the most attractive elements around the patio. Caladium and elephant ears (colocasia) fall into this category as well.
Shade isn’t a problem either. Just because plants are tropical, doesn’t mean they all need full sun. Think jungle understorey!
Caladium, the big leaves in this picture on the left, come in a great variety of colors and patterns and love being in the shade. Plant ivy or other shade annuals with it or just let it be its own visual player.
Elephant ears (colocasia) also thrive in the shade. Some varieties produce huge leaves. Work in some tuberous begonias or New Guinea Impatiens. Coleus has come to the forefront in the past few years with inumerable colors and varieties and are perfect companions for these big leaves.
Banana Ensete will give you the biggest impact. Can’t fit this in your house over the winter? That’s okay. Bananas are easy to overwinter!
More great foliage…
dracaena “gold star”