PERENNIAL COMBINATIONS Perennial combinations are best when texture, shape, height, color, form, and cultural requirements are considered. Combine plants that have similar care requirements, have pleasing shapes, and reflect personal interests or have contrasting or complementy colors or textures. · Shape: Formal shapes are usually straight and informal shapes can be mounds or vase shaped. The shape of the leaves and flowers should be considered as well as the shape of the complete plant. Small leaves and flowers look dainty and many are needed to fill a space as compared to large leaves that only need one or a few plants to fill the same space. · Texture: Texture is the visual smoothness or roughness of a plant. Bold textures tend to be dominant and attract attention. Fine textures appear delicate and recede from view. Medium textures contrast and dominate both bold and fine textures. · Form: The form of the plant, including the flower structure, will form the outline of the flowerbed. One large spiky or columnar plant can be a focal point in the garden. Using all rounded mounds of plants in a design can be boring. Mix in upright, vase-shaped, spreading, and columnar shapes to make the landscape as interesting as possible. Groups of uneven numbers 3,5, or 7 are more pleasing to the eye than even numbers. · Size: Determine the heights and the spread of the plants for placement. · Color: Color is an important factor to consider. Foliage color is as important as flower color. Complementary colors are soothing and easy on the eye; contrasting colors heat up the landscape and are dramatic. Blue, green, and purple are cool colors and have a calming effect. Red, orange, and yellow are warm colors and create a warm and exciting mood. The shades of green foliage help to bridge between colorful areas. Cultural Requirements: After selecting the area, in which you want to put a new flowerbed, determine the amount of sun/shade it will receive. Make a list of plants that will do well in that amount of sun/shade. Group plants requiring the same degree of moisture so they can get supplemental watering when necessary or left alone if they are drought tolerant.
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