Garden Design in Black and White

There are many factors to consider when choosing plants for your garden. Once you’ve narrowed the list to plants that do well in your environment, it’s common to start choosing plants by the color of their flowers or foliage. However, some garden designers argue that it’s better to choose plants first by shape, then worry about color.

Imagine your garden as a black and white photo in each season. This will help you see its overall structure. Make a list of climate-appropriate evergreen and/or strongly architectural trees, shrubs and perennials that will ensure an interesting outline through the seasons. Then think about color to narrow the list.

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4 thoughts on “Garden Design in Black and White

  1. Pingback: Colorado Gardening Journal

  2. Thank you for this post. I’ve begun reworking a bed that has become overgrown using this technique, starting with removing or moving items that detract from the black and white photo. I will then add in plants with better structure and foliage. Hopefully come next summer I will have a much nicer garden to look out on!

    • Hi Jane — small world! Thanks for pointing that post out! It is full of great ideas for plants with dark, striking foliage too. So key in keeping a perennial border interesting all through the summer.

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