Flower gardening is all about decorating your patio and landscape with the perfect plants. Keep these elements in mind when decorating your garden: color, texture and location.

Color is the most visible and striking element, so take advantage of the variety of flower colors to mix and match various shades. Consider calming cool-color combinations, which are different shades of the same color. Or use warm color combinations to create a bold statement, such as mixing red and yellow.

Texture makes planting come alive. Nonflowering foliage plants offer both unique texture and distinctive foliage color, such as the commonly used dracaena spikes and asparagus sprengeri. Today, however, many new plants are available to provide visual texture, such as heliechrysum petiolare ‘Licorice’ and ipomoea pandurata sweet potato vine.

Consider location: Will you grow your plants in a container, a raise bed or a landscape setting? An in-ground planting provides the best setting. But if you choose containers, make sure they have water-drainage holes and give hanging baskets frequent watering. Finally, always adhere to a regular fertilizer program.

Reprinted by permission from Floral Retailing magazine.

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