8 smart ways to refresh your garden for the season

Julie Chai,  – November 6, 2007

Use seasonal colors to create an elegant new look with a palette of burgundy, bright green, and white.

1. Dress a tabletop

Arrange miniature deep green conifers around a trio of taller lime green ones in a low taupe bowl.

After the holidays, plant them in garden beds.

Related story: Give plants this year

2. Add lighting

For a soft glow at night, wrap tree trunks and branches with strands of white lights.

Define borders by placing small candles in glass holders along mow strips, walls, and walkways.

Related story: Light up the night

3. Warm up furnishings

Make patio chairs more inviting with seat cushions and pillows covered in outdoor fabrics to match the flowers.

Above, white fabric picks up on the border’s white blooms, adding to the garden’s serene palette. 

4. Brighten a border

Supplement existing plants, such as the azaleas and ferns pictured above, with an edging of white cyclamen.

Tuck lamium or a similar variegated plant between the cyclamen to add a lacy skirt of frosty-looking greenery.

5. Plant a border in pots

Enhance narrow in-ground beds with a row of potted plants.

In the small, shaded side yard at right, cylindrical chocolate brown pots filled with white cyclamen line up against the raised border’s low brick wall, making the fern-filled planting appear deeper than it is. 

6. Accent the front entry

Flank the entry with potted plants.

At right, fountainlike burgundy cordyline plays off white cyclamen and plum ‘Palace Purple’ heuchera in bowls atop brick pillars. The pot at the base contains white cyclamen, lamium, and red nandina.

7. Hang a simple wreath

To welcome family and friends, hang an evergreen wreath from a ribbon that coordinates with the flowers and foliage. Tie the ribbon to a gate, or hang several wreaths at different heights from tree branches.

Related story: Beautiful wreaths and garlands

8. Group pots

Dress a doorstep with containers.

The pots pictured at right, of different sizes but the same color, contain plants in shades that echo the garden’s overall scheme. In the smallest pot, fiber optics plant mixes with heuchera, lamium, and cyclamen. In the one at left, nandina pops against lamium, cyclamen, and hellebore. The tallest pot holds fine-leafed rosemary, cordyline, cyclamen, and heuchera.

Related story: Easy gardening with containers