How To Choose Color For Your Garden

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Being a Landscape Designer in Santa Clarita brings me lots of questions high on the list is, “What is the best way to add color to my garden?”  I’m hoping to answer that here.  First of all there are quite a few reasons to add color to your garden:

  • Color is great for bringing energy into your home
  • Color adds instant Curb Appeal.
  • Color can help you create atmosphere.
  • Color just cheers us up!

There are many ways to add color to your garden in this article I’m going to focus on whether annual or perennial color is best for your garden and your lifestyle.

What is an Annual?

Annuals germinate, grow, flower, set seed and die all in less than a year.  So you need two sets of annuals to have color EACH year Cool Season and Warm Season.  They are the replaceable planting material for a garden.  Think of them like nail polish or hair color for your garden.  You can chose to keep on painting your nails or you can go au naturale and let your plants replenish themselves.

What is a Perennial?

Perennials live for more than two years, and many much longer.  There are both deciduous and evergreen types.  The deciduous die to the ground when their growing season ends and reappear the next year.  (Not just winter – out here Cali natives can be summer deciduous) Evergreen foliage usually persists unchanged throughout the year.

Why grow Annuals or Perennials?


  1. They make great pollinators for your garden; they bring in beneficial insects that help the rest of the garden flourish.
  2. They can be edible.
  3. They can be relegated to certain smaller scale areas to save on water and cost.
  4. They give you color, color, Color!


  1. They don’t need to be replaced for years.
  2. They generally use less water than annuals.
  3. They often have more than one season of interest.
  4. They can add color, fragrance, or be edible.
  5. When divided you can share with your friends and family.
  6. They can bring wildlife (birds & animals, not just insects) into the garden.

Now it is time to name names.  Here are some annuals and perennials that you might like to try.

Cool Season Annuals


Calendula, California Poppies,  Cornflower, Johnny Jump-Ups, Nemesia, Pansy, Icelandic Poppy, Stock, Sweet Pea, and Viola. (California Poppies reseed and are sort of perennials in California).

Warm Season Annuals

July - Sunflower Sky Sept - Coleus

Calibrachoa (Million Bells), Celosia, Coleus, Cosmos, Impatiens, Marigolds,  Nasturtiums, Petunias, Sunflowers, and Zinnias.

Deciduous Perennials

August - Canna 'Topaz'  Nov - Echinacea

Asters, Canna,  some Day Lily, Echinacea, Gaillardia,  Hostas,  some Iris, and Rudbeckia

Oct - Echinacea  July - Rudbeckia wall

Evergreen Perennials

Dec - Heuchera 'Marmalade' Santa Clarita, CA

Coral Bells, some Day Lily, Gaura, some Iris, Liriope,  and Agapanthus

Dec - Jurassic Park Iris


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Agastache,  Coreopsis, and Achillea.

If you would like to learn a little more about Perennials and Annuals, please take some time to listen to a radio show I was on this past week.  Perennials vs Annuals on Mathis Interior’s Radio.

If you would like help beautifying your life, think about creating a garden with me. You can call me at 661-917-3521, or visit my website.




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