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Published: Thursday, 5/18/2006

Make Your Garden a Masterpiece

A beautiful garden can be a work of art. Like artists, gardeners use a wide range of colors in their designs. Plants and flowers feature a vast spectrum of hues, shades, tones and tints.

The next time you re planting a flower garden, try viewing it with an artist s eye. Think about the basic color wheel.

Cool colors like blue and purple are said to be calming and tranquil. They are subtle and tend to recede visually. If you re looking for a peaceful retreat, try working with a nice mix of flowers like California Bluebell, Blue Flax, Bachelor Button and Frikart s Aster.

If you want a pop of vivid color, try warm colors like yellow and red. They appear to advance visually and come to the forefront, dominating the scene. Clusters of yellow Marigolds or Coreopsis are ideal beside a front walkway or entrance.

If it s an eye-catching design you re after, contrasting colors will do the trick. Complementary colors are opposite one another on the color wheel. Blue and orange. Purple and yellow. Opposites really do attract attention. Try combining these easy-to-grow perennials that look beautiful together: Stoke s Aster and Common Yarrow; blue Salvia and orange Celosia; purple Butterfly Bush and Butterfly Weed.

Thumb through gardening catalogs and magazines for ideas and then draw a rough sketch of your garden before heading to your local nursery or chain retailer to get your plants. While you re out, don t forget to buy a garden border.

Like a classic work of art, a beautiful garden needs a well-chosen border. A painting on a canvas may be attractive, but paired with an impressive frame, it becomes a true masterpiece. A good border that will make any garden shine.

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