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Color Layout

With planting season in full swing across the country now, a simple way to ensure continual bloom all growing season long is to do what I call a "color layout". 

By roughly mapping out your garden and then adding trace on top, proceed to color in only what would be blooming during the particular season. Continue adding a piece of trace for each growing period from  late spring, to winter. By doing this a pattern will appear and you will be able to see where you would be lacking hue and balance in your garden and where you need to add to ensure continual color through out the seasons. This can be done with not only your perennial borders but with shrubs and trees as well.


  1. An absolutely brilliant idea. I find the balance between scent and colour continuity an exciting ongoing challenge in my garden.
    Happy planting Maryanne.

    1. Thanks Paul, it is an exercise I give students to double check their work. The idea works just as well for texture and shape as it does for blooming sequences.

  2. What beautiful images and very helpful to me. We spent all of the Bank Holiday weekend gardening ..... we had to dig up an old ceanothus that had come to the end of it's life and now have a large space to fill. You have given me so much inspiration so thank you.
    Have a lovely week Mayanne ..... I think that I need to read all of your older posts !!!! XXXX

  3. I love the purple and cream colour scheme but I'm clear only someone highly knowledgeable or a professional would be able to do that! That's why I'm glad I have you helping me with my garden!! x Maria

  4. Thanks Marsha, since my degrees were originally in Fine Art, the balance of line shape and color are of utmost importance to me.