As a kid I loved to buy the paint-by-numbers watercolor painting kits. I wasn’t a very talented artist but my canvases turned out pretty nicely and I was happy and encouraged to do more. So many years ago, when I first though about offering our High Country customers a way to plant a professionally designed perennial garden, the paint-by-numbers concept came back to me. I introduced our pre-planned gardens which come with planting diagrams that show you exactly where and how to space the plants to re-create the layout. It’s easy and the results are superb.
The inspiration for our newest garden came from a planting at a local college where they redesigned and replanted their front entrance.
I liked the designer’s core choice of plants and the fact that they planted the “inferno strip” between the street and sidewalk and the center median with colorful, waterwise perennials.
So working with the general design, I refined it with an expanded palette of plants so that the garden would bloom from late spring through fall and attract more pollinators.
I also decided to create two designs so the ‘Summer Showstopper’ could be used as a 3 ft by 16 ft. “inferno strip” or in a wider 6 ft. by 8 ft. rectangular bed to give more flexibility as to where it can be planted.
The plants used in the ‘Summer Showstopper’ are all:
- Recommended as easy-to-grow for beginning gardeners
- Waterwise (xeric) in areas with 30 inches or less of precipitation
- Pollinator friendly, natural nectar sources to attract hummingbirds, bees and butterflies
- Long blooming or repeat blooming (come back into flower when the faded flowers are removed)
- Bloom with bright, bold colors combinations of blue, yellow, red and scarlet
- Thrive in a wide range of soil types including rocky, sandy, garden loam and dry clay
- Resistant to browsing rabbits and deer.
The garden also comes with a maintenance guide to help answer questions about the care of the individual plants as well as the garden as a whole.
Text and Photos by David Salman