Color Garden for the Upper Midwest

A vine-draped arbor and multi-seasonal color spotlight this garden room.

Garden Painting

Painted Garden Picture With Shades of Green and Blocked Brush Strokes

Landscape plan by Hortus Oasis
Illustrations by Simutis Illustrations

Immerse yourself in color! This landscape design plan creates an ever-changing collage of bold, vibrant hues in foliage and flowers throughout the seasons.

Enter this garden of hues through the vine-draped arbor or by way of two other stepping stone walkways that wind past pots of annual color. The bench with a commanding view of the numerous spreading, mounding and cascading blooms is sheltered by a flowering tree. While the overhead canopy provides summer shade, a cluster of shrubs behind the bench provides enclosure. A vine clambers over a tuteur to provide a vertical architectural focal point.

The undulating border and meandering pathways provide easy access to all of the plants and containers of color. Wait until late winter to trim back any frosted plants and you will enjoy the wintry textures provided by the branches and remaining stems and seed heads. Allow some of the perennials to reseed to create a full and bountiful garden of color.

Garden Plan

Digital Colored Garden Plan With Letter and Number Markers

Landscape plan by Hortus Oasis
Illustrations by Simutis Illustrations

Plant List

A. Afterglow winterberry (Ilex verticillata 'Afterglow') (female) (1), needs a male like 'Jim Dandy' to pollinate
B. Grape honeysuckle (Lonicera reticulata) on arbor (2)
C. Hyacinth bean vine (Dolichos lablab 'Ruby Moon') on tuteur, annual (1)
D. Annuals, selected by gardener, in 3 containers
E. Red-osier dogwood (Cornus sericea) (2), plant 4 feet apart
F. Kaleidoscope abelia (Abelia x grandiflora 'Kaleidoscope' (2), plant 4 feet apart
G. Jim Dandy winterberry (Ilex verticillata 'Jim Dandy' (male) (2), plant 4 feet apart, pollinates 'Afterglow'
H. Creeping juniper (Juniperus horizontalis) (10) plant 2-1/2 feet apart
I. Wintercreeper euonymus (Euonymus fortunei) (13), plant 2 feet apart
J. Creeping juniper (Juniperus horizontalis) (4), plant 2-1/2 feet apart
K. Goldsturm black eyed Susan (Rudbeckia fulgida var. sullvantii 'Goldsturm' (9), plant 1-1/2 feet apart
L. Hameln fountain grass (Pennisetum alopecuroides 'Hameln') (8), plant 2 feet apart
M. Sunrise coneflower (Echinacea 'Sunrise') (4), plant 1-1/2 feet apart
N. Burgundy blanket flower (Gaillardia 'Burgundy') (8), plant 1-1/2 feet apart
O. Wood's Pink aster (Aster dumosus 'Wood's Pink') (8), plant 1-1/2 feet apart
P. Purple love grass (Eragrostis spectabilis) (13), plant 1-1/2 feet apart
Q. Spike speedwell (Veronica spicata) (15), plant 1-1/2 feet apart
R. Silver mound sage (Artemesia schmidtiana) (9), plant 1-1/2 feet apart


1. Arbor: 4' wide x 2' to 3' deep
2. Tuteur: 2' wide x 6 to 7' high
3. Container: 18 to 22" wide
4. Stepping stones with mulch paths
5. Bench: 4' wide

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