Ideas for Summer Beds and Borders

Say hello to sunny summer days with these colorful flowers and plants.
Mixing Colors Provides Striking Contrast

Mixing Colors Provides Striking Contrast

Mixing colors of flowers in a garden border or bed is a quick way to provide striking contrasts. Contrasting colors evoke drama and make a quiet space come alive.

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Summer is the season of unrestrained color, when most beds and borders are at their best. If well planted, the garden should provide a succession of flowers that lasts for months on end.

Mixing Colors

Planting a mix of herbaceous perennials and annuals is a quick and easy way to provide striking contrasts. Color-themed plantings that use a restricted color palette are effective at creating different moods. Contrasting colors evoke drama, while those that blend together produce a more relaxed feel.

Continuous Color

Many perennials run out of steam as the summer progresses, especially in times of drought or extreme heat. Others, though, can be relied on to flower well into fall, especially those that are natives of warmer climates, such as Crocosmia and Rudbeckia.

Calming Foliage

Without some order, too many bright flowers can become rather overpowering, especially in a small space. The mitigating effect of foliage can help create a calmer effect, softening bright colors. Silvery leaves, such as those of Artemisia, used with whites, creams, and pale pinks produce a cool feel; deep green foliage contrasts well with brightly colored flowers.

Summer Bulbs

Summer-flowering bulbs, such as lilies, gladioli, and Galtonia, are often overlooked but, planted directly into borders or put in pots and plunged into the ground, they pack a powerful punch of color.

Keep Reading

Next Up

Family Planting: Herb Border

A herb garden is a feature the whole family can enjoy.

Choosing Plants for Flowerbeds & Borders

Use tall wispy grasses and structural foliage plants to add focal points to borders and flowerbeds.

Ideas for Winter Beds and Borders

You won't want to ignore your garden during cool winter months after seeing these stunning flowers and plants.

Ideas for Creating Spring Beds and Borders

Decorate your garden with these beautiful blooms for colorful spring flowers and foliage.

Summer Gardening Planner

Follow this handy checklist and caring for your garden will be easier, quicker and more satisfying.

Summer Garden Trends

Top trends this season across the country include compact berry bushes, fermented foods, tropical plants and more.

Add Zest to Your Late Summer Garden

Learn how to revitalize your garden in the dog days of summer with these expert tips.

Cast-Iron Plant: Still Going Strong

This old-fashioned addition to the home or garden is tough to beat.

Uncommon Summer Bulbs

Expand your gardening horizons with these summer bulbs.

Ideas for Fall Beds and Borders

Let the vivid, rustic colors of fall add a splash of life to your garden.


Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.