Also known as moss rose, portulaca is loved for its ability to grow in the meanest, driest, sunniest, hottest spots. This annual creates a carpet of colorful blooms. Mojave portulaca opens blossoms in red, pink, tangerine and yellow. With thick succulent leaves, it’s no wonder Japanese beetles leave this beauty alone.
A wooden boarder extends past the red window perimeters for an Asian-inspired feel to this courtyard area. The red outlines give a pop of color against the softer, neutral yellow of the walls. Bright green leaves from the gardens lining the concrete walkway bring the area to life leading to the home.
Yellow and gray patterned curtains pull back to let in natural light over the gray-brown sectional. Throw pillows compliment the curtain colors and decorate with a mix of patterns. A three-leg coffee table beautifully suits the retro vibe of the design and leaves plenty of open floor space for a comfortable finish.
This eclectic leaving room features blue vintage-style wallpaper and open wood shelving. The fireplace boasts a cottage-style white paneled surround with a gray mantel. Pops of yellow add fun, bright color to the space.
For colorful leaves that thrive in shade, it’s tough to beat caladium. This variety, Artful Fire and Ice, unfurls leaves that look like a painter crafted them with splashes of green, pink, rose and white. Give caladiums a spot in full to part shade, although in northern gardens, plants can withstand more sun. Keep soil consistently moist for best growth and color. You’ll know you’re failing if leaves turn yellow and drop. Fire and Ice caladium grows 18 to 30 inches tall and12 to 18 inches wide. The other annuals in this container thrive in part shade: Diamond Frost euphorbia and Black Cherry Supertunia.
Part shade and moist soil provide perfect conditions for ligularia. Historically, ligularia was a go-to perennial for moist shade, but flower spikes often towered far above leaves, creating a plant that looked out of proportion. ‘Bottle Rocket’ improves on that condition, unfurling bright yellow flowers that stand just above leaves. When the plant blooms, it appears to be hoisting a sunny bouquet. Deer-resistant plants grow 28 to 34 inches tall by 24 to 28 inches wide. Hardy in Zones 4-9.
'White Genoa' is an old fig variety native to the Mediterranean and western Asia. This fig performs well in cool coastal regions, and it’s also fine for growing inland. The fruits have greenish-yellow skins and amber flesh. Many gardeners enjoy the trees as ornamentals, too, for their deeply lobed, green leaves and gray bark.
Yellow walls and natural light form the skylight create a sunny look in this traditional kitchen. A wood island with neutral granite countertop provides extra space for food prep and meals while leaving open floor space to maneuver through the room.
The right regional plants shine when combinations feature contrasting leaf textures. These plantings feature yellow twig dogwood shrubs in the center, surrounded by thin-leaved plants, including daylily, variegated sedge and lavender. Blue junipers interject a pretty evergreen hue.
Get that elusive deep blue hue gardeners crave with drifts of ‘Blue Heron’ corydalis (Corydalis curviflora var. rosthornii). Red stems contrast prettily with blooms and blue-green leaves. Plants grow 8 inches tall by 10 inches wide. For best results, give ‘Blue Heron’ a spot in part to full shade with consistently moist soil. Watch for blooms from late spring to midsummer. In cool regions, flowers can appear all summer, although plants may go dormant with hot, dry conditions. Other corydalis varieties offer yellow blooms or gold leaves. Hardy in Zones 6-8.
Cyclamen are native to the eastern Mediterranean, so spring's cool temperatures bring out their blooms. After the flowers fade, their leaves turn yellow and the plants go dormant. That's when many of us, thinking they're dead, throw our plants away. The tubers are actually just "resting," and need only enough water to keep from completely drying out until new leaves emerge in the fall. They tolerate sun or partial shade, but need protection from hot sun in the afternoons. This variety, ‘Victoria Deco Mix’ is from the Metis mini series and has dark green leaves marbled with silver, a sweet fragrance and unusual crowned flowers. Growers say this cyclamen, which is hardy in zones 5-9, is more vigorous in winter than other types.
Norway maple (Acer platanoides) is the ultimate shade tree, forming a dense crown thanks to leaves that grow up to 7 inches across. In fall, leaves shift to hues of yellow and gold. Give it plenty of space, because it spreads up to 50 feet. The form of this maple is a classic lollipop shape—a strong, straight trunk topped with a rounded leaf canopy. Norway maple tolerates urban conditions, but avoid planting it near driveways or sidewalks, because shallow roots can lift concrete. Trees grow 50 to 60 feet tall and 40 to 50 feet wide. Hardy in Zones 4-7.
A perfect fit for topiary and container gardening, English Boxwood is a small evergreen shrub known for slow growth and yellow and green coloring on its leaves. At full maturity, this shrub will reach 2 feet in width and height. Like most shrubs, it simply requires watering twice a week and partial to full sun exposure.
Malvern Hills Rambler is a glorious, repeat-blooming rambler rose that produces large clusters of small, double, soft yellow flowers. It is very healthy and reliable, with strong slender stems with small polished leaves and few thorns. It is a versatile climber, 10 to 12 ft tall, perfect for a pergola, small arbor, trellis or wall. The fragrance is a Noisette scent.
If you don’t have room for a 50- to 100-foot tree, check out Hot Wings maple. It’s a type of tartarian maple (Acer tartaricum ‘GarAnn’) discovered and developed in Colorado, which means it tolerates dry, alkaline conditions. Trees open typical small, yellow maple flowers in spring after leaves appear. Flowers fade to form bright red seeds (helicopters) in summer, which contrast brilliantly with the green leaves. Fall color features shades of orange-red and yellow. This is more of a spreading maple that can be grown as a shrub or small tree. Expect trees to grow 20 to 25 feet tall and 18 to 20 feet wide in ideal conditions. At higher elevations, Hot Wings grows 15 to 18 feet tall and wide. Hardy in Zones 3-10.
A hardy blue-green groundcover, sedum sediforme is a variety of stonecrop that grows up to six inches high and spreads in mats of leaves 18 inches wide. It produces tons of tiny yellow flowers in the summer and can withstand temperatures of 20 below in the winter. Plant it in a hanging basket and let it trail over the edges. Zones 4 to 8.
Romeo cleyera (Cleyera japonica ‘Variegata’) offers year-round variegation. Leaves have butter-yellow splashes in spring and summer that shift to rose tones in fall and winter. Cleyera is a low-maintenance shrub and grows in full sun to part shade, reaching 8 to 10 feet tall by 5 to 6 feet wide. Use it as a privacy hedge, accent plant or container shrub. Hardy in Zones 7-10.
English Rose 'Lady Emma Hamilton'
Color: dark red buds with dashes of orange. Fully open flowers are tangerine orange on petal insides, with yellow orange on the outside. Leaves very dark bronzy green that evolves to dark green at maturity.
Flower: double/full bloom
Fragrance: strong delicious fruity fragrance with hints of pear, grape and citrus.
Shrub size: 4 ft tall x 3 ft wide
RHS "Award of Garden Merit"