Restrict your color palette, and plant large clumps to create waves of color
Photo: Tom McWilliam
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5. Plant in Masses

One secret to striking flower beds: Restrict your color palette, and plant large clumps to create waves of color. Avoid the “one of this here and one of that there” approach to garden design. Using swaths of a single type of plant has greater impact and makes beds look more orderly. To keep costs down, forgo buying large specimens at your local nursery; use mail-order sources (Dave's Garden has a list of gardeners’ favorites), where you can save more by buying smaller plants in bigger quantities. Then let them fill in. Divide established perennials—such as the rust-colored yarrow and light pink evening primrose here—every two to four years as needed. Then spread the wealth and fill in bare spots.
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