It might sound odd, but for a bright and beautiful flowery garden, the most important place to start is with your perennial foliage. Focus on perennials with a long bloom time like rudbeckia (black-eyed Susan) or garden phlox, and leave lots of open spaces to insert annuals like impatiens, snapdragons, and California poppies that will constantly be blooming.
The foliage will form the core of your garden, and give texture and forum to really show off your colorful annuals. Grasses like sedge or needle grass are an especially great perennial for this purpose. Their slightly see-through nature makes them a perfect complement to beautiful flowers forming a sort of bouquet within the garden.
The other good news about mapping out your garden in this fashion is that perennials tend to be easier to take care of and don’t need replanting every year. That means each summer you’ll get a new chance to play with different combinations of fun, bright annuals around your already-existing base.
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