Create a Cool Garden

Associate Garden Editor Rebecca Reed teaches you how to create a cool and inviting garden with shades of blue and green.


Hi, I'm Rebecca Reed, associate garden editor at southern living. The temperate climate makes it easy to garden year-round in the south, but staying cool can be a challenge. One trick that makes being outdoors seem more bearable, is to use blue, white and green as your core garden colors. Here are ten great ideas to create a cooling garden. [MUSIC] Kick off the season with Wisteria. Judicious pruning will keep this rascal in check, or you may opt to plant American Wisteria, which is less aggressive than its Chinese and Japanese cousins. Try white nivea, or purple amethyst falls. Also good is the Kentucky wisteria. Find your style in a bucket of paint. Verla Ledlow based her entire garden on her favorite shade of blue. It all began by painting a bench. Let containers make a splash. Boston Fern never looked so good. It's pot simply rests this top over sized urn. Or for the unexpected and small doses like this iguana plant, teamed with the chartreuse foliage of elephant's ear. Hydrangea's are a true Southern favorite. They thrive in moist well trained soil in dappled light. If conditions are right use them generously in bold sweeps, a bonus they're great for cutting and bringing indoors. Accessorize, little touch like these empty wine bottles are an economical way to add truly care free color. If you've got full sun to partial shade, try aggipanthes. Available in both blue and white. This summer bloomer looks great in both the border and in containers. Another one to try is plumbago. These billowing mounds of blue or white, are at their best when the mercury soars. For shade, impatiens are a must. They're easy to find just about anywhere, and nothing gives you more flowers for your money. Go silver and gray. Teak or wooden furniture stays cool to the touch and is a garden classic. Pair it with white cushions, and you will mentally feel the thermometer drop. Cool off with foliage, ferns top our list from front portch friendly to those you plan in the ground, you can't go wrong. Finally, just add water. Pools are great, but fountains work too. You'll be surprised at what a trickle can do. For more great gardening tips, pick up a copy of Southern Living magazine and visit
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