French lavender (Lavandula dentata) — This Mediterranean evergreen shrub has gray-green, finely-toothed fragrant leaves, bearing short spikes of lavender-mauve flowers year-round.

A splash of color for your garden this fall

by Juan Garcia

Do you enjoy a landscape that offers attractive hues throughout the year?

Vibrant and flowering plants can bring a year-round rainbow of color if you plan for it.

When selecting plants for my garden, I take note of their blooming periods and when their foliage or leaves are known to change color. A wide variety of species, from trees to low-lying ground cover, and hearty blooms, exotics and natives are adapted to our climate. Just be sure to plant them with other species requiring the same levels of water and sunlight.

Here are some things to consider when planning out your garden palette:

  • Plan your garden according to the color wheel, selecting either complementary colors (on opposite ends of the wheel), or analogous colors (adjacent on the wheel).
  • Deciduous plants can add seasonal red, yellow and orange hues to a landscape (but be prepared to rake up some leaves).
  • Consider planting a small bed or planter of annuals to bring a splash of color for each season.
  • Remember that color comes in many forms, including foliage, bark, fruit and seeds.

Irvine Ranch Water District provides many tips and ideas at RightScapeResources.com.

Juan Garcia is Irvine Ranch Water District’s water‐efficiency specialist. You can learn more about the district’s water conservation programs, gardening tips, workshops and rebates at RightScapeNow.com.

Manzanitas (Arctostaphylos sp.) — This native is known for its clusters of white-pink flowers, red-mahogany bark, showy red-tinged fruit and gray to green foliage.
Red-flowered buckwheat (Eriogonum grande var. rubescens) — This slow-spreading native is a popular lure for butterflies. Flowers form in ball-like clusters in reds and pinks.
Crape myrtle (Lagerstroemia indica) — This California-friendly tree can also be grown as a large shrub, with leaves that turn colors in the fall. Bursts of pink blossoms bloom in summer and into fall.
French lavender (Lavandula dentata) — This Mediterranean evergreen shrub has gray-green, finely-toothed fragrant leaves, bearing short spikes of lavender-mauve flowers year-round.