Tagawa Gardens Blog

Celebrate Summer with Red, White and Blue Flowers

It’s a classic color combination that shouts “look at me!”  And making that statement with beautiful flowers is a great way to add some patriotic pizzazz to any porch, deck or patio.

Now that the first big push of early-season planting is over, this is a great time to let your creative juices flow!  Baskets or pots of these bold colors are simple and quick to create.  The Annuals Department at Tagawa Gardens is still brimming with lots of choices of vibrant red, white and blue flowers that you can mix and match into eye-catching combinations for any sunny location.

Read on!

red geranium with blue white lobelia tagawa gardens denver

red petunia night sky petunia at tagawa gardens denverStart with the obvious!  Big, bright geraniums and petunias

You want it quick and simple?  Start with two flower garden workhorses:  geraniums and petunias.  A rich, dark red geranium is a classic favorite, and will always have a home in a vibrant combination pot.  Geraniums are sun-lovers and need good drainage.  They’ll pay you back with a non-stop display of blossoms all summer long.  And don’t be shy about choosing a red geranium with a hint of orange for a lot of “pop.”  They’ll light up the other flowers in the pot and really stand out from a distance.

Petunias will always hold their own with geraniums.  Whether you choose a deep blue, a pale blue or even a rich purple… the patriotic theme will show though loud and clear.  Some petunias have a more upright growth habit.  Others are perfect as “spillers,” pouring over the side of the pot like a lovely waterfall.  Read the labels on the plants and look at their mature height to determine which is which.

For tall and spikey “thrillers,” try some salvias

Salvia is a huge family of plants with lots of options for a summer combo. The flowering annual salvias come in light and dark blue.  Some grow a lot taller than others, so check the labels.  If you want to include salvia as part of your design’s red theme, you can do that, too.  Just be ready to draw in the hummingbirds!  They love the tubular flowers.

Salvias are tough by nature.  Give them regular “dead-heading,” removing the tops of the flower spikes as they fade to keep the blossoms coming.  They make a great vertical accent that contrasts beautifully with other more full and flowing types of flowers.

red white blue with allysum tagawa gardens denver

Lots of options for white

Your red, white and blue combo has lots of options for white…. petunias, cosmos, fragrant sweet alyssum.  You might also consider including soft silvery gray plants.  Different types of Dusty Miller can add an appealing and fuzzy upright element.  Dichondra “Silver Falls” will drape over the side and live up to its name.  These plants aren’t white, but their silver foliage absolutely works with the red and the blue.

Check our Plant Finder and search for annuals by color to find even more choices!

Tagawa Gardens Memorial Day Gardening

red white blue in white basket tagawa gardens denverLet the flower pot be a player

When you’re planting to a patriotic tune, by all means, don’t be subtle with your container or basket.  A pretty ceramic pot or white wicker basket can hold the rest of the design together, literally and figuratively.  Whatever you choose, make sure it has good drainage.  You can line a basket with plastic to hold the soil in as long as you poke holes for drainage.  You can also use burlap to line the basket.  Let some of the extra fabric lay over the side of the basket for a country décor effect.

The same rules apply

If you’re planting new annuals now, remember to condition them by giving them a few days of “hardening off” between the Tagawa greenhouses and their new location outdoors, just as you would in the spring.  They’ll adapt much faster and be stronger in the long run.

And then, sit back and enjoy a fresh-faced dose of red, white and blue all summer long!

Luan shows you how to acclimate your new plants before planting in your yard.

Plants grown in a greenhouse need to be acclimated to the great outdoors before planting them in their final location outside.

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Luan Akin
Luan Akin
Tagawa Gardens Outreach Ambassador

After 30 years as a news reporter for KCNC TV in Denver, Luan Akin was ready for a change. In 2008, she came to Tagawa Gardens and offered to create a brand new position: Garden Outreach Ambassador.

Luan had trained and volunteered as a Douglas County Master Gardener for ten years. In addition to her duties as a news reporter, working primarily out of the Channel 4 News helicopter, Luan also produced and presented a long-running series of stories called “Gardening Together.”

All these years later, Luan now works year ‘round, presenting a variety of gardening and nature-related topics to hundreds of children, HOA’s, gardening clubs, church groups, small businesses and other organizations.

She is an avid gardener, a beekeeper and a proud mom to four dogs who have trained her well.


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