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Why You'll Never Feel Blue With Yellow In Your Landscape

Chris Culp of ArtisTree explores the Yellowverse for five stellar plant choices we promise you’ll dig.

Presented by ArtisTree Landscape March 8, 2019

“Yellow is a staple color of mine in landscape design unless a customer prefers I stay away from it. I use it for transitioning through warm and cooler colors. For instance, red or orange paired with yellow gives a warm vibrant feel. Using purple or blue with yellow tones down the warmth. I especially like using yellow with white or a pale color -- it creates a nice soft ambiance.” – Chris Culp, Landscape Designer, ArtisTree Landscape Maintenance & Design

ArtisTree loves yellow for its ability to increase a sense of space. Visually, it can open up a small courtyard, widen a narrow walkway or expand an entrance. While you won’t see any yellow brick hardscapes in our landscapes, you will find plenty of sunny plant colors ranging from mellow yellow to cyber canary. Here are five shining stars we’ve plucked from the Yellowverse. Hello, yellow!

Yellow Maui Ixora
This unpretentious low shrub with three-inch round umbrella-like flowers (umbels) appears to just shrug off its beauty, preferring instead to stay focused on the business of blooming. Yellow maui’s are compact, tight little tropicals that pride themselves on not being a burden to anyone. All they ask for is some spring trimming (late March/early April) so they can keep pushing out blooms, along with a special “secret sauce” -- which happens to be a good quality fertilizer that includes a minor package. Now you know.

Nothing’s more thrilling than seeing yellow buds spilling from a thryallis. Just one shrub never seems to do -- we like to see rows or clusters of them so they can show off their plentiful flowers. These easy-care evergreens grow to about 6' x 6', but won’t be as dense as when you keep them at bit shorter. ArtisTree likes to spec thryallis near fresh water environments or with ornamental grasses because of its loose structure and the way it sways in the wind. Great around pool cages, too. If you want to add a soft touch to your landscape that also comes with a built-in fragrance bonus, thryallis is a sweet choice.

Glaucous Cassia
No wonder this evergreen is called the Scrambled Egg Tree. The Glaucous Cassia whips up big fluffy flowers that will literally bowl you over (just ask the butterflies). This understory accent tree doesn't grow very tall – maybe 15 to 20 feet – and is an excellent mid-size choice that can fit in most any yard. Blooms in the spring and fall and prefers sunny areas sheltered by the winter winds. Because of its heavy foliage, you may need to stake it for extra protection. For a bright yellow show of dense flowers, the Scrambled Egg Tree can’t be beat.

Gold Mound Duranta
If you’re looking for gold, go for the bold. The Gold Mound Duranta dials it up to an almost neon yellow and serves as an excellent contrasting shrub near darker colors (try it by dark green podocarpus or a coppery magnolia tree). This low-maintenance evergreen looks its best in filtered light, glowing with yellow and emerald tints that illuminate tiny lavender flowers. But the foliage is the still the star. That said, you’ll want to use sparingly as a strategic pop of color. Think of gold mound as an exclamation point between your paragraphs of plantings.

Yellow Lantana
Looking for yellow annuals but wish they’d last longer? Try New Gold Lantana – a perennial groundcover that usually lasts two to three years. It’s a great, inexpensive one-gallon plant vs. annuals that last five to six months. All you need to do is trim it some during the year and give it a good hard cut in the spring. This heat-lover will reward you with brilliant gold flower clusters from spring to fall as a border, groundcover or rock-garden accent. Once established, it only needs occasional water. No worries, this mild-mannered butterfly magnet is non-invasive and behaves well.

Dreaming of a landscape renovation? Choose the landscaper that luxury builders use by calling Jenni Lassen at 941.217.7438. Or visit www.artistree.com.

For community-wide HOA landscape maintenance services, contact Mike Casper at [email protected] and we’ll get your proposal started.  Our nationally ranked company serves Sarasota, Manatee and Charlotte counties.

Chris Culp, ArtisTree Landscape Designer.