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Design for a Late-Summer Show

Extraordinary annuals and tropicals anchor these bold seasonal combinations

Fine Gardening - Issue 190

Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, has a truly spectacular trial garden. For the past several years, this space has served as a design laboratory where the garden staff can try out new cultivars and plant combinations. The designs on display feature a colorful array of annual and tropical plants, those horticultural wonders that hit their peak from midsummer until frost.

So if your borders tend to look tired by late summer, take some inspiration from the Longwood staff. Add excitement with easygoing annuals, take your design over the top with tropicals, or test out an exciting new color combination. The trial garden designs below will help get you started, and expert tips from Longwood horticulturist Tim Erdmann will help you get the most out of your annual and tropical plants.

A fresh color story

A backdrop of burgundy and chartreuse lends a zesty new feel to bright orange zinnia…

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