What Are Plants for Color in the Backyard Garden?

While green foliage is lovely to look at, a garden that is exclusively green can be monotonous. Adding a few flowering plants to a sparse backyard garden can do wonders for the space, adding texture and more importantly, a welcome rush of color.

Oriental Poppy

Oriental poppy (Papaver orientale) is a late spring, early summer blooming perennial that produces large papery blooms in shades of red, crimson and occasionally white. The plant has rich green foliage and can reach a maximum height of about 4 feet, while the flowers can grow as large as 6 inches across. Oriental poppies will grow best in good, loamy soils with full sunlight. The plants may need staking to keep from toppling over in the wind. The plant is generally considered deer resistant.


Foxgloves (Digitalis) are high growing plants that produce striking, tall stalks covered in blooms. The tubular flowers of foxglove can bloom in numerous colors, from hot pink to delicate lavender or creamy white. The inside of the flowers are attractively speckled with a darker color. Foxgloves are fairly easy to cultivate, requiring moist, well-drained soil and full sun or partial shade. Deer generally leave the plant alone, and the sturdy stem of the Foxglove makes it an excellent cut flower.

French Marigold

French marigolds (Tagetes patula) are low-growing plants that continuously flower throughout the season, with bushy flowers in a spectrum of bright yellow, orange and red colors. Ideal for the novice gardener, most species of marigolds are easy to grow and practically indifferent to soil types. These inexpensive and hardy plants require little more than full sunlight and a good watering during summer months or periods of drought.

Keywords: colorful plants, flower colors, backyard garden

About this Author

Michelle Wishhart is a writer based out of Astoria, Ore. She has been writing professionally for five years, starting with her position as a staff arts writer for an alternative weekly paper in Santa Cruz. She has a B.A. in fine arts from the University of California in Santa Cruz and a minor in English literature.