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Creating Your Perfect Outdoor Oasis

A Guide to Designing a Plant-Filled Paradise

Transforming your outdoor space into a lush, inviting oasis can be rewarding and therapeutic. A well-designed outdoor living area filled with plants enhances the aesthetics of your surroundings and creates a serene retreat. In this guide, we'll explore several plant varieties' unique qualities and care requirements that can elevate your outdoor living area into a haven of relaxation and beauty.

Blue Lobelia (Lobelia siphilitica)

Blue Lobelia, with its striking, vibrant blue flowers, is a beautiful choice for adding color to your outdoor living area. These perennials thrive in moist, well-draining soil and partial shade, making them versatile for your garden. Blue Lobelia attracts pollinators like butterflies and hummingbirds, adding more life and movement to your outdoor oasis. Regular deadheading will keep these beauties blooming throughout the summer months.

Hostas (Hosta spp.)

Hostas are renowned for their lush, broad foliage and come in various colors and textures, making them a versatile choice for any outdoor living space. These shade-loving perennials require minimal maintenance and are perfect for filling holes under trees or in garden beds. Hostas add a serene, calming element to your garden and can be an excellent backdrop for other plants or decorations.

Bamboo (Bambusoideae spp.)

Bamboo is a versatile and elegant addition to any outdoor area, providing privacy, shade, and a touch of the exotic. With its rapid growth and low maintenance requirements, bamboo is a favorite for creating natural screens or defining garden borders. Ensure you choose to clump bamboo varieties to prevent the invasive spread and control your outdoor space's design.

Hydrangeas (Hydrangea spp.)

Hydrangeas are beloved for their large, globe-like flower clusters and ability to thrive in various climates. Depending on soil pH, these deciduous shrubs can be a focal point in your outdoor living area, offering a symphony of colors, including blue, pink, purple, and white. Proper pruning and maintenance will ensure lush blooms year after year, making hydrangeas a timeless choice for your garden.

Hibiscus (Hibiscus spp.)

Hibiscus plants are known for stunning, showy flowers, ranging from classic reds to vibrant pinks and tropical oranges. These heat-loving shrubs thrive in sunny spots and require regular watering. Hibiscus creates a tropical ambiance, making it ideal for those looking to create a resort-like feel in their outdoor oasis. They attract pollinators like bees and butterflies, adding to the vibrancy of your garden.

Lyreleaf Sage (Salvia lyrata)

Lyreleaf Sage, also known as Cancerweed or Lyre-leafed Sage, is a hardy, native perennial plant with a striking rosette of blue-green leaves. In early spring, tall spikes of violet-blue flowers emerge, creating a lovely contrast against the foliage. The lyreleaf sage is excellent for rock gardens, edging, or as ground cover in well-drained soil. It's also drought-tolerant, making it a low-maintenance choice for your outdoor living area.

Bellflower Merry Bells (Campanula hybrids)

Bellflowers, including the Merry Bells variety, are delightful perennials that add charm and grace to your garden. These plants produce delicate bell-shaped flowers in shades of blue, pink, or white. Bellflowers thrive in well-drained soil and prefer full sun to partial shade. They are perfect for adding vertical intrigue to your garden, whether as border plants or rock gardens.

Designing Your Outdoor Living Area

Now that we've explored these unique plant varieties, let's discuss how to design an outdoor living area that maximizes their beauty and functionality.

Plan the Layout:

  • Examine the size and shape of your outdoor space.
  • Determine the optimal locations for each plant type based on their sunlight and water requirements.
  • Create defined areas for seating, dining, and relaxation.

Incorporate Hardscaping:

  • Add pathways, patios, or decking to create functional spaces within your garden.
  • Choose materials that complement your plant selections and overall design style.

Layer Your Plants:

  • Use a variety of plant heights and textures to create depth and interest in your garden.
  • Place taller plants at the back or center of flower beds and shorter ones at the front.
  • Consider using containers or raised beds for added dimension.

Integrate Focal Points:

Install eye-catching elements like water features, sculptures, or trellises. These focal points can enhance the overall aesthetic and draw attention to specific areas of your outdoor space.

Pay Attention to Color:

  • Use a color scheme that complements your plant choices.
  • Consider seasonal changes in plant colors to ensure year-round appeal.

Create Seating and Gathering Areas:

  • Invest in comfortable outdoor furniture that encourages relaxation and socializing.
  • Arrange seating areas strategically to take advantage of garden views.

Add Lighting:

  • Incorporate outdoor lighting to extend the usability of your space into the evening.
  • Use a blend of ambient and accent lighting for a magical atmosphere.

Maintenance and Care

Maintaining your outdoor living area is essential to keep it looking its best and thriving. Here are some general maintenance tips:


Water plants consistently, but avoid overwatering. Consider using a drip irrigation system for efficiency. Adjust your watering schedule based on seasonal needs.

Pruning and Deadheading:

Regularly prune and deadhead plants to promote healthy growth and prolong flowering. Follow specific care guidelines for each plant type to ensure their longevity.


Apply mulch to retain moisture, regulate soil temperature, and suppress weeds. Use organic mulch to improve soil quality over time.


Feed your plants with appropriate fertilizers to support their growth. Follow recommended fertilization schedules and dosage instructions.

Pest and Disease Control:

Observe your plants for signs of pests or diseases. Implement organic pest control methods when necessary to avoid harming beneficial wildlife.

Creating an outdoor living area with an abundance of plants like Blue Lobelia, Hostas, Bamboo, Hydrangeas, Hibiscus, Lyreleaf Sage, and Bellflower Merry Bells can turn your outdoor space into a haven of natural beauty and relaxation. You can enjoy a vibrant, inviting garden year-round by carefully planning your layout, incorporating hardscaping, and providing the necessary maintenance. So, roll up your sleeves, put on your gardening gloves, and transform your outdoor space into a plant-filled paradise.

Butterfly Weed

Butterfly Milkweed

Butterfly Weed is known for it's vibrant orange flowers, attracting monarchs, and significant ecological benefits, makes it is a popular choice in landscaping. Beyond its visual appeal, this native North American plant offers numerous advantages to any landscape's overall health and beauty. Butterfly weed is a magnet for butterflies, as the name suggests. First and foremost, one of the primary benefits of it is its role in attracting and supporting various pollinators, particularly butterflies. It serves as a critical nectar source for numerous species. By planting it in your landscape, you can create a haven for these graceful insects and help support their populations. Furthermore, it plays a crucial role in supporting the lifecycle of monarch butterflies. When the caterpillars hatch, they feed on the plant's leaves, helping ensure their species' continuation. This makes it an essential component of monarch butterfly conservation efforts and a symbol of the critical relationship between native plants and wildlife. In addition to its ecological benefits, it is a hardy and low-maintenance plant, making it an excellent addition to any landscaping project. Its adaptability and resilience make it an ideal choice for sustainable landscaping practices, reducing the need for excessive watering and fertilizers. Moreover, its striking orange flowers can add color to any landscape, enhancing the aesthetic appeal of gardens, meadows, and naturalized areas. Its long-lasting blooms provide a visually pleasing display from late spring through summer, attracting butterflies and pollinators like bees and hummingbirds. Planting in groups or clusters can create a visually captivating effect, transforming any space into a wildlife-friendly and aesthetically pleasing environment—landscaping applications. In summary, butterfly weed offers various benefits when used in landscaping. From its ecological significance in supporting pollinators and monarch butterflies to its adaptability and visual appeal, this native plant is invaluable in creating sustainable, attractive, and wildlife-friendly landscapes. Whether you're a seasoned gardener or a novice landscaper, incorporating it into your outdoor spaces can positively impact your property's environment and overall beauty. Order your butterfly weed at TN Nursery Monarchs are known to have a special affinity for butterfly weed plants (Asclepias tuberosa), and this fascination can be attributed to many things that make butterfly weed a favored plant among these majestic butterflies. Here, we'll explore what monarchs love about butterfly weed plants. Nectar-Rich Flowers: One of the primary reasons monarch butterflies are drawn to butterfly weed is its abundant nectar. Butterfly weed produces clusters of bright orange or yellow flowers rich in nectar. Monarchs rely on nectar as their primary food source, and the energy provided by the nectar helps fuel their long migratory journeys. The nectar of butterfly weed is plentiful and easily accessible due to the flower's structure, making it a convenient food source for these butterflies. Specific Milkweed Species: Monarchs are known as "milkweed butterflies" because their larvae exclusively feed on milkweed plants. Butterfly weed is a species of milkweed, among the preferred milkweed varieties for monarch caterpillars. The butterfly weed leaves contain toxic chemicals known as cardenolides, which monarch caterpillars can ingest and store inside, making them seemingly a danger to predators. This defense mechanism protects both the caterpillars and adult butterflies.Habitat and Host Plant: Butterfly Weed is a Magnaet Plant For Monarchs  Monarchs need suitable habitats for breeding and laying eggs. Butterfly weed is both a nectar source and a host plant for monarchs. Female butterflies lay eggs on the undersides of butterfly weed leaves. Once the eggs hatch, the young caterpillars feed on the leaves, providing them with complete sustenance for growth and development. A plant that fulfills both the roles of a nectar source and a host plant makes butterfly weed highly attractive to monarchs.Flower Color and Attraction:  The bright orange or yellow flowers of butterfly weed are visually appealing and highly attractive to butterflies, including monarchs. The distinct coloration and the unique shape of the flowers make them easily identifiable and draw in pollinators like monarchs. The bright hues of butterfly weed flowers signal to monarchs that it is a reliable nectar source.Perennial Nature: Butterfly weed is a perennial plant that comes back year after year. Monarchs, as migratory insects, need dependable food sources during their journeys. The perennial nature of butterfly weed ensures that it will be available as a nectar source for monarchs in the same location year after year, making it a reliable pit stop during their migrations.In summary, monarch butterflies are highly attracted to butterfly weed plants due to their nectar-rich flowers, their role as a specific milkweed species, their function as both a host plant and a nectar source, the visual appeal of their flowers, and their perennial nature. These factors combine to create an ideal habitat for monarchs, making butterfly weed a beloved and crucial plant in the life cycle of these iconic butterflies.

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Snow Hill Hydrangea

Snow Hill Hydrangea

Snow Hill Hydrangea is a compact deciduous shrub with large rounded clusters of white, snowball-like flowers, making it a popular choice for garden borders and as a foundation plant. They bring various benefits to landscaping projects, contributing to outdoor spaces' visual aesthetics, versatility, and overall charm. This hydrangea cultivar offers unique features that make it a valuable choice for various landscape designs. One of the primary benefits of the Snow Hill Hydrangea in landscaping is its stunning floral display. Snow Hill Hydrangea produces large, rounded clusters of white flowers during summer. These blooms add a touch of elegance and brightness to the landscape, creating a focal point that can easily enhance the overall beauty of gardens, borders, and other outdoor settings. Its compact growth habit and manageable size make it great for smaller gardens or areas with limited space. Its relatively modest dimensions ensure it can seamlessly incorporate into various landscape designs, from urban courtyards to suburban yards. This adaptability increases its potential to bring beauty to different outdoor environments. Beyond its aesthetic appeal, it also helps with the landscape's biodiversity. The blooms nourish nectar for pollinators, supporting local ecosystems and helping maintain a healthy wildlife balance. Additionally, the shrub's dense foliage offers shelter for smaller creatures and nesting sites for birds, further enriching the ecological value of the landscape. Its ability to do well in different soil types and conditions enhances its landscaping benefits. It can grow well in both sun and partial shade, adapting to lighting conditions. This flexibility makes it suitable for various planting locations, allowing homeowners and landscape professionals to incorporate it into diverse design concepts. In conclusion, it offers various many benefits that contribute to landscaping projects. Its exquisite floral display, compact growth habit, ecological contributions, and adaptability make it a valuable addition to outdoor spaces. By integrating it into landscape plans, individuals can create visually pleasing, environmentally supportive, and versatile landscapes that bring beauty and vitality to their surroundings. Buy your Snow Hill Hydrangea from TN Nursery! The Snow Hill Hydrangea, scientifically known as Hydrangea arborescens 'Snow Hill,' is a captivating and ornamental shrub that graces gardens with its ethereal beauty. Native to the U.S., this small shrub belongs to the Hydrangeaceae family and is beloved for its stunning floral displays and lush foliage. Standing at a moderate height of 3 to 5 feet, it boasts an elegant, compact form that makes it an ideal choice for small and large garden spaces. Its elliptical, dark green leaves provide a rich backdrop for the star of the show - its magnificent blooms. These blooms are characterized by mesmerizing clusters of delicate, white flowers in late spring to early summer. Each flower head comprises numerous tiny, fertile flowers surrounded by showy, sterile florets, creating a striking contrast. Snow Hill Hydrangea Has Unique Blooms Foliage  One of the unique features of it is its ability to adapt to various soil types, making it a versatile addition to garden landscapes. It thrives in well-drained, fertile soils but can tolerate multiple conditions, from sandy to clay-rich soils. This adaptability and preference for partial to full sunlight make it a hardy and low-maintenance shrub for garden enthusiasts. As the seasons progress, it undergoes subtle transformations. In the fall, its foliage takes on shades of yellow and gold, adding a warm and vibrant touch to the autumn landscape. After the blooming season, the dried flower heads persist through winter, providing visual interest and textural contrast against the snow or frost. Snow Hill Hydrangea Looks Great Alone Or In Mass Plantings   Gardeners often use it as focal points in mixed borders, foundations, or mass plantings to create a stunning visual impact. Its graceful, arching branches and timeless beauty make it a cherished addition to gardens, where it not only captivates with its seasonal displays but also draws pollinators. In conclusion, the Snow Hill Hydrangea is a delightful and versatile shrub that enchants gardeners with its elegant form, radiant white blooms, and adaptability to various growing conditions. Its power to flourish in diverse soil types and its visual appeal throughout the seasons make it a beloved choice for those seeking to adorn their landscapes with nature's beauty.

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Lyreleaf Sage

Lyreleaf Sage

Lyreleaf Sage is a perennial wildflower characterized by its delicate, lyre-shaped leaves and spikes of tubular, purple to blue flowers, often found in dry, open woodlands and meadows. It presents a range of benefits when thoughtfully integrated into landscaping designs. Its distinctive appearance, adaptability, contributions to biodiversity, and potential for enhancing outdoor spaces' visual and ecological aspects make it a valuable addition to gardens and landscapes. One of the primary advantages of using it in landscaping is its unique and eye-catching appearance. Lyreleaf Sage has distinctive basal leaves, which resemble the shape of a lyre and add visual interest and texture. This unique leaf shape and the plant's vibrant green color create a dynamic element that can break up monotony and introduce variety to the landscape. Its adaptability to different light conditions makes it a versatile choice for landscaping. It can succeed in sun and shade, allowing landscapers to strategically place it in various parts of the garden to create a harmonious composition. Its ability to grow in multiple soil types further enhances its suitability for diverse landscape environments. Furthermore, it contributes to biodiversity within the landscape. Its flowers attract pollinators, supporting the ecosystem's health by promoting the reproduction of other plant species. This ecological contribution enhances the vibrancy and balance of the garden environment. Its low-maintenance nature adds to its appeal in landscaping projects. Once established, it typically requires minimal care, making it an attractive choice for gardeners seeking visually appealing and practical plants. Its natural resilience to pests and diseases further reduces the need for constant monitoring and interventions. In groups or clusters, it can create a charming ground cover or fill gaps within the landscape. Its spreading habit can help suppress weed growth, reducing the need for excessive weeding and contributing to a more manageable garden. In conclusion, it offers a range of benefits when integrated into landscaping designs. Its unique appearance, adaptability, contributions to biodiversity, low-maintenance nature, and potential for enhancing visual interest and ecological balance make it a valuable asset in outdoor environments. By thoughtfully incorporating it into landscape designs, one can create dynamic, visually appealing, and ecologically friendly spaces that engage the eye and the ecosystem. Order your Lyreleaf Sage from TN Nursery today! Lyreleaf Sage, scientifically known as Salvia lyrata, is a captivating herbaceous plant that graces the landscapes of North America with its elegant presence. This perennial wildflower belongs to the mint family, Lamiaceae, and is renowned for its ornamental value and ecological significance. It is a plant of subtle beauty, with its lance-shaped leaves characterized by deep green coloration and distinctively serrated edges. These leaves are held on slender, erect stems, which can grow from 1 to 3 feet in height. One of its most distinctive features is its leaves' striking resemblance to the strings of a lyre, from which it derives its common name. They form a basal rosette and are covered in fine, soft hairs that add to the plant's overall charm. Lyreleaf Sage Has Stunning Blooms In the spring and early summer, it produces tall, slender spikes of tubular, two-lipped flowers that vary in color from pale lavender to violet-blue. These blooms are a magnet for pollinators, making them a valuable addition to wildlife-friendly gardens. The nectar-rich flowers are aesthetically pleasing and contribute to the ecological balance by supporting local pollinator populations. Lyreleaf Sage Is very Hardy It is adaptable to various soil types, making it a resilient choice for cultivated gardens and natural landscapes. It thrives in partial to full sun, making it a versatile plant that can find a home in various environments. Its drought tolerance further adds to its appeal, requiring minimal maintenance once established. This native wildflower is not only a visual delight but also plays an essential part in regional ecosystems, providing food and habitat for wildlife while enhancing the overall biodiversity of the region. Its simple yet stunning and alluring appearance and ecological significance make Lyreleaf Sage a captivating option for nature enthusiasts and gardeners, adding enchantment to the natural world.

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