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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 Milkweed - TN Nursery

Butterfly Milkweed

Butterfly Milkweed plants are known for vibrant orange flowers, attracting monarchs, and significant ecological benefits, making them 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 Milkweed Has Vibrant Fire Orange Blooms The butterfly milkweed instantly captivates with its vibrant hues and delicate beauty. Also known as Asclepias tuberosa, this wildflower can be found in various prairies and grasslands throughout the United States and parts of Florida. Are you ready to transform your garden with this stunning flower, sure to become the crown jewel of your collection? Butterfly Milkweed Is Sure To Dazzle The charm of this plant lies in its dazzling array of bright colors. Fiery oranges are punctuated with bursts of sunny yellows that grow in small groups. The blossoms are supported by hearty green stems and thin, pointed leaves that ensure the flowers themselves take center stage. Though it may be in full bloom during spring and summer, this plant continues to enchant with its enduring beauty well through the fall. Because it is a resilient, robust plant, it makes an excellent choice for both seasoned gardeners expanding their collection and new green thumbs embarking on their horticultural journeys. Create Your Butterfly Garden With Butterfly Milkweed Is it any surprise butterflies are part of this wildflower's name? These plants are rich in nectar, which attracts many butterflies to the landscape. You can create your sanctuary with these adorable flowers that invite dozens of fluttering visitors to your lawn. The true beauty of this plant lies in how it harmonizes with the natural world around it. The fluttering friends it attracts go on to pollinate other flowers and support a healthy, happy ecosystem for everyone to enjoy. No matter where they are planted, these flowers create a ripple effect that nourishes the spirit of their beholder and the more fantastic world around them. Plant Butterfly Milkweed alongside others like the purple coneflower, black-eyed susan, and bee balm to enhance your garden's allure for butterflies, hummingbirds, and other pollinators. No matter where it is planted, this beautiful wildflower shimmers like a gem and adds an unmistakable beauty to the landscape. With irresistible colors, unwavering resilience, and a lovely connection to nature, it's no wonder that so many gardeners are instantly charmed by the brilliance of these wildflowers.

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Snow Hill Hydrangea - TN Nursery

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 landscaping is its stunning floral display. The Snow Hill Hydrangea is perfect for people fantasizing about winter wonderlands. With snowball-like blooms, these gorgeous shrubs bring the beauty and magic of them to your garden without the chill of a natural snowfall. What Can I Expect From the Foliage of Snow Hill Hydrangea Formally referred to as arborescens, this deciduous shrub is a compact plant, with most specimens topping around five feet in height. In terms of width, they typically span three feet to five feet. Stems are tan with a velvety texture. The simple leaves are serrated with fine hair. Either rounded or oval, they're broad and measure three inches to six inches across. Most will be at most six inches in length. This native shrub has two-tone leaves in the spring. The tops are deep green, but the undersides are paler green. Of course, these leaves change with the seasons. In the fall, they turn yellow. How Do Snow Hill Hydrangea's Bloom They produce impressive ball-shaped clusters of flowers that measure between eight inches and 12 inches. These clusters are formed by incredibility dense groupings of smaller flowers. Each bloom features four or five petals and measures less than one inch across. They have a lengthy bloom period. It starts in May or June. Flowers will generally remain white until September. Does Snow Hill Hydrangea's Bloom Change Color While many can react to soil changes by changing the color of their flowers, it won't disappoint fans of the winter season. They consistently deliver white or cream flowers at the start of the summer season. It is a deciduous plant, so it does reflect the seasons. If the ball-shaped blooms are allowed to dry in place, they will shift briefly to pink before turning brown. It's a different look, but these dried flowerheads can still add visual interest to a fall garden.  Snow Hill Hydrangeas are striking plants that efficiently fulfill various purposes. They can serve as a focal point or provide concealment. They grow beautifully along slopes and in borders, and they would be happy in rain gardens, shade gardens, and pollinator gardens.

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Lyreleaf Sage - TN Nursery

Lyreleaf Sage

Lyreleaf Sage is a perennial wildflower characterized by its delicate, lyre-shaped leaves and spikes of tubular, purple-to-blue flowers. It is often found in dry, open woodlands and meadows. When thoughtfully integrated into landscaping designs, it presents a range of benefits. 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. Lyreleaf Sage Produces Flowers Annually  Lyreleaf sage, also known as Salvia lyrata, is an herbaceous perennial. This means that its stems usually do not consist of any woodsy parts. It produces flowers annually before losing them every winter and usually lives for over two years.  Also, being described as "sage" means that it is a hardy, vigorous plant that can withstand being walked on much more than is the case for many other types of greenery. It is also known for its ability to resist, especially wet or dry conditions. This plant is the only one with this specific description native to North America. It should not be confused with the nightshade, an East Asian flowering plant. Lyreleaf Sage Has A Long Stem With Blooms This hairy perennial grows a rosette of leaves at its base, and those leaves, which have irregular margins, can extend up to 8 inches. Its stem usually reaches 1-2 feet long, and leaves typically grow higher, although those located there are much simpler. Its leaves are dark green for much of the year, usually changing to dark purple in the winter. Flowering tends to happen more extensively in April, May, and June, although it can occur sporadically throughout the year, with fall commonly being another significant time. These blue or violet flowers reach an inch long and attract butterflies and hummingbirds, while bees are their predominant pollinators. This plant can transition from being a seed to flowering in just a few months. Where Lyreleaf Sage Is Found The natural settings for most of these flowering plants include open areas and along forest edges. It is also commonly found in clearings, meadows, and sand. Many use it in gardens and lawns. Lyreleaf Sage's native area is spread throughout much of the eastern half of the United States, specifically from Connecticut south to Florida and west to Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas.

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