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Balloon flower

Balloon flower (Platycodon) is an especially easy-to-grow plant that prefers full sun to part shade and organically-rich, well-drained soil. Choose cultivars with blossoms of blue, white, purple, or pink, in single- or double-petal varieties. Silvery-green stems may exceed 2 feet in height, bearing balloon-like buds that open into starry blossoms in July and August.

Balloon flower functions as a focal point, and interplanting it among other flora creates a pleasant repetition that draws the eye through a landscape. In addition, blue brings out the best in other colors, making them seem to pop just a little bit more. I like to place blue balloon flower beside red bee balm and white Montauk daisy for a patriotic July display.

White-petaled varieties also perform an essential function. If you have an existing garden that contains a wide variety of colors, interplanting with white helps to unite and enhance such an eclectic mix.

Sow seeds or rootstock in early spring in zones 3 to 8. If desired, deadhead to extend the bloom season. Undulating borders contain beautiful blooms in these flower garden ideas. Mulch is an essential; it keeps weeds down and conserves moisture. Here, it also provides a tidy element between plants.

Use geometry to contrast or complement; here, the flowerbed’s curving borders repeat in the gentle edging of lawn. 

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