Creative and Colorful Gardens to Inspire Your Green Thumb

I asked my readers to share their gardening progress, and they sent me this gorgeous collection of botanical inspiration.

From Florida to Arizona to Canada, these gardeners have created bold and beautiful flower gardens that thrive in their climates.

Find ideas for sun or shade gardens, small spaces, tricky slopes, and even relentless desert heat.

Note: This article contains affiliate links. See my disclosures for details.

Christine’s Balcony Garden

Christine from Cats & Coffee decks out her Florida balcony with vibrant pink and red flowers in a turquoise planter.

She uses a variety of foliage like succulents and snake plants to add interest while keeping the attention on the focal point planter.

And she has a “Cat Crossing” sign. Excellent addition.

Colorful potted plant in balcony garden
Succulent and houseplants in balcony garden
Pink flowers in balcony flower garden

Check out Christine’s blog to see more of her patio decor ideas, and don’t miss her roundup of houseplant care guides to get your garden off to the right start.

Tracy’s Desert Garden

Did you think nothing could grow in Arizona? That’s what I thought until I saw Tracy’s desert garden.

This oasis of sun-loving flowers includes lantana, bougainvillea, ‘Tropicanna’ canna lily and yellow galliardia, AKA blanket flower.

Green foliage in Arizona desert garden
Star flowers growing in backyard desert garden
Cactus in desert garden
Yellow gaillardia blanket flower in Arizona
Bougainvillea growing on trellis along cinder block wall

Rocks fit in with the natural landscape and provide a minimalist backdrop, while fan palms and cacti add greenery.

Fan palm growing in backyard garden
Pink flowers in garden
Yellow flowers and fan palm growing in garden
Pink lantana growing in Arizona
Blooming cactus in desert garden
Tropicanna canna lily in backyard garden

Lauren’s Cactus Garden

Lauren opts for native plants in her Arizona garden, including hardy cacti with vivid blooms.

Cactus blooming with yellow flowers in the garden

Choosing plants native to your region means less work for you, since the plants were born to thrive in your climate.

Did You Know? Arizona averages 110 days a year over 100 degrees, and it broke a record with 145 days over 100 in 2020. Native plants are helpful here.

Carrie’s Memorial Garden

A garden is a lovely place for a special tribute. Carrie created this memorial garden to honor her baby girl, Gloria Joy, who was lost at 17 weeks during pregnancy.

There’s a tricycle and dove tucked between bleeding heart and columbine flowers for Gloria. You can read more about Carrie’s story on her blog, Notefull Living.

Columbine flowers in memorial garden
Bleeding heart flowers in memorial garden
Memorial garden with tricycle

You might also like to see Carrie’s vegetable garden plans at her Fraser Valley home in Canada.

Julie’s Retro Trailer Garden

Julie maximizes the impact of her smaller garden by layering in containers and hanging baskets bursting with color.

She uses bright red geraniums, yellow daisies, blue lobelias and light pink fuchsias, complemented by white mounds of sweet alyssum and bacopa.

These flowers love summertime in Oregon’s Willamette Valley.

Related: Plant a modern hanging basket with this easy formula

H & H’s Woodland Garden

This shady slope in my backyard used to be covered in ivy, but now it’s filled with woodland plants that love getting cozy in the shade.

The hostas come back a little bigger every year. They line the lower end of the slope, next to a happy bunch of ferns.

Hostas and bellflowers in shady woodland garden

Mounds of campanula bellflowers are starting to fill in the middle of the slope. Here in Portland, they stay green year-round and brighten up this spot with purple flowers in late spring.

Along the fence, the rhododendrons provide colorful flowers next to the bee and butterfly house. And at the top of the hill, there’s a black lace elderberry surrounded by hardy hellebores.

Related: Beginner’s guide to attracting garden pollinators

Thank you to all of the H & H readers who shared your garden photos! It was inspirational to see everyone’s creativity with different types of gardens.

Up next, you might also like these articles for more garden inspiration.

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2 thoughts on “Creative and Colorful Gardens to Inspire Your Green Thumb”

  1. Beautiful gardens!! They all look so pretty!
    All of our plants are in containers here in Vegas. (There is so much caliche in the soil here that it’s hard to get anything to grow in the actual “dirt”. ) Our plants all looked gorgeous in March, April and into May but once we hit triple digits they aren’t so happy. There are some still hanging in there…we try! 🙂 I do miss my beautiful huge Hydrangas, Rhodies and Azaleas that I had in Oregon.

    • Containers are a great option for those tricky areas! Your yard is beautiful. 🙂 The hydrangeas are just starting to bloom up here, can’t wait! They are my favorite.


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