Color and texture in the planting scheme is what really makes a garden stand out. I love to bring in the light and dark colored shrubs, setting them close to one another so that they are mutually complimenting. The same with texture: shrubs have a wide range of colors - from lemon yellow to deep purple and many varieties are available with “variegation” - multiple colors throughout the one plant. When you want your garden to look beautiful, colorful and alive throughout the seasons, then the bulk of the color should come from the shrubs - the perennial flowers can be added, popping out when they are in bloom. If you fill your garden with flower color, during the fall and winter when they’ve gone dormant, your yard will look dull and dead. Again, think: balance.
For bright yellow color try Coleonema “Sunset Gold” or Chamaecyparis “Mops” or even Juniper “Old Gold.” These plants are not deciduous and in the winter when it’s foggy and gloomy they will light up the landscape! The Phormiums or “flax” come in a variety of colors and unlike ornamental grasses, they do not go dormant and turn straw-colored. Loropetalum or “Chinese Fringe Flower” is ever-plum color. Try putting that next to silver Artemesia “Powis Castle,” Santolina or Convolvulous. You’ll find that when you use shrubbery to bring in the bulk of color into your landscape the maintenance is very low. The flower colors will come and go, and when they bloom they will be a delight but when they’re done the landscape will still look complete.