Planning for a Summer Wedding Landscape

This summer there will be another wedding in the family. My wife's brother will be getting married to his longtime girlfriend on July 12th. What does this have to do with gardening? The ceremony is going to be help at my in-laws house in their backyard and I will need to help plan the landscaping for the area surrounding the ceremony. There is a lot of work ahead! The colors they have in mind are green, yellow, and white. After the wedding the plants will need to be easily adaptable to the surrounding landscape. We are in the initial stages of planning right now and I'm thinking about what kinds of vegetation to plant. I'm considering various shrubs, perennials, and ornamental grasses. Later we'll think about annuals for the instant color. Everything that flowers will need to be a repeat bloomer or flower in mid-July.

We are also contemplating a hardscaped area that will eventually become a small patio. The ceremony will take place on the stone patio that will be positioned beneath the three big trees in the picture below. The plan for the hardscape will be to add soil to the area then lay the stone on top of the soil and plant ground cover in between the cracks of the stones. I don't want to dig around the tree roots for two reasons. One I could hurt the tree and two the tree could hurt me, or at least my back! By laying the stone on the soil we will allow for drainage for the trees and won't disturb any roots and it will save me some aches and pains.

We may use some pots and planters here and there but most of the plants will need to go into the ground. The ground in this area of Tennessee is very full of rocks and clay and digging down may not be the best option. Berms may be necessary.

Do you have any suggestions for shrubs and perennials? Good foliage color and good timing for blooming is important. I'll think about the annuals later! (July 12th is the target date and the colors are green, yellow, and white.)

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