I have a 75-foot-long yard with a turquoise-coloured pool backed by a narrow planting bed. I want to create a beautiful backdrop to the pool, but dark colours like purple disappear and bright yellow doesn?t fit with the pool colour. Any suggestions?

?Myroslava Dubyk, Toronto

For my money, the most eye-catching plant would be a variegated dogwood, Cornus controversa ?Variegata?, sometimes called the wedding-cake tree for its tiered form and pale cream-edged leaves. It will grow slowly to 25 feet and is so striking you?ll see it at a distance. Surround it with lower shrubby dogwoods that have bright bark for winter interest, but don?t crowd it.

?Marjorie Harris, Editor at Large