Plants throughout the year

In addition to choosing the right plants for the place, you need to think ahout how the planting scheme will look at different times of the year. In most gardens, the greatest display occurs in high summer, when most of the perennials and annuals are in flower. However, in spring, fall, and winter, you can still choose from a good range of flowers and other attractive plants, front bulbs to climbers to ornamental trees.
It is easy to be seduced by the abundance of color available from spring- and summer-flowering plants, but remember that the garden needs to look good all year. The right planting scheme will ensure that your garden will be a pleasant place to be in every season.


This is the major season (or bulbs (although there are many that flower in summer, and some in I all and winter, too). The new shoots unfurl in delicate shades of apple-green, and the color
palette of the flowers is predominantly pastel, including whites, pale yellows, blues, and pale pinks. In the earliest months of the year, you can enjoy a display of snowdrops (Galanthus), which will naturalize and spread it grown in suitable conditions. Crocuses (Crocus) and daffodils follow, with anemones (Anemone), hyacinths (I Iyacinthus), grape hyacinths (Muscari), and tulips in swift succession. Flowering shrubs include winter jasmine (Jasminum nudiflorum), ideal I in-growing against a wall, with slender, bright green stems and starry yellow (lowers; the little (lowering quince {Chaenomeles): scented daphnes such as Daphne bholua; bright yellow forsythia (the arching, more delicate F suspensa is more attractive than the more commonly grown F. x intermedia); viburnums (several, such as V. x burkwoodii, are deliciously scented); and flowering currants like liibes sanguineum Tydeman’s White. A small (lowering tree, like the ornamental cherry (Primus), will complete the picture.

Early and midsummer

The color palette warms up as summer progresses, starting off with pinks, blues, apricots, and yellows, then moving toward hot reds, oranges, shocking pinks, and purples in the hottest months. In gardens with a large expanse of grass, keep the color palette subdued: too many strong reds and greens can be jarring. I low ever, in city gardens or those with paved surfaces, big pots of hot-colored perennials and annuals look terrific.
For sober colors, perennials such as bleeding hearts (Dicentra), Solomon’s seal (Polygonatum), columbines, lupines, marguerites, and delphiniums (Delphinium) look particularly good. At the hotter end of the spectrum, geraniums {Pelargonium), mulleins, lobelias {Lobelia), and hot zinnias (Zinnia) are ideal for the front of the border or small containers.
This is the best time of year for many climbers, including a great range of roses and clematis— both the hybrids with large I lowers and the more delicate Clematis macropetala cultivars.
Later summer and early fall As the days shorten, plants that prefer a shorter day length take center stage. Among them are chrysanthemums, dahlias, and asters in a truly magnificent range ol colors. Some of the clematis, such as the yellow-{lowered C. tangulica, flower in autumn. Main plants I lowered in early summer, particularly modern roses, will have a “remontant” phase at this time of year, producing a smaller Hush of blooms. As the fruits start to swell, the garden takes on a more mellow hue. Rose hips, mountain ash, and pyracantha berries add to the visual and actual feast in the garden. It is always worth growing some berrying plants in order to feed the local bird population.


Once the frosts begin, most of the soft foliage will die down and the garden takes on a different character, the forms and shapes of trees and shrubs becoming more prominent. This is when the evergreen plants comes into their own. A few neatly clipped box or privet bushes, a mahonia with its glossy leaves and wdnorls of bright yellow flowers, the neat, dark leaves of Skimmia japonica with its white, pink or red Iragrant flowcrheads, and the scented flowers of witch hazel (Hamamelis mollis) all help to give the garden interest in winter. At ground level, the little Algerian iris (I unguicularis) and the Christmas rose (Helleborus niger) are among the few winter-flowering plants.

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