March 28, 2013
With the summer starting to heat up and all of the flowers bursting open, it is possible to think of summer as the most colorful month in the garden; and it very well could be, but the other seasons also put on quite a show of color. When looking to design a garden, it is important to think about how a each plant selection will act in the various seasons and this will help you plan for the succession of color though out the year. If you are able to start with a base of trees, shrubs and perennials that will be colorful at various times of the year, it is easy to pop in additional color with spring bulbs and summer annuals.
The actual color that you work into your garden is pretty much up to your personal preference. Weather you prefer a wide mix of colors, or to keep it simple with only one or two colors, it is best to spread the colors and textures out though the garden to draw your eye around to the different areas.
The spring time begins with the Witchhazel blooming clusters of stringy yellow flower. Once they begin to bloom, it is not long before the bulbs begin to pop open and the Flower Almond, Azaleas, Fothergilla and Lilacs begin to bloom. To fill in larger areas, pansies as well as flower bulbs such as daffodils, tulips and crocus can add an extra burst of color to an area.
Summer truly might be the most colorful season because not only are our perennials and shrubs flowering, but we have the opportunity to incorporate in many annual flowers that won’t grow on a year round basis in our climate. There are literarily thousands of different tropical and annual flowers readily available on the market and can easily be placed in any sort of situation in a garden. You can easily find plant that will work from full sun to full shade. If you don’t have room in the ground, annuals work great in containers to set around a patio or a front entry.
In out part of the world, we are given such an amazing display of fall colors on the trees that people in other regions don’t get to experience. I always loved that commercial that played on TV a few years back where the trees were like fireworks exploding with color. The trees and shrubs in the fall can truly put on a show and the fall color of a tree can be considered when picking a plant for your yard. Mums, Kale and Cabbage are also great ways to add color to the fall landscape.
Our winters can be so long and boring, but there are many plants that add color to the long wither months. Evergreen plants like Holly, Yews and Boxwood are some of the obvious choices that can be used for green in the garden, but there are a variety of Chamaecyparis that add a whimsical touch to the garden. There are also Rhododendrons and a few types of Viburnumns that will hold their leaves though out the winter. To add in other accents of color, I look to twig and berry colors. Kerri has a bright green stem that sticks out and Red Twig Dogwood can be described as it sounds with bright red branches. Berries come in a variety of colors from the Red or Yellow Winterberry to Bayberry with a bluish berry to Beauty Berry that has a shining Purple berry to add a bit of interest.
Even though we often run to the garden center to by annuals to add to the garden, there are many other options we can consider to add year round color to the garden.
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