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Designing a garden for year-round flowers

Designing a garden for year-round flowers


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Plants of different heights cover this sunny slope. In the summer, a manicured lawn sets off Peach Drift roses backed by taller Bluestars Amsonia tabernaemontana. In autumn, the green Bluestar leaves turn brilliant yellow and contrast beautifully with a purplish-red Japanese maple and a smoke tree Cotinus coggygria. In winter, the garden depends on boxwood Buxus 'Little Missy' and a golden-green cypress Chamaecyparis for structure and interest, until fragrant lilacs begin to bloom in spring. In a sunny garden, low-growing Drift roses can be used as groundcovers or to help control erosion on slopes. Disease-resistant and practically carefree, they're winter hardy in Zones

Content:
  • Gardening All Year Round: What to Plant in Winter
  • Charming Cottage Gardens
  • Exploring Elements of Garden Design : Plant Size
  • Wildlife garden ideas & planning your design
  • 30 of the most popular garden design styles
  • Best gardening catalogs
  • In the Garden Blog
  • Top 10 perennial plants
  • 17 Temperate Flowering Perennials That Will Grow Almost Anywhere
  • 25 Top Easy-Care Plants for Midwest Gardens
WATCH RELATED VIDEO: Flower Garden Plans I Flower Garden Plans And Designs

Gardening All Year Round: What to Plant in Winter

The California Flora is vast and offers myriad choices, making it fun and easy to establish year-round color. Next, you can mix and match plants that will thrive in those conditions.

Leave spent inflorescences to dry on the plants. They add sculptural accents and provide seed for birds and other critters. The big payoff: A year-round display of flowering and fruiting natives attracts and supports songbirds, hummingbirds, butterflies, bees, and other welcome wildlife, enhancing your outdoor experience and boosting pollination. You can also visit Calscape.

California fuchsia Epilobium — Tough subshrubs and perennials with vivid red or orange or occasionally white or pink flowers and silver, gray or green leaves. Good choice for slopes and sun-drenched gardens. Flowers are the most important food source for hummingbirds in late summer and fall. More ideas: Coyote brush Baccharis , monkey flower Diplacus , coyote mint Monardella , California goldenrod Solidago californica. Manzanita, Arctostaphylos — California shrubs and groundcovers with legendary red bark and small, nodding, white to pink blossoms followed by showy red-tinged fruit.

Hummingbirds depend on the winter blooms. Some manzanitas start flowering in late autumn; others in winter or early spring. Plant more than one species or cultivar for a long season of color. More ideas: Barberry Berberis , coast silk-tassel Garrya elliptica , Baja birdbush Ornithostaphylos oppositifolia , currant and gooseberry Ribes , lemonade berry Rhus integrifolia , and sugar bush Rhus ovata. California lilac Ceanothus — Fast-growing shrubs and ground covers with handsome foliage and clusters of small, honey-scented flowers in virtually every shade of blue or sometimes white.

Some species and cultivars flower earlier than others; plant more than one for color from late winter into spring. Very popular with bees and butterflies. More ideas: Common yarrow Achillea millefolium , purple three awn Aristida purpurea , western columbine Aquilegia formosa , western redbud Cercis occidentalis , monkey flower Diplacus , flannel bush Fremontodendron , iris Iris , alum root or coral bells Heuchera , lupine Lupinus , penstemon Penstemon , matilija poppy Romneya , sage Salvia , plus native bulbs and annual spring wild flowers.

Buckwheat Eriogonum — A large, diverse genus with varied forms and ornamental foliage that ranges from bright green to olive to silvery white. Tight clusters of white, pink, red or yellow blossoms open late spring through summer, and then fade to shades of rust, brown and black.

Attractive year round and sure to attract insects and other pollinators. Consider these flamboyant long-flowering beauties: Indian mallow Abutilon palmeri , fairyduster Calliandra , bush poppy Dendromecon , coast sunflower Encelia californica , seaside daisy Erigeron , bush snapdragon Gambelia , tree mallow Lavatera , bladderpod Peritoma arborea , apricot mallow Sphaeralcea ambigua , blue witch Solanum , woolly blue curls Trichostema lanatum , and lilac verbena Verbena lilacina.

Take advantage of these year-round foliar hues, both in contrast with each other and as lasting background to changing floral displays. Consider these natives that sport foliage in colors other than green.These shrubs and trees are admired for their interesting bark : California buckeye Aesculus californica , manzanita Arctostaphylos , red-twig or creek dogwood Cornus sericea , Santa Cruz Island Ironwood Lyonothamnus floribundus ssp.

Lili Singer is a horticulturist, educator and writer. These are great pics for a colorful garden! I would also add to that list roses and azaleas since they bloom throughout the year as well! Two important things to remember: Flowering times may vary slightly from year to year, depending on the weather, and often cross more than one season.

Foliage, bark, fruit, and seed also add color. Integrate their dramatic shades into your design and your expectations. California buckwheat, Eriogonum fasciculatum var. More great sources of color Island Bush Poppy Dendromecon harfordii Photo: Ken Gilliland Repeat bloomers Consider these flamboyant long-flowering beauties: Indian mallow Abutilon palmeri , fairyduster Calliandra , bush poppy Dendromecon , coast sunflower Encelia californica , seaside daisy Erigeron , bush snapdragon Gambelia , tree mallow Lavatera , bladderpod Peritoma arborea , apricot mallow Sphaeralcea ambigua , blue witch Solanum , woolly blue curls Trichostema lanatum , and lilac verbena Verbena lilacina.

Western sycamore Platanus racemosa Photo: Keir Morse Bark and fall foliage These shrubs and trees are admired for their interesting bark : California buckeye Aesculus californica , manzanita Arctostaphylos , red-twig or creek dogwood Cornus sericea , Santa Cruz Island Ironwood Lyonothamnus floribundus ssp. Golden Currant Ribes aureum var.

Fall: California buckeye Aesculus californica , walnut Juglans , California wild rose Rosa californica , and seedheads especially grasses and buckwheats. Winter: Toyon Heteromeles arbutifolia , and snowberry Symphoricarpos. Spring: Manzanita Arctostaphylos , barberry Berberis , currant and gooseberry Ribes , fescue Festuca , strawberry Fragaria , and seedheads esp.

Summer: Mountain mahogany Cercocarpus betuloides , coffeeberry Frangula , cherry Prunus , oak Quercus , redberry Rhamnus crocea , Mexican elderberry Sambucus nigra ssp. Flora Magazine , Gardening. It would be helpful to add what plants thrive in full sun and what prefer shade.


Charming Cottage Gardens

Create multi-season interest with this dynamic design focused on foliage. Focusing on foliage is a surefire way to produce multi-season interest in your yard. While many gardens are all about flowers, this design for a mixed border emphasizes foliage plants of varying heights and textures, and throws a few flowers in for bonus splashes of color. The plants in this year-round excitement garden plan feature contrasting shapes, such as big leaves next to strappy ones and upright plants alongside weeping forms to give this bed a dynamic feel. Evergreen shrubs and trees provide year-round color and create a backdrop for plants with multi-hued foliage.

Looking for a hydrangea-filled flower border that will look great year-round? Try our four-season garden border plan. Includes a plant list and how-to tips!

Exploring Elements of Garden Design : Plant Size

Become a better gardener! Discover our new Almanac Garden Planner features forImagine a gorgeous flower garden drenched with color from early spring to the first frost of autumn. A daydream, you say? Not anymore! This flower garden design fills the wish list of amateur and expert gardeners alike with …. Once your three-season plot is planted, be patient. Perennials reach their full size and beauty by the second season.

Wildlife garden ideas & planning your design

The garden designer, like the artist, has a toolbox of techniques and elements they use to create a beautiful scene. Next to flower color, gardeners at all skill levels often focus on plant size as a factor when selecting plants and designing gardens. This focus on plant size is natural—size is an easily quantified characteristic, can be readily visualized, and represents a simple mechanism for plant classification. Plant height can also be used by gardeners to arrange plants to either avoid or take advantage of the effects of shading by taller plants.

When it comes to starting a wildlife garden project, most gardeners tend to focus on the spring and summer months, when wildlife is very active.

30 of the most popular garden design styles

If you love making fresh flower arrangements, planting a cutting garden is the best way to ensure you always have lots of beautiful, homegrown flowers, ready for picking. But the purpose of a cutting garden is different. For a backyard cutting garden, there are three things you want to think about: maximizing production, minimizing maintenance, and growing flowers that will look great together in a vase. Keep in mind that most plants have a specific bloom time, meaning they will not flower continuously.Spring bulbs, for example, bloom early and then fade away until next year. Some perennials, such as Shasta daisies, delphinium and coreopsis, will re-bloom if they are cut back after flowering.

Best gardening catalogs

Perennials come back to your garden year after year, bringing reliable color and form to your landscape. Make a plan. Before you buy a single plant, put your ideas on paper or in garden-planning software. Measure your plot. Draw in permanent structures like fences, porches or pools. Draw in plants at their mature size. Match your garden style with your architectural style. Wavy-edged beds and an informal mix of perennial garden plants work best with a one-level cottage, a ranch house or a bungalow.

best summer flowers to plant in your garden This full-sun perennial grows to 2 to 5 feet high with blooms in crimson, pink, and white.

In the Garden Blog

They reached out to me for help to design their Ideal Garden. This Inspiration Board shows some of the plants I used to create all-season color in this Cupertino garden. They also wanted to enlarge their existing back patio for more space to entertain and create an area where they could grow their own fruits, vegetables, and herbs.

Top 10 perennial plants

RELATED VIDEO: Low Maintenance Perennial Garden

But it also can be overwhelming if you don't know where to start. Keep in mind that proper planning is more than just seeing a pretty-looking flower and planting it anywhere that it fits. Landscape design is both a science and an art form. Wondering what perennial plants look good together?

Plants are classed according to their growth cycle as annuals, biennials or perennials.

17 Temperate Flowering Perennials That Will Grow Almost Anywhere

Our exclusive planting plans and plant combinations make growing a great-looking garden easy. Browse planting plans for front yards, backyards and everything in between. Find gardens that look great in spring, summer, fall and winter and plants that you can grow in sun or shade. Looking for a hydrangea-filled flower border that will look great year-round? Try our four-season garden border plan. Includes a plant list and how-to tips! Help your garden make a great first impression.

25 Top Easy-Care Plants for Midwest Gardens

For most gardeners, deciding where to put the plants is the most exciting and, at the same time, most worrisome part of perennial gardening. It's exciting because you have the potential to create a masterpiece. It's worrisome because there's generally some doubt that goes along with the decision process. The truth is, perennials are a very forgiving group of plants.


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