When it comes to garden, you need to take a full year view. It’s no good planning for a perfect summer garden if there is nothing happening the rest of the time. What you want is a good spread of color throughout the year, making use of seasonal interest. Here are our top tips for getting it right.
Remember, green is a color
The leaves on plants will generally appear before they flower and are likely to outlive the flowering stage too. If you’re not careful you could end up with rather a lot of green going on. The solution is to understand the different shades of green that are available and learn to work with them. You can do your research and plan borders out in advance by visiting a website or two. Something like euphorbia polychroma offers a vivid yellowy green colour, whilst something like ballota pseudodictamnus is silvery-green and will go well next to pretty much any shade. Shrubs such as viburnum rhytidophyllum add a dark green richness that provides depth.
Look to fill your borders
Ground cover plants can be used to great effect to fill the spaces in borders with adaptable shapes and bright colours. This kind of plant, for example wild thyme or red stonecrop, can be ideal for trailing over walls, or in rockeries. Some varieties of ground covers prefer shade and these can make a high impact ‘carpet of colour’ beneath trees.
Go for flowers with extended flowering periods
Plants like geranium psilostemon and astrantia major will happily flower from spring to late autumn. Opting for plants with naturally extended flowering seasons will make it easier to maintain a colourful spring/summer/autumn garden that is full of flowers for the longest possible amount of time.
Think about structure and texture
Another way to create an interesting, surprising garden all year round is to be clever in the way you structure your garden. Don’t just think of hard landscaping like patios or pagodas as adding structure – plant design can do this too. The key is to get a good balance between evergreen and perennial shrubs. The perennials will come and go, but your structural planting maintains the sense of rhythm throughout the year. When it comes to summer you can plant flowers in front of and around structural shrubs which offer the perfect backdrop to make the most of vibrant colors.
Get your timings right
If you do your homework in advance, you can time your flowering plants so that you have flowers and colour appearing through all the seasons, starting with winter flowers and then on to spring bulbs, followed by perennials and flowers from shrubs. During the height of summer, you can incorporate some short-flowering, high impact plants. Aim to have a range of flowers that don’t all bloom in one go so you have plenty of crossover. Tubular-shaped flowers, such as foxgloves, snapdragons, and heathers are also great for attracting bees and other insects.
Images- Elle deco
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