I adore spring gardens, itís wonderful that many
gardeners have moved past the idea of putting all their
time, space and money into a single season. I suppose it
was only natural to start with, since spring-flowering
trees, shrubs and perennials grow so beautifully.
the wealth of new plants that hit the marketplace over
the past decade or so broadened everyoneís view of
their landscapes. Instead of planting for spring, we now
plant for the entire year with the goal of having
something beautiful going on all the time.
is most evident in perennial flowerbeds, where there are
so many great choices you have no reason not to have
something lovely from the chill of winter through the
heat of summer and into the gorgeous days of autumn.
perennials will be the backbone of your beds because
they present a long season of bloom.
accomplish this, the first thing to do is decide on the
backbone plants for each season. Think of them as
are reliable, long-blooming perennials and bulbs that
give much reward for the space they occupy. For example,
there are Lenten roses for winter in some parts;
daffodils for spring; black-eyed Susans, day lilies or
Shasta daisies for summer; and chrysanthemums for
autumn. With these anchor plants in place, you can add
to them seasonally with more perennials and bulbs that
you think beautiful, and which appeal to your color
sense and add texture and contrast.
donít think you have to follow a strictly even
division; itís more important that every season be
think about secondary plants, such as columbine, irises
and peonies for spring; hardy geraniums, garden phlox
and coneflowers for summer; and anemones and asters for
late summer into autumn. Many more options are in garden
thrill of this is in making the choices, and once you
start it is hard to quit as you discover more and more
the color of flowers is personal and probably one of the
first things you think about in choosing, donít
overlook the value of green.
comes in many shades from pale yellow-green to silvery,
bluish green and even very dark hues. All contribute to
the overall beauty and serenity of a flower bed.
Heuchera, or coral bells, is a real winner in this
category because it is offered in such a huge range of
colors, including even bronze, gold and purple. Do not
overlook this possibility, particularly as the foliage
of many perennials looks good well beyond the bloom
a flower bed is not in the hottest exposure with summer
afternoon sun, the choices of foliage plants expands to
include beautiful hardy ferns, which are a real asset to
a garden because they are essentially trouble-free,
long-lived and very fresh and beautiful.
My camellias bloomed beautifully this winter and spring,
but it seems the flower season is over. I want to do a
little trimming and shaping. Is that OK now?
Yes. Your plant is probably showing new growth already.
Try not to take off too much of that. But a little
thinning and shaping should be fine. It was a splendid