Plants with four-season interest



Most gardens are loaded with blossoms in spring and early summer, which is when the majority of flowering perennials, shrubs, and trees bloom. With a little careful planning, though, there can be something in a garden to delight the senses at every time of the year. In this landscape, spring-flowering daffodils, tulips, forsythia, azaleas, lilacs, rhododendrons, and dogwoods give way to summer-flowering poppies, peonies, daylilies, iris, catmint, astilbe, and hydrangeas. Shade-loving hostas and golden hakone grass brighten beds with their foliage. Annual petunias and impatiens maintain their color till fall, when Japanese maples go fiery red and birch leaves turn golden. These trees' ornamental bark also adds interest throughout the winter, as do the red fruits of the hawthorn tree and the enduring form and color of the conifers, which range from towering blue spruces to long-needled white pines.



To achieve a similar succession of bloom and continuing interest in your yard, whatever its size, keep a record of what flowers when to figure out what holes in the calendar you need to fill. Then do some research in books or catalogs and at local nurseries to learn about plants that have ornamental value during those times of the year.

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