backyard path with flowering shrubs, annuals, perennials and ornamental trees
Photo: Webb Chappell
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2. Plants with Four-Season Interest

A well-chosen mix of annuals, perennials, flowering shrubs, and ornamental trees provide year-round color.

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.
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