Plan to Plant a Garden for All Seasons – by Adam Haynes
If you’re like me, you look forward to the change of seasons here in Jacksonville.
When it comes to “seasons” in our home gardens, most of us simply highlight seasonal colors and textures in Spring and Summer only. However, a garden that keeps our attention and excites interest throughout the year is also possible. It just takes planning to provide interest all year round, even in the dead of winter.
As we head into the autumn, we’re starting to see elements that can help create a stunning autumn landscape. Some would say this is the most brilliant season of the year with its array of fiery reds, oranges and yellows. To maximize the use of these fall colors, I like to create mixed garden borders for contrast of texture and color. Along with changing foliage, decorative, ripening fruits and berries can be planted to create a stunning display this time of year.
As fall gives way to winter, a well-designed garden will rely less on color and more on form and structure to give it visual appeal. Evergreens become more dominant in the landscape while deciduous trees and shrubs add structure. In addition to evergreens, trees and shrubs with colorful barks that flake and peel can reveal patterns along trunks and stems. Berries can also add winter interest, and can attract birds. Other features I find interesting in a four-season garden are ornamental grasses, which remain upright through winter.
A well-planned landscape can enrich your surroundings with eye-catching flowers from ground covers to tree crowns. I’ve found that succession planting can help ensure there is something in bloom from Spring through Fall.
When Spring arrives, newly-emerging foliage marks the transition out of winter. Shrubs, which make-up the filler plants of your landscape, create mass and structure as they bloom in the spring. And let’s not forget all the fragrant Summer flowers and foliage that brighten the ever-changing landscape of a four-season garden. .
Before getting started, you’ll want to consider both the outdoor space you’ll be working with, and the style of your home. Most likely, you’ll want to plan your four-season garden so it creates interest whether it’s viewed from inside or out. Here in Jacksonville and the Rogue Valley, we have so many options for planting a stunning garden with four-season interest, it can be a bit overwhelming to think through all the possibilities. So remember, all gardens are a work in progress, and there’s a time for every season.
Adam Haynes is the owner of Artisan Landscapes and may be reached at 541-292-3285 and www.artisanlandscapes.com