Year-Round Gardening Ideas

Plant ideas for all seasons vary in colors, shapes and design influences. Lean on these simple tips when planning for your outdoor area.
Eye Catching Display of Colorful Spring Bulbs

Eye Catching Display of Colorful Spring Bulbs

Colorful spring bulbs, such as tulips, mixed with ornamental grasses and violas, helps to create a dazzling spring display in containers and garden borders.

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Watching the way a garden changes its character with the seasons is part of the joy of gardening. To get the most from your garden, it should be designed and planted to provide interest for every day of the year. Each season has its own distinctive feel and appearance, and a well-designed garden will include plants that reflect this.

Spring

As the days lengthen, the garden quickly wakes from its winter rest. Bulbs, such as daffodils and crocuses, produce showy flowers, while other herbaceous plants begin to emerge from the ground, and deciduous shrubs and trees produce fresh, verdant growth.

Summer

For many gardeners, this season represents the high point of the year. Most herbaceous plants reach their zenith, filling out borders and blooming for several months, while annuals flower and set seed. Leafy trees and shrubs provide structure, and tender plants flourish in the mild summer months.

Fall

This is arguably the most colorful and plentiful season. Late-flowering plants, such as asters and dahlias, blaze in borders, while many trees and shrubs produce vivid berries and fruits. The leaves of many deciduous plants also brighten up the garden with rich hues before falling. In the moist and still warm conditions, some bulbs, such as Colchicum, provide a welcome freshness.

Winter

Once all the leaves have fallen, the shape and structure of the garden and its plants can be properly appreciated. This is a season of quiet, subtle beauty. Trees and shrubs, such as silver birch (Betula pendula) and Cornus with its red-colored stems, and evergreen plants, as well as the faded seedheads of herbaceous plants, provide interest. A few plants also produce delicate, often sweetly scented flowers. As cold weather sets in, frost and snow dust the plants, creating a magical feel. 

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