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.


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.


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.


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.


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. 

Keep Reading

Next Up

Gardening on an Exposed Site

Gardens at high elevations and on exposed sites can be challenging to keep hydrated. Choosing the right plants and protecting from wind damage is essential.

England's Kings Were Gardening Fiends

Few can craft a topiary or fashion a yew maze with the zest and perfection of the British royals.

Gardening Style Ideas

Discover a planting theme that suits your unique design flair.

What's My Garden Exposure?

Knowing which direction your garden faces and how much sun and shade it gets each day will help you better plan your garden design.

America's First Gardens

Celebrate Independence Day by learning what the Founding Fathers (and mothers) grew in their gardens.

Making a Garden Plan

Accentuate your landscape with a bed or border. Choosing the right plants, using color for effect and contrasting flower shapes are essential for proper garden planning.

Starting a Garden Makeover

Whether you've just moved into a new home or have neglected your existing garden, here are steps to get your outdoor space in top shape.

The Best Garden for Your Lifestyle

Use this guide to determine which type of garden might suit you and your lifestyle best.

Preparing a New Garden Plot

It's true: time spent upfront reduces the time you'll spend later weeding and maintaining. Follow these steps to prepare your garden plot properly.

Garden Exposure: Choosing the Right Site for Your Plants

Learn more about how exposure and temperature will affect your plant choices with these tips.


Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.