Copy the Look: 5 Gorgeous Year-Round Garden Ideas

Find inspiring ideas to create a dreamy, productive garden for every season of the year.

Photo By: Star Roses and Plants

Photo By: Drift Roses

Photo By: Ball Horticultural Co/The Gardens At Ball

Photo By: Bailey Nurseries, Inc.

Photo By: Star Roses and Plants

Photo By: Bailey Nurseries, Inc.

Photo By: Ball Horticultural Co/The Gardens at Ball

Photo By: First Editions/Bailey Nurseries, inc.

Photo By: Ball Horticultural Co/The Gardens at Ball

Photo By: Bailey Nurseries, Inc.

Inspiration for a Sunny Garden

Plants of different heights cover this sunny slope. In the summer, a manicured lawn sets off Peach Drift roses backed by taller Bluestars (Amsonia tabernaemontana). In autumn, the green Bluestar leaves turn brilliant yellow and contrast beautifully with a purplish-red Japanese maple and a smoke tree (Cotinus coggygria). In winter, the garden depends on boxwood Buxus 'Little Missy' and a golden-green cypress (Chamaecyparis) for structure and interest, until fragrant lilacs begin to bloom in spring.

Featured Plants for a Sunny Garden: Drift Roses

In a sunny garden, low-growing Drift roses can be used as groundcovers or to help control erosion on slopes. Disease-resistant and practically carefree, they're winter hardy in Zones 4-11. Plant them in masses or pair them with annuals, bulbs and perennials. The roses bloom heavily from spring until the first hard frost and come in nine colors, including Apricot Drift, Lemon Drift, Pink Drift and Red Drift.

Inspiration for a Woodland Garden

A path invites visitors to explore a woodland garden. Add spring color to shady areas with a flowering crabapple; the one shown here is planted in an open, sunny spot. You can also grow shade-loving hostas in greens, blues and creamy yellows, and use impatiens for summertime pops of white, coral, pink and lavender. Tall ostrich ferns and big rodgersias tolerate shade and offer interesting textures. By late summer, Soloman's seal produces blue-black berries, and in the fall, its leaves turn gold. For winter interest, let the plume-like flowers of astilbes, which emerge in summer, dry on the plants.

Featured Plant for a Woodland Garden: Flowering Crabapple

You can find crabapples with white, pink or rosy-red flowers. 'Adams' is a disease-resistant, sun-loving variety that's hardy in Zones 4-8. In spring, its green leaves emerge with a reddish tint, and by fall, they turn a lovely orange-red. Watch for glossy, carmine-red fruits to form. They'll attract birds and other wildlife to your garden and often remain on the tree into winter.

Inspiration for Gardening With Containers

This garden gets its spring color from a redbud tree. Salmon-colored 'Tahitian Treasure' roses open next. They're followed by 'Sapphire Indigo' clematis (in this image, it's weaving between other plants) and the pink spires of 'Moody Blues' Veronica. Clumps of lavender-blue Nepeta also appear. By fall, the foliage of a Hydrangea paniculata turns yellow against a crimson 'Red Torch' Berberis. When it's time to replace fading plants, new containers give the garden a boost. For fall and winter interest, fill them with ornamental grasses, flowering cabbages and kales or dwarf evergreens.

Featured Plant for a Container Garden: Nepeta

Nepeta, or catmint, is a perennial that thrives in full sun and average soils, and its airy, bright blooms offer a lot of bang for your garden buck. 'Junior Walker' flowers almost all season long and tolerates periods of drought. Because it tops out at 14-16" tall, it's a great replacement for worn-out container plants. It's recommended for Zones 5-9. 'Walker's Low', shown here, has dark, lavender-blue flowers and matures at 18-24" tall. It's winter hardy in Zones 3-8.

Inspiration for a Shady Garden

Shaded gardens can be tricky to design since most colorful plants need sun. If you have dappled or part shade, welcome spring with bulbs that bloom before the tree canopy fills out. Other shade-tolerant plants include pansies and variegated hostas. The hostas will stay colorful throughout the growing season, although pansies usually fade as the temperatures rise. Once again, impatiens can step in to provide summer color. Plant fresh pansies, which are not expensive, when the cooler weather returns, and keep your fall and winter garden showy with evergreens and ninebark shrubs.

Featured Plant for a Shady Garden: Ninebark

Deer-resistant 'Amber Jubilee' ninebark is handsome in every season. White flower clusters open in spring and form reddish fruits in fall. This shrub's orange, yellow and gold foliage also turns reddish-purple in fall, (the leaves on old stems stay green all summer). When the leaves drop, they reveal strips of attractive, peeling bark that offer winter interest. Recommended for Zones 2-7, ninebarks dislike hot, humid summers.

Inspiration for a Wildlife Garden

A garden that attracts butterflies, bees and other wildlife is beautiful and helps support pollinators. Spring-flowering trees like 'Carolina Silverbell' (Halisia carolina) provide early nectar for bees. Masses of white and bluish Cupflowers (Nieremberia) add color and red begonias lure hummingbirds. But these plants don't offer much food for wildlife. Instead, supplement them with hummingbird feeders and a muddy puddle for butterflies. For interest that lasts into fall, plant ornamental peppers for their colorful (but non-edible) fruits. Use evergreens and weeping white pines (Pinus strobus 'Pendula') to offer shelter to birds. They'll stay green all winter and give structure to your design.

Featured Plant for a Wildlife Garden: Shasta Daisy

Shasta daisies are easy-to-grow, butterfly-friendly perennials that take full sun to light shade. 'Becky' has snowy-white petals and yellow centers, and it's hardy in Zones 4-9. Snip the stems for long-lasting cut flowers or grow the plants in beds, borders or large containers (the daises can reach 3-4' tall, so be sure your container won't tip over). Try zinnias and Russian sage as companion plants; both also attract butterflies.

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