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Create a Garden that Blooms All Season Long

Spring is an intoxicating time for people who love to garden. All that gardeners want to do is make repeat trips to the gardening store, bring the plants home and plant them. Forget cooking and answering the phone!

Ah, but don’t let your spring gardening frenzy make you fall prey to the temptation to buy only plants that are in bloom. If you do, your plants will bloom in spring, maybe some in early summer, then your garden will be done for the season--when there’s still two months of warm weather left!

What you want to do is plan your garden so that some plants are blooming in spring, some are blooming in summer, and some are blooming in fall. Not only does that give you new splashes of color in new places throughout the warmer months, but it gives you something to look forward to.

Here’s just a taste of some perennial flowers that bloom in different seasons:

Spring

  • Lily of the valley
  • Forget-me-nots
  • All bulb plants, such as hyacinths, daffodils, crocuses, tulips, irises, gladiolus, cyclamen, allium, amaryllis, dahlia
  • Daisies. Some varieties of daisies might bloom in early summer.
  • Virginia bluebells
  • Phlox

Summer

  • Coneflowers, including purple, white and green
  • Black-eyed Susans
  • Lilies, including daylilies and Asian lilies
  • Butterfly bush
  • Hydrangea
  • Hosta
  • Yarrow
  • Milkweed
  • Coreopsis, including moonbeam coreopsis and tall coreopsis. Moonbeam coreopsis will often bloom in late spring, and it has a long bloom time.
  • Tall bellflower
  • Joe Pye weed
  • Sunflower
  • Blue lobelia
  • Red-hot poker
  • Astilbe
  • Foamflower

Fall

  • Mums
  • Asters
  • All the annuals that the garden store is trying to get rid of either dirt cheap or free! They won’t last long, but you’ll have fun planting them and enjoying a final splash of color.

Some summer plants bloom in early summer, others in late summer. Summer officially spans from the solstice on June 21 through the autumnal equinox on September 21. And some plants have a longer bloom time than others. This overlapping bloom time will make for a beautiful garden. Here’s a snapshot of summer bloom times for a few perennial flowers that will help you with even more detailed bloom time planning:

  • Yarrow: July-August
  • Milkweed: June-August
  • Tall bellflower: July-October
  • Moonbeam coreopsis: May-August
  • Tall coreopsis: July-September
  • Purple coneflower: June-July
  • Joe pye weed: July-September
  • Sunflower: July-September
  • Blue lobelia: July-September
  • Black-eyed Susan: June-October

You can either plant flowers in clumps of colors, arrange them border style, or use a combination thereof throughout your yard as different areas dictate. One of the fun aspects of gardening is all the levels of planning that you can conduct. Along with bloom times, you have to consider plant heights and your desired color schemes. You want the tallest plants in the back, the medium-height plants in the center, and the shortest plants in the front. And not only do you want a specific area of the garden blooming throughout the season, but you want all flowers throughout your entire yard blooming throughout the season.

Let’s say your color scheme is yellow and white. Your particular garden spot receives full sun. You love moonbeam coreopsis, daisies, black-eyed susans, lily of the valley and mums--but only if they’re bright yellow. You would want the lily of the valley and moonbeam coreopsis in the front; the lily of the valley is less than six inches tall, and the moonbeam coreopsis is in compact mounds that are about a foot high and wide. You can alternate the two, or put the lilies of the valley in the very front. The mums are also fairly short, less than a foot tall, but they can get quite bushy and wide. So you can also put them in front, but to each side of the coreopsis and lilies of the valley. Then you put the daisies behind all those because they’re medium-height. Then you put the black-eyed Susans behind the daisies, because they’re the tallest. So here’s when your lovely little yellow and white garden spot would be blooming:

  • Lilies of the valley: front, spring
  • Daisies: center, late spring-early summer
  • Moonbeam coreopsis: front, spring-summer; blooms for a long time, from May through August
  • Black-eyed Susans: back, summer; blooms for a long time, from June through October
  • Mums: to the sides, fall

Your lilies of the valley, daisies and mums will give you something to look forward to in each season. And your moonbeam coreopsis and black-eyed Susans will provide bright color for a long time throughout the summer.

Now you can have color throughout your garden for a full three seasons of the year!





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