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Four Season Gardening


Seasonal changes are one reason so many of us enjoy living in this area. Year-round interest in the landscape lies in planting a balanced mix of well-suited trees, shrubs, perennials, and annuals. An over reliance on any one feature can leave the gardens looking dull through much of the year. Designs that include a diversity of plantings are aesthetically pleasing, provide four-season interest, and are easier to maintain. Plant communities in the home landscape provide food and shelter for migrating songbirds, attract (and keep) beneficial insects, and allow us to enjoy spending time outdoors.

View From Window

Plantings have shifted from foundation to curb.

Wouldn't you rather look out at a colorful summer garden than a roadway?

Though most of us like to be out in the gardens, gardens are often viewed from indoors. Looking out into the garden allows us to bring nature into our home; think of it as entering a room, visually. Looking out also inspires us to be out in the gardens when the weather is nice. As I plan a garden, my first thought is to establish the borders as seen from inside my home. Stakes are driven where I am thinking about planting any trees or large shrubs, then I head inside to see how it looks. I also do this standing in an adjoining area of the yard to make sure I'm not obstructing a pleasant view from the deck or anywhere else that views could be blocked or negatively affected by a large planting. By considering not just a single planting, but its relationship to plants around it, the surrounding area, and seeing the garden as a whole rather than individual plants randomly planted throughout the landscape, I can enjoy the gardens from more than one vantage point.