If you’re in the colder planting zones you may think a seasonal garden is one that looks good during most of the growing months, and then “blah” during the off season.
That doesn’t have to be the case. The warmer months certainly have the advantage in terms of flower color, but there are so many other elements to consider for seasonal interest.
Let’s take a look at this corner foundation planting to see how its variety of elements will give interest no matter what time of year it is.
First, I’d like to mention that this designer shows nice continuity in this garden by working with groupings of like plants.
Think in terms of “brush strokes” with the plants. This one design principle will help get you on your way to a well-composed garden.
Don’t let the phrase scare you. What I’m talking about is taking some of the “flat” away.
Imagine for a minute the ground from the Belgian block curb to the building as “flat”. It would certainly be less interesting.
By incorporating several boulders and extra soil this foundation planting takes on a whole new and interesting dimension.
Now please don’t go out there and put boulders in every garden. Boulder placement and usage is another topic unto itself. But just see how it can add to a garden whether it’s summer or winter.
Textures can be categorized as: fine, medium and coarse. Often you can combine two if a texture falls between the two terms, e.g. medium-coarse.
Texture is certainly a design characteristic to consider. The contribution plants offer for texture is huge.
This foundation planting is showing some nice variety with texture, however I would have looked to add something a bit “coarser” for even more contrast. Perhaps an interesting variety of hosta.
Naturally we all first think of flower color as the way to get color into the garden. But there’s color in other elements and features as well.
Here in the northeast where our flowering seasons are relatively short, you really have to consider other ways to get color into the landscape.
Always keep in mind that every beautiful garden has evolved over time and will continue to evolve.
And it’s not just the changes that occur through the growth and maturing of the plantings, but it’s also the changes and enhancements that you bring. It’s a work-in-progress!
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Landscapes are complex, and shortcomings anywhere in the process can affect the project… and your peace of mind.
My approach is process-oriented. I break things down from planning to implementation — and make sure everyone is kept informed.
My goal is to alleviate concerns such as design decisions, costs, workmanship and material quality. I want folks to stress less and actually enjoy the process.
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