The garden is a continuum of seasons and color effects, with of course the biggest color splashes occurring in the spring and summer. Spring-blooming bulbs, trees, and shrubs start the show but last only brief periods. Interestingly, in Japanese gardening, this ephemeral show of color is thought of as the ideal aesthetic, with views, scale, foliage shades, texture, and contrast taking a more prominent role in design.In American gardens, we love our seasons of color and select plants to achieve long-lasting shows. Perennials are often thought of as the way to go, but they are not the boon to the garden as sometimes thought. They do come back every year, but many also bloom for a very brief period, and some set seeds or spread prolifically, causing major maintenance issues. Annuals typically provide the longest bloom periods but do need replanting seasonally, although some will re-seed. Many need deadheading (removing spent blossoms) to maintain strong bloom, and of course, watering and care during challenging summers.
Autumn has its own particular color palette, with its fiery hues taking center stage. The winter garden is beautiful too, with berries, textures, plant structure, and earthy tones making the subtle show. Containers are great for any season and offer flexibility for adding instant color exactly where you want it. Don’t forget the power of permanent plantings for adding color and structure to the landscape and accenting the architecture and color scheme of your home or building.
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