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Get Garden Color All Season Long

cosmos

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A garden bursting with colors isn’t just visually stunning; it transforms the entire atmosphere of your home. There’s a psychological impact from vibrant blooms, by boosting mood and creating a haven for local wildlife. For gardeners, the allure of a perennial display or the vibrant burst of annuals offers an endless palette of possibilities, each bloom telling a unique story of color, texture, and fragrance. Let me show you how to get garden color all season long.

Perennials for Every Season: Building a foundation of color

By creating a garden with perennials that provide color throughout the growing season is a wonderful way to ensure your outdoor space remains vibrant year after year. By selecting a variety of plants that bloom at different times, you can achieve a continuous display of colors. Here’s a guide to help you build a foundation of color with perennials for each season:

Spring Bloomers

Tulips bloom even in the snow. They provide color very early in the season.

Tulips (Tulipa spp.)

Plant tulip bulbs in the fall for a burst of color in early spring. Yes, you have to have patience but come spring you will be so happy to have added them. I’ve gotten all my bulbs from DutchGrown. They have quality bulbs at excellent prices. Tulips come in various colors and add a vibrant touch. If you have high deer pressure you may want to stick with Daffodils for bulbs

Daffodils (Narcissus spp.)

Nothing says springtime more than the first daffodil blooms! And there is probably nothing easier to grow. Daffodil bulbs bloom in early spring and are available in a range of colors. They are also deer-resistant, making them a practical choice.

Crocus (Crocus spp.)

 Crocus is the start of getting garden color all season long.Crocus bulbs are early bloomers and add splashes of color, often peeking through the last remnants of snow. Crocuses will get you totally psyched for the upcoming growing season.

Primrose (Primula spp.)

Primrose adds garden color all season long.With its dainty petals and subtle fragrance, the primrose symbolizes youth, renewal, and the awakening of spring. Adaptable to various climates and soil conditions, this resilient perennial thrives in partial shade and moist, well-drained soil. With their cheerful flowers, primroses are perfect for early spring and come in a variety of colors.

Poppy (Papaver spp.)

Poppies bloom late spring and helps bring garden color during the season.The giant crepe-like petals form a bold, flamboyant bloom in the late spring garden. Despite their short-lived bloom period, Poppies enchant with their dazzling display and resilience in a variety of climates and soil conditions, making them wonderful addition to the seasonal garden tapestry. Poppies are easy to grow and are one of the best deer-resistant perennials I know of.

Foxglove (Digitalis spp.)

Digitalis Foxglove brings perennial color to the garden.This is the old favorite that you must have. Find the right spot, and Digitalis comes back year after year. The hummingbirds will love you, too! Their bloom time comes right after the Poppy.

Lupine (Lupinus spp.)

Lupines are a colorful choice for the garden.The stunning spires of bloom give the garden its spirited appearance. Lupines are known for their ability to thrive in diverse environments, from sandy coastal plains to mountainous regions, adding both color and nitrogen to the soil through their symbiotic relationship with nitrogen-fixing bacteria. Lupines are very dependable in our garden, coming up year after year and bloom after the foxglove.

Summer Bloomers

Lavender (Lavandula spp.)

Lavender, if cut back, blooms again.Loved for its resilience, drought tolerance, and ability to attract pollinators, lavender stands as an emblem of natural elegance in landscapes around the world. Lavender thrives in full sun, so choose a spot in your garden that receives at least 6-8 hours of direct sunlight per day. In colder climates, lavender may need protection from harsh winter conditions. Apply a layer of mulch around the base of the plant to insulate the roots.

Coneflowers (Echinacea spp.)

Echinacea provides great color in the middle of the summer.These sturdy perennials bloom from mid-summer to fall and come in various colors, attracting loads of butterflies. Choose a planting location that receives full sun to partial shade. Echinacea thrives in well-drained soil and but in general it is quite adaptable to a myriad of conditions.

Hollyhocks (Alcea spp.)

Hollyhocks provide perennial color to the garden.The simple colorful flowers of the Hollyhock are full of nostalgia whether it is from children’s books or a grandmother’s garden. They are a mid-summer treat in my garden and spring up naturally around our barn. They are prone to Rust, a fungal disease. Rust is favored by warm, humid conditions and can spread rapidly in crowded or poorly ventilated areas. There are hollyhock cultivars that are more resistant to rust than others. While no hollyhock variety is completely immune to rust, some cultivars exhibit better resistance and are less prone to severe infections. They include: Halo, Majorette, Summer Carnival, and Queeny.

Black Eyed Susans (Rudbeckia spp.)

Rudbeckia provides garden color all season long.There is no better border plant the Black-eyed Susan. It is so reliable and forms neat clumps, blooming over a long period of time just when you need the color. We put Rudbeckia along the side of our house where it gets a lot of shade so even though it’s supposed to be a full sun plant, I say it can handle a fair amount of shade!

Fall bloomers

Asters (Aster spp.)

Asters give lots of color late into the fall.Asters provide a burst of color in late summer to fall, and they are attractive to pollinators. These hardy perennials, with their daisy-like flowers in shades of purple, blue, pink, and white, provide a vital food source for pollinators as other blooms fade. Their resilient nature and ability to thrive in various soil types and sunlight conditions make them a top choice for gardeners seeking to extend the beauty of their gardens into the cooler months.

Sedum (Sedum spp.)

Autumn sedum, also known as stonecrop, is a hardy perennial prized for its late-season blooms and attractive foliage. As summer wanes, these resilient plants burst forth with clusters of star-shaped flowers in shades of pink, red, or purple, providing a burst of color in late summer and fall gardens. Their succulent leaves add texture and interest to the landscape, while their ability to thrive in various soil conditions and climates makes them a versatile choice for gardeners seeking low-maintenance yet striking plants.

Chrysanthemums (Chrysanthemum spp.)

Chrysanthemums, commonly known as mums, are iconic fall flowers renowned for their vibrant blooms and diverse array of colors, including shades of yellow, orange, red, pink, and white. These hardy perennials symbolize autumn’s arrival and for their ability to add warmth and color to gardens and landscapes as summer fades. Their resilience, ease of care, and enduring beauty make them a excellent choice for the late season garden.

Remember to consider your specific climate, soil conditions, and sunlight availability when selecting perennials for your garden. Also, incorporate a mix of heights, textures, and bloom times for a visually appealing landscape throughout the year.

Annuals for Instant Impact: Adding bursts of vibrant hues

By using annuals your garden will have continuous pops of vivid color throughout the year. Because perennials bloom time can be affected by the weather conditions, their bloom time is not always certain. Annuals will make up for any color deficit as they bloom continuously giving you assured garden color all season. And many of them will self-sow for blooms the next year! Here are my favorites:

Cleome

Cleome is an easy to grow annual flower.Tall, airy, and graceful, Cleome is adorned with huge flower clusters that open daily. They love lots of sun and are drought and heat tolerant. Cleome fills out the back of the border beautifully or can stand on their own. Cleome will give you garden color all season long.

Cosmos

Cosmos will give you garden color all season long.

The rosy blooms are profuse with delicate and frilly foliage. Tall and radiant the graceful flowers bloom into vibrant shades of red on sturdy stems. Cosmos makes an excellent cut flower, too.

Nicotiana

Nicotiana starts blooming in early summer and keeps blooming even after a frost.There are just hundreds of small bells that dangle from this lovely plant. When the evening moths pollinate Nicotiana, they help release a lovely fragrance that you get to enjoy. The hummingbirds are crazy for it! It can handle some really cold weather, well into late fall! It’s an annual but they reseed, so come back every year in my garden.

Marigolds

Marigolds, an annual, will give you garden color all season long and are easy to grow.Marigolds are sun-loving annuals with vibrant orange and yellow blooms, adding warmth to summer gardens. Easy to grow and low-maintenance, marigolds symbolize resilience and abundance, gracing landscapes with their sunny disposition throughout the growing season.

Milkweed or Asclepia

Asclepia or milkweed attracts butterflies with their colorful blooms.The annual Asclepias, also known as tropical milkweed (Asclepias curassavica), is a vibrant addition to gardens, with its showy clusters of red, orange, or yellow flowers. Native to the American tropics, this milkweed species attracts a plethora of pollinators, including butterflies and bees, with its abundant nectar reserves. Super easy to grow and the butterflies will thank you!

Nasturtiums

Nasturtiums keep on blooming all summer and fall.These trailing or bushy annuals thrive in poor soil and sunny locations, producing an abundance of blooms in shades of yellow, orange, and red. Nasturtiums not only add a splash of color to gardens, containers, and hanging baskets but also serve as a culinary delight, with both the flowers and peppery leaves offering a zesty addition to salads and garnishes. With their easy cultivation, charming appearance, and versatile use, nasturtiums stand as a delightful addition to any garden space. Nasturtiums give a generous amount of garden color all season.

When planting annuals for instant impact, consider factors such as sunlight requirements, soil quality, and water needs. Additionally, incorporating a variety of heights and textures will add depth and interest to your garden beds or containers.

General Maintenance Tips

Maintaining garden color all season in your garden involves proper care and attention to ensure that your plants continue to bloom throughout the growing season. Deadheading, the process of removing spent flowers, is a key practice to enhance blooms and encourage prolonged flowering. Here are maintenance tips and demystified deadheading techniques for continuous color:

Regular Watering

Ensure your plants receive consistent and adequate water. Different plants have varying water needs, so be mindful of individual requirements.

Fertilization

If your soil isn’t particularly fertile, use a balanced fertilizer to provide essential nutrients to your plants. Follow recommended application rates for the specific types of plants in your garden.

Sunlight

Place plants in locations that match their sunlight requirements. Most flowering plants prefer full sun, but many can also thrive in partial shade.

Pruning

Besides deadheading, occasional pruning can shape plants, remove diseased or damaged growth, and stimulate new blooms.

Deadheading

Deadheading refers to the practice of removing spent or faded flowers from plants. By snipping off these old blooms before they set seed, deadheading encourages the plant to redirect its energy into producing new flowers rather than expending resources on seed production.

Why Deadhead?

Promote Continuous Blooms: Removing spent flowers prevents the plant from channeling energy into seed production, encouraging the production of new flowers.

Aesthetic Improvement: Deadheading enhances the overall appearance of the plant, making it look tidy and well-groomed.

When to Deadhead:

Regularly: Deadhead regularly throughout the growing season, especially for plants that bloom continuously. Aim to deadhead as soon as flowers fade. I always have a scissor in my pocket!

How to Deadhead:

Pinching: Pinch off spent flowers with your fingers, scissors or use pruners for larger stems. Pinch just above a set of healthy leaves or a lateral bud.

Shearing: For plants with many small flowers, shearing with scissors can be effective. Make cuts just above a bud or set of leaves.

Self-Cleaning Plants: Some plants are self-cleaning, meaning they drop spent flowers on their own. However, a light deadheading may still enhance their appearance.

Cut-and-Come-Again Annuals: Some annuals, like zinnias and marigolds, are “cut-and-come-again” plants. Regular cutting or deadheading keeps them producing blooms.

Seed Collection: If you don’t want the plant to self-seed, deadhead before seed formation. If you want to collect seeds, allow some spent flowers to mature.

By incorporating these maintenance tips and deadheading spent flowers, you can enjoy a garden that remains in full bloom for an extended period, providing continuous color through the seasons.

In a Nutshell

From the jubilant arrival of spring blooms to the tranquil whispers of autumn petals, each season offers its own symphony of colors, textures, and fragrances. Through the careful curation of plants like tulips, coneflowers, and nasturtiums, our gardens become living canvases, weaving stories of resilience, abundance, and natural elegance. This is your path to garden color all season long.

FAQ – How To Get Garden Color All Season Long

How can I choose the right plants for my garden?

For a garden with color throughout the growing season, consider a mix of perennials and annuals. Perennials like tulips, daffodils, coneflowers, and asters provide continuous blooms, while annuals like cleome, cosmos, and marigolds offer instant bursts of vibrant hues.

What are some spring blooming perennials I can incorporate into my garden?

For early spring blooms, consider planting tulips, daffodils, crocuses, primroses, poppies, foxgloves, and lupines. These perennials offer a variety of colors and thrive in different climates and soil conditions.

What are some summer blooming perennials to add to my garden?

Lavender, coneflowers, hollyhocks, and black-eyed Susan’s are excellent choices for summer blooms. They are resilient, attract pollinators, and come in various colors, adding vibrancy to your garden during the warmer months.

Can you suggest some fall blooming perennials to extend the beauty of my garden?

Asters and sedums are ideal for late summer to fall blooms. With their daisy-like flowers in shades of purple, blue, pink, and white, they provide a vital food source for pollinators and thrive in various soil types and sunlight conditions.

What are some low-maintenance annuals for instant impact in my garden?

Annuals like cleome, cosmos, nicotiana, marigolds, milkweed, and nasturtiums offer continuous pops of vivid garden color all season long. They bloom continuously all season long and many of them will self-sow for blooms the next year.

How can I maintain continuous color in my garden?

Regular watering, fertilization, proper sunlight exposure, pruning, and deadheading are essential maintenance practices. Deadheading, the process of removing spent flowers, promotes continuous blooms and enhances the overall appearance of the plants.

What is deadheading and why is it important?

Deadheading refers to the practice of removing spent or faded flowers from plants to encourage the production of new flowers. It promotes continuous blooms, improves the plant’s appearance, and prevents energy wastage on seed production.

When should I deadhead my plants?

Deadhead regularly throughout the growing season, especially for plants that bloom continuously. Aim to deadhead as soon as flowers fade to promote new growth and blooms.

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Welcome Gardening Friends!
Amanda in Greenhouse with blooming Delphiniums. She loves growing flowers!

Amanda Shenstone

Flower Lover, Grower, Gardener

As part of Graceful Gardens for decades, I’ve garnered a wealth of knowledge about growing Delphiniums, perennials and annual flowers, and I am eager to share these insights with all of you.

Amanda Shenstone

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