You know those gorgeous gardens filled with colorful flowers and plants that seem to be in bloom virtually year-round? Whether you have seen them in landscaping magazines or in your own neighborhood, one thing is certain: these explosions of constant color do not magically appear. They take months of pre-planning and planting, as well as some decent knowledge about what blooms when.
OK, so in New Hampshire we can’t exactly enjoy “year-round color,” but you can extend your color season during the growing season using a combination of flowering trees and shrubs, annuals, perennials and bulbs.
Let’s start with flowering trees and shrubs. Most of the varieties that you see around here will bloom from April through June; these include rhododendrons, azaleas, dogwoods and crabapples. Only a few varieties of woody plants bloom in the late summer, including shrub roses, hydrangea, Stewartia, and Rose of Sharon.
Perennials are a wonderful and cost-effective way to add reliable bursts of color that last all summer long. Although the blooming season does vary depending on what type of perennial you choose, they generally perform the best from June through September. While some plants last just a few weeks, others will give you plenty of color and blooms for several months at a time. In order to have the best bang for your buck from your perennials, it’s important to have a good knowledge of their blooming schedule.
When you have blank spaces in your garden that need a touch of color, annuals are a great option. These plants that grow and bloom for just one season provide consistent color along shrub borders. The only downside of annuals is their cost; they tend to be more expensive than perennials and other more long-lasting plants. They are also a bit fussier when it comes to their care – sometimes requiring deadheading of spent blossoms, and always requiring a consistent watering schedule.
Another wonderful way to add color to your yard is with bulbs. Like perennials, most bulbs will come back year after year. Here, bulbs are planted in from mid-October until the end of November, and they spend the winter under the cold snow just waiting for spring to come around. In general, daffodils and crocuses perform the best in the Northeast, bringing welcoming bursts of color poking through the melting snow.
Tulips are beautiful but our cold winters can impact their ability to perform here; if you choose these gorgeous flowers, dig them out of the ground or add to them every year. A word of caution about tulips – squirrels love to snack on tulip bulbs so cover your mass groupings of bulbs with chicken wire and then cover them with dirt.
When you are ready to plan your year-round garden, please call Trimmers Landscaping to speak with our designer about how we can help your yard bloom all season long. We look forward to working with you!