PLANTING FOR DIFFERENT SEASONS OF BLOOM AND COLOR
One of the eternal quests of gardeners is a display of color and beauty
that delights the eye all year round. Like Jason’s pursuit of the golden
fleece, it’s not an easy task. But one can do it. It just takes planning
and time, plus eternal additions and replacements. A year round display
requires what’s called a “Sequence of Bloom”, where one chooses different
plants whose colors and flowers appear at different times, in orderly succession,
so something is always interesting.
Well planned gardens contain plants that catch our attention at all
seasons in a continuous changing panorama. We tend to think mostly of flowers,
particularly bulbs, perennials and annuals, but in fact many trees and
shrubs also provide color, flowers, berries or interesting foliage.
THE SEQUENCE OF BLOOM IN COOL CLIMATES is as follows. (For more southerly
places, it begins a month or two earlier, depending on how far south one
is.) Though northern gardens reach their zenith on that magical day in May
when the whole world seems to be one large bouquet, spring really begins
when the first shy bulbs like crocus, squill and chionodoxa peek out from
the melting snow. The sequence of bloom continues with the flowers of
early spring, such as forsythia, early rhododendrons, magnolia and cherry
trees and other early flowering bulbs.
Later, in May, blossoms of azaleas and rhododendron blooms clamor for
our attention along with the crabapple trees and dogwoods. Perennials …