How can I keep my landscape colorful throughout each season and what can I do to dress it up for holidays or special occasions?
In a well-designed landscape, the planting plan will typically be based on the bloom cycles so there are new colors coming in each month throughout the season. As the early bloomers hit their peak and begin to decline, another variety bursts into blossom.
However, at the very beginning and near the end of each growing season, it can look a bit sparse in the landscape before things come to life (early spring) or start going into dormancy (late fall).
Adding Accents to Your “Permanent” Landscape
So the question is, how do we add some extra pizzazz to reinforce the effect of what we’ve already got planted in our permanent landscape? Many landscaping companies offer seasonal displays to maintain color and visual interest in your front yard during early spring and late fall, before and after the main growing season.
In addition to the permanent landscaping, you can enhance your outdoor experience with annual rotations either in beds or containers (or both), plus holiday-specific displays of live or dried arrangements.
Container arrangements can be used to accent entryways and to define activity areas in the landscape such as a patio sitting room. Depending on their size (weight) they can be moved around and therefore give some extra versatility.
Using annuals to inject some extra pops of color allows you to in effect start your season earlier and end it later. The art of using seasonal and holiday displays is in how they interact with the permanent landscape.
Container Plantings & Holiday Arrangements
Since container plantings and holiday arrangements are a creative specialty, they are not automatically included in basic landscape maintenance contracts. You want to find a company that employs designers and technicians who custom create seasonal displays based on your preferences. They can design planters, bed rotations of annuals, and ornamental displays for each of the holidays. They can also deliver the additional care required for container plants.
Designers will look for creative opportunities using mixtures of live plants and cut (dried) arrangements. Custom arrangements of greens can brighten a front entry with color and fragrance. Bundles of twisted branches such as white birch or river birch produce a sculptural effect. Dried branch displays can be natural or spray painted with gold or silver.
Here are some of the ways designers can enhance the front landscape and front entry of your home:
Halloween. Arrangements of multi-colored pumpkins, hay bales, ornamental plants that are colorful and hardy
Thanksgiving. Bundles of cornstalks, pumpkins, ornamental squash, burlap wreaths
Christmas. Cut greens, custom wreaths, berries, and bows. Leafy evergreen boughs. Holiday lights and live garlands.
Spring. Planting bulbs like crocus and daffodils are great for early spring color. They emerge early before anything else and can tolerate freezing temps and snow. They provide low to the ground color while the other flowering plants are still waking up from winter. Once the danger of frost has subsided, snapdragons, pansies, and others can all be displayed in containers.
Summer. Annuals and tropicals in containers and annuals in planting beds add extra pops of color along walkways or bordering a patio or deck. The annuals bloom continuously from Mother’s Day in May until the first frost in September.
Autumn. This is the ideal time to add vibrant colors with annual bed rotations of mums, ornamental cabbages, and pansies (if you don’t have a deer problem). Beds of pansies can continue over winter depending on the severity of cold temperatures.
Winter. This is where elements of your permanent landscape can continue to shine. Depending on the selection of perennials you’ve got, they can provide lots of visual interest over winter. Decorative grasses, when dormant, come in shades of amber and gold. Interesting limb structure and bark textures are revealed when leaves have dropped and can provide a tremendous visual appeal. Leafy evergreens such as boxwoods and magnolias and coniferous evergreens such as spruce can provide border and background fill.
The best garden care companies are able to design original, eye-catching seasonal and holiday displays that enhance the character of your permanent landscape. You can see the difference in seasonal enhancements that have been crafted by a highly skilled hand. Similar plant materials may be used but the creative use of them, how they are arranged in a container, makes all the difference in the effect created.
Creative use of annual bed rotations and container arrangements allows you to effectively extend your growing season–to start earlier and end later in the cool seasons.
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