When customers are choosing plants for their gardens, it’s easy for them to focus on one season, forgetting that they need to create year-round interest. Too often, homeowners end up with a bevy of spring or summer bloomers, only to be left with a gloomy looking landscape come fall and winter. Its’ good to remind customers that can bring traditional “down times” to life in the garden by making the right plant choices.
Whether they are planting perennials, shrubs or trees, having a balance of interesting foliage, bark, flowers and fruit throughout the seasons is key to a successful landscape design. Also, be sure to consider plants with interesting shapes and growth habits that can provide unique focal points after leaves have dropped. A favorite year-round workhorse we love is Parney’s red clusterberry. Cotoneaster parneyi grows quickly to an average of 8-feet tall with an informal and interesting form. Plants are covered with small white flowers in spring. The small oval leaves turns a deep purple color in fall, which offers a striking contrast to the bright red winter berries.
Every landscape needs some evergreen foliage to act as a backdrop to garden plants that change through the seasons. Evergreen shrubs can act as a foundation shrubs or as accent specimens in large mixed borders. Another reliable evergreen performer is Elaeagnus x ebbingei. These tough evergreen shrubs have a natural rounded shape. As the foliage ages, it turns a darker green with silvery undersides. A big benefit of this plant is its fall flowers and bright red spring fruit. There is something interesting to enjoy every season with Elaeagnus x ebbingei.
Be sure to help your customers balance their desire for showing spring blooms with plants that make their garden look beautiful no matter the season.