Developing a Plant Schedule for your Landscape
Year Round Gardens: Developing a Plant Schedule for your Landscape
A fun and easy exercise in your garden is to develop a listing of when plants come into bloom, fruit, or fall color during the year. Known as a plant schedule, this is especially useful when making decisions on plant types for new planting designs or to enhance existing gardens. While spring and fall months are some of the more showy times of year for plants, it is very easy to develop landscapes that offer interest throughout the year in the Deep South. For example, in a perennial garden, combining coreopsis (spring), yellow coneflower (summer), asters (fall), and evergreen hollies (winter) in an area will provide year round interest.
Combining plants with a range of bloom times creates a year-round garden.
Most often, we favor blooming time when choosing and selecting garden plants. Blooming is an important consideration for adding color and interest, but is not the only way to liven a landscape. Other important plant factors include interesting trunk forms, colors, and textures; stem colors; seedheads and fruit, fall, winter, or growing season leaf colors; leaf textures or forms; or tree and shrub forms in winter.
Each month simply note what plants are providing, or could provide, an interesting feature. For planting designs or existing landscapes, this can often lead to identifying months (most often winter months) where more garden interest could be provided. Selecting plants by times of display is fairly easy. Many searchable online plant query Web sites allow you to select possible plants by seasonal time of bloom, or by listing interesting features such as seed and fruit during the year.
The following plant schedule (PDF) was developed for a garden in central Mississippi as an example.
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These factsheets were written by Robert F. Brzuszek, Assistant Extension Professor, The Department of Landscape Architecture, Mississippi State University.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Creative landscape experts will offer advice and inspiration to professionals and home gardeners alike at an Oct. 19 design symposium at Mississippi State University.
The 61st Edward C. Martin Jr. Landscape Design Symposium is a half-day event held in the MSU Bost Auditorium from 9 a.m. until noon. The event is presented by the MSU Department of Landscape Architecture and the Garden Clubs of Mississippi. It is coordinated by MSU Extension professor Bob Brzuszek.
Home gardeners are showing more interest in planting native plants in the landscape. This makes a lot of sense because native plants have a greater tolerance to local environmental conditions. What holds them back is the fact that many have a limited ability to create excitement in the landscape.
One that defies that stereotype is the butterfly weed. This native plant was chosen as a Mississippi Medallion winner in 2012, an award given to plants selected for their superior and outstanding garden and landscape performance.