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.
I love when the calendar strikes December 1, because it means we are officially in the Christmas season. Now, I know it seems like many stores have had their holiday decorations out since before Labor Day, but none of that counts until we get to December.
OCEAN SPRINGS, Miss. -- An upcoming workshop will offer training for people who want to turn their piece of land into an edible landscape, no matter the size.
The Alliance of Sustainable Farms will host its monthly workshop Nov. 8 at Galloway Family Farm in Ocean Springs.
Topics will include growing an edible landscape and square-foot gardening.
Galloway Family Farm has been in operation for more than 50 years, growing crops usually only seen on the Gulf Coast in Mississippi, including pawpaws, Japanese plums, bananas and kiwis.
One group of landscape plants that is really starting to take off with its summer show is the lantana. These popular landscape plants are available in a dizzying variety of sizes and colors.
I spent a lot of time working in my yard during April. I planted several pots, pruned my shrubs, and put down a fresh layer of mulch. It would be easy to sit back and admire my hard work, but with the warmer weather coming in, there’s still so much to do!
February marks the beginning of pruning chores in the garden. This task will be a breeze if you have the right tools. MSU Extension horticulture specialist Gary Bachman recommends three pruning tools every gardener should have. (Photo by Jonathan Parrish/Cindy Callahan)