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.
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I took advantage of the perfect weather and started on garden chores I’ve been putting off. My main accomplishment, which has been on my list for a while, was putting down fresh layers of mulch. It felt good because I have been accumulating bags of mulch, and the neatly stacked pile was pretty big.
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