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Developing a Plant Schedule for your Landscape

This is an image of a garden that is scheduled to bloom year-round.

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.

Publications may download photo at 200 d.p.i.


These factsheets were written by Robert F. Brzuszek, Assistant Extension Professor, The Department of Landscape Architecture, Mississippi State University.

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A short papyrus plant grows in a metal cauldron.
Filed Under: Flower Gardens, Landscape and Garden Design May 14, 2018

With all of the bright, colorful summer annuals we’re planting this month, I find myself looking for more out-of-the-ordinary plants for my landscape. One that always creates a bit of a stir and generates questions is an old plant called papyrus.

Papyrus, similar to the plant grown and used by the ancient Egyptians to make paper, is easy to grow and has few pests. If you’re intrigued by this plant, you will be happy to learn there are three selections suitable for use in our Mississippi landscapes.

Tiny pink buds cluster in groups on a bare branch.
Filed Under: Flower Gardens, Landscape and Garden Design March 12, 2018

One of my favorite spring flowering trees is our native redbud.

This small tree flowers early in the spring before most other trees have started to leaf out after their winter naps. It’s good that redbuds blooms so early because they are usually found as understory trees. While driving around the state, it’s common to see a redbud framed or silhouetted by leafless hardwoods.

Deep pink blossoms cover the mostly bare branches of a shrub.
Filed Under: Flower Gardens, Landscape and Garden Design March 5, 2018

We're finally emerging from the "freezemageddon" we experienced earlier this year, and the garden and landscape are emerging with a vengeance.

A small tree with leafy green growth on the bark
Filed Under: Flower Gardens, Landscape and Garden Design February 26, 2018

Spring has sprung, at least in my Ocean Springs landscape, and gardeners once again are venturing out and taking an inventory of plant damage from this winter’s cold. Performing this yearly garden task is easier when many plants haven’t started their new growth yet.

Three varieties of milkweed grow in four containers inside a greenhouse at the Mississippi State University South Mississippi Branch Experiment Station in Poplarville.
Filed Under: Flower Gardens, Landscape and Garden Design, Environment January 5, 2018

Mississippi gardeners who plan to incorporate more pollinator plants into their landscapes can consider native milkweed and begin gathering seed for indoor propagation.

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