Colorful blooms in our gardens renew the spirit every time we see them. But to have a garden that blooms all the time requires choosing plants for a sequence of bloom, and including some long-bloomers in each bed or grouping of containers to sustain interest during lulls in seasonal blooming.
Here are five suggestions for all-the-time bloom you may not have thought of:
1. Tulips and daffodils are dependable sources of bloom in spring gardens, but for color don’t plant them alone. Pair early-blooming tulips of any color–red, pink, or white–with an underplanting of blue grape hyacinths.
2. Dainty fern-leaf pink bleeding heart is a great partner for late-blooming pink tulips. The bleeding heart foliage provides a lovely green backdrop for the bold tulip blossoms.
3. Later in the growing season, combinations of perennials, or perennials mixed with annuals, are the ticket for stunning effects.
4. Colorful or variegated foliage can be as exciting as flowers! For example, try miniature hostas with “Burgundy Glow” ajuga and alpine lady’s mantle in a partly shaded bed. Showy herbs work well in flower gardens. Try “Snow Bank” sweet alyssum with “Tricolor” sage.
5. Garden mums tend to dominate fall gardens, but there are other great fall combinations, too. For a combination of the familiar with the unusual, try “Autumn Joy” sedum with ornamental pink ribbon grass and dwarf purple asters.
Adapted from Lasagna Gardening for Small Spaces, by Patricia Lanza (Rodale Press, 2002).