- Visual Appeal- Year-Round Blooms; Foliage Color & Texture, Seasonal Color, Containers
- Utilization- Diversity of Plantings, Benefits Environment & Wildlife. Maximize Land Use.
- Production- Growing Veggies, Fruits & Herbs. Organic 101. Planting Schedule.
- Decide which are the most important to you and your family
- Start Collecting Seeds, Plant Starts (trade), Cruise Plant Sales
- Make a list / journal of a time table, budget if needed. See Schedule at end as example.
- Work with the Seasons, not against them. Avoid Extremes- Hot vs Cold
Part One= Visual Appeal
- Practice Basic Design Principles- Plant in Odds, Unless Symmetrical, Heights-low to high
- Design to Your Personal Style. Complement and Contrast- do not Clash
- Year- Round Blooms – Schedule – See Below
- Evergreen Plants- Broad Leaved, Conifers, Evergreen Perennials & Grasses
- Seasonal Color- Fall, Plants with Berries / Winter Interest
Blooms Throughout the Seasons (approximate times, weather permitting):
Winter & Spring Blooming Bulbs (Feb-April)- Crocus, Daffodils, Hyacinths, Iris, Snowdrops, Tulips.
Cool Season Annuals (Sept-May)- Calendula, Pansies & Violets (johnnie jump-ups), Primroses, Snapdragons
Spring Blooming Shrubs & Trees- Flowering Ornamental: Cherries, Plums & Crabapples, Dogwoods, Lilacs, Weigela, Azaleas & Rhododendrons, Mountain Laurel, Pieris
Summer Blooming Bulbs (some hardy, some annual)- Crocosmia, Dahlia (tender), Elephant Ears (A), Freesia (A), Iris, Peony
Summer Blooming Shrubs- Butterfly Bush, Clethra, Crape Myrtle, Hydrangeas, Roses
Warm Season Annuals (May-October+)- Fuchsia (some are perennial), Geraniums, Impatiens, Petunias, Marigolds, Verbena (some are perennial), Zinnia
Fall Annuals and Colorful Perennials- Add into pots, borders & beds- Pansies & Violas; Mums & Asters; Cabbage & Kale and Fall Color Vines (Purple Grape, Silver Lace Vine, Virginia Creeper) & Shrubs (Dogwood, Spirea & Blueberries), Evergreen Perennials (Heuchera, Tiarella & Hellebores), Broad Leaf (Euonymus, Azaleas & Lonicera) & Conifers.
Late fall -Winter-Early Spring- Blooming Shrubs- Camellias, Current, Daphne (winter), Forsythia, Quince, Sweet Box, Viburnum (some), Witch Hazel
Plants with Berries- Beauty Berry, Blueberries & Evergreen Huckleberries, Cotoneaster, Holly, Juniper, Mondo Grass, Nandina, St. John’s wort, Viburnum (some), Wintergreen
Part Two = Utilization
- Diversity of Plantings- combination of all plant groups- Trees, Shrubs, Annuals & Perennials. Work together as an ecosystem to avoid erosion & runoff (water, fertilizer).
- Maximize Land Use. Replacing some ornamentals with useful plants. Many ornamentals may be beneficial to pollinators.
- Wildlife need our help. Human activity has changed and eliminated habitat, locally, and on the global scale, and birds, butterflies, and other wildlife are pushed into ever-shrinking wilderness areas. Providing a sustainable habitat for wildlife begins with your plants. That’s why we call it a wildlife habitat “garden.” When you plant the native plant species that wildlife depend on, you create habitat and begin to restore your local environment. Adding water sources, nesting boxes, and other habitat features enhances the habitat value of your garden to wildlife. By choosing natural gardening practices, you make your yard a safe place for wildlife.
Food: Native plants provide nectar, seeds, nuts, fruits, berries, foliage, pollen, and insects eaten by an exciting variety of wildlife. Feeders can supplement natural food sources.
Water: All animals need water to survive and some need it for bathing or breeding as well.
Cover: Wildlife need places to find shelter from bad weather and places to hide from predators or stalk prey.
Places to Raise Young: Wildlife need resources to reproduce and keep their species going. Some species have totally different habitat needs in their juvenile phase than they do as adults.
Sustainable Practices: How you manage your garden can have an effect on the health of the soil, air, water, and habitat for native wildlife as well as the human community.
Part Three = Production:
- Food- Fruits & Veggies- Fruit Trees- Apples, Pears, Asian Pears, Cherries, Plums, Apricots, Nectarines & Peaches- May need a Pollinator (two trees or a combo) & Berries- Cane: Raspberries, Blackberries, Marionberry. Shrub: Gooseberry & Blueberry Cool Season Veggies vs. Warm Seasoned Veggies
- Organic 101- Organic fertilizers- NPK, Soil Amendments & Plant Care, Right plant = Right Place. Apply Mulch like compost or other organic soil amendments 1-3” deep. This helps protect your plants roots from winter damage. Place a thick layer of newspaper or cardboard prior to mulch to choke out weeds.
- Start a Veggie Garden- Spring & Fall! Cool Season Veggies-there are a bunch- Broccoli, Kohlrabi, Brussels & Cauliflower; Cabbage & Kale; Lettuce, Chard & Spinach; Onions & Leeks; Peas, Radish, Rutabaga, Turnips & Carrots. Warm Season Veggies- Tomatoes, Peppers, Potatoes, Asparagus & Garlic (usually planted in spring), Eggplant, Melons, Squashes, Cucumbers, Beans & Green Beans
January & February: Plant Cool Season Annuals & Veggie Seeds inside. Plant hardy trees, shrubs, perennials, vines and grasses- weather permitting. Plant Bare root fruits and berries.
March & April: Plant Warm Cool Annual Starts & Veggie Starts outside, weather permitting. Plant hardy trees, shrubs, perennials, vines and grasses. Plant Warm Season Annuals & Veggie Seeds inside (Feb-April) read directions for plant timing to put outdoors.
May: Plant Warm Season Annual Starts, Veggie Starts and Hanging Baskets outside, weather permitting. Plant hardy trees, shrubs, perennials, vines and grasses. Plant Summer Blooming Bulbs (April – June) see directions on package.
June: Put houseplants outside in the shade on porch or other protected areas for summer-repot and fertilize as needed. Direct Sow Seeds (late May-early June)
July & August: Plant Warm Season Annual Starts- replace dead or tired plants from baskets. Start Fall Blooming Annuals & Cool Season Veggies- in pots or direct sow into ground/beds.
September: Plan Your Fall & Late Winter Tasks. Plant Fall Crops Starts, Fall pots & Hardy Plants. Bring indoors houseplants & tropicals. Lawn Care- Aerate, Thatch (if needed), Sod/Seed, Fertilize. Plant Spring Blooming Bulbs(Aug- Oct). Direct Sow Root Veggies Seeds.
October: Plant Fall Crop Starts, Hardy Plants- Hellebores & Heucheras. Rake Leaves, clean plants. Mulch.
November: Irrigation winterized (or in October). Cover spigots. Plants should all be winterized.
December: Decorate for holidays. Feed the birds.
Resources & Links:
G&B Fertilizers & Soils www.kellogggarden.com/products/gborganics/organic-soils/
Terra Nova http://www.terranovanurseries.com/gardeners/
Blooming Nursery http://www.bloomingnursery.com/