How to Create Continuous Interest in the Garden

Creating continuous color in the gardenIf you’re like most gardeners, you dream of beds filled with perpetually blooming plants that add color and interest to your landscape all year long. Unfortunately, it’s a rare perennial that blooms from the first day of spring through first frost. But with a bit of planning and our seasonal bloom cheat sheet, it’s possible to fill your garden with flowers and gorgeous foliage throughout the year!

Below, we’ve comprised a list of our favorite perennials, broken out by seasonal bloom time, so that you can select plants that add ongoing color and texture to your garden.

While flowers may be the stars of the garden, remember that foliage adds terrific impact to gardens, too. So, while we’ve listed plants according to seasonal blooms, we’ve also noted any ongoing foliage interest the plant provides.

Pick and choose plants from the seasonal categories, and you’ll enjoy a gorgeous year-long garden show! (Plus, the pollinators will appreciate the multi-season buffet in your garden.)

Rozanne and Friends® Perennial Blooms by Season

Spring

Euphorbia (Spurge) ‘Bonfire’Bergenia ‘Bressingham Ruby’ (Lovely green spring and summer foliage turns ruby-bronze in late autumn.)

Spurge, Euphorbia ‘Bonfire’ (Green spring foliage quickly turns rich maroon-red, smoldering all summer and into autumn.) (pictured)

Bugleweed, Ajuga reptans Chocolate Chip (Late spring blooms with purplish-brown foliage adding ongoing interest.)

Amsonia hubrichtii Blue Star (Willowy green foliage changes to a glowing, golden orange in fall.)

Dead Nettle, Lamium ‘Purple Dragon’ (Silvery foliage brightens shady gardens.)

Peony, PaeoniaBartzella

Lychinis Petite HenrySpring into Summer

Yarrow, Achillea millefolium, like ‘Strawberry Seduction’ (Mid-June to end July)

Cornflower, such as Centaurea ‘Amethyst Dream’ (May-July)

Beardtongue, Penstemon ‘Prairie Twilight’ (Late May-June)

Spring into Fall

Ragged Robin, Lychnis flos-cuculi ‘Petit Henri’ (Late spring into early fall) (pictured)

Christmas Fern Polystichum acrostichoides (Evergreen—all year interest)

Summer

Bellflower, Campanula Blue Waterfall (June-August)

Rose Mallow, such as Hibiscus ‘Brandy Punch’ (Bold leaves with striking tints of bronze, plus green and purple accents and deeply incised “maple leaf” edge.)

Summer into Fall

Japanese Anemone, like Anemone ‘Pretty Lady Emily’ (August-November)

Tickseed, like Coreopsis ‘Limerock Dream’

Perennial mums, such as Dendranthema ‘Ice Pink Igloo’ (Late summer to early fall)

Sea Holly, Eryngium ‘Big Blue’ (July-September)

Cranesbill, such as Geranium Rozanne® (Blooms late spring through first frost. Slightly marbled, deep green foliage turns reddish-brown in autumn.)

Helen’s Flower, Helenium Mardi Gras (June through late August)

Oxeye, such Heliopsis ‘Bressingham Doubloon’ (Mid-summer to fall)

Shasta Daisy, like Leucanthemum Freak!® (Summer, will rebloom in fall if cut back)

Rose, Rosa Blushing Knock Out® (June-fall) (pictured)

Black-Eyed Susan, such as Rudbeckia ‘Viette’s Little Suzy’ (Blooms mid-summer through fall. Foliage turns mahogany in autumn.)

Hydrangea paniculata Bobo® (Early summer to fall)

Coneflowers, like Echinacea ‘Cheyenne Spirit’

Red-Hot Poker, such as Kniphofia ‘Papaya Popsicle’ (Early summer-fall)

Switch Grass, such as Panicum virgatum ‘Cheyenne Sky’ (Late summer-early fall) or Panicum virgatum ‘Heavy Metal’ (Mid-summer to late fall). If left uncut, both varieties provide winter interest in the garden.

Fountain Grass, Pennisetum alopecuroides ‘Ginger Love’

Autumn Stonecrop, Sedum Autumn Charm™ (Late summer-early fall)

Ready, Set, Design!

Now, simply pick your favorites for a garden filled with multi-season blooms! If you’d prefer a bit of handholding when you design your perennial beds, take a look at our Seasonal Kaleidoscope of Color garden design by expert Kerry Ann Mendez. Using the design plan, you’ll enjoy 48 weeks of color and interest in your garden. Happy planting!

For more gardening inspiration, be sure to join Rozanne’s Inner Circle!