The change of the seasons is what makes our Michigan climate so interesting. Planting for all four seasons is what we strive to accomplish at every home. As you know, gardens are always a work in progress and adding to them or making room for new plants is exciting.
As we get into peak fall color, take a walk through your landscape and note the foliage colors, bare spots or room for improvement. Combining trees, shrubs, perennials and annuals that feature color, texture and dimension will make your landscape the envy of the neighborhood.
All gardens should incorporate a wide variety of plants not only for the environment and wildlife, but also for maximum interest through the seasons. There are a few plants that flower in the spring or summer and exhibit spectacular fall color.
Large Trees and Shrubs
For large spaces, trees are a great starting point. Tulip trees are fast growing, bloom in late spring, early summer and have a beautiful yellow fall color. If you already have larger trees, and want taller shrubs to bring your eye from the ground up to the canopy, there are numerous varieties of viburnums that bloom white flowers in the spring and have a stunning red fall color. Other larger shrub options are witch hazel, red choke berry, oak leaf hydrangea, quick fire hydrangea and smoke bush. If you have the space, you will not be disappointed.
Small Trees and Shrubs
For smaller spaces, serviceberry trees are a great way to add spring flowers, fall color and winter interest. Smaller shrubs I would highly recommend are dwarf varieties of: itea, oak leaf, quick fire, and tuff stuff hydrangeas, as well as smaller clethra varieties.
Perennials that tend to hold on through the fall and winter and add great texture and movements are ornamental grasses. Different sizes, forms and textures are plentiful. Some turn a yellow fall color and some turn a beige color and look great with snow on them. Hellebore are a great for all year-round interest option with tons of varieties to choose from as well. Coral bells are another fall color option that look great in the landscape but also in fall container arrangements.
Annuals that add pops of color from late spring to mid fall are snap dragons, marigolds, and salvia. Fall annuals include pansies, mums, and asters. Pansies are ideal to plant in the fall as they tend to over winter and bloom again in the spring. Because of their lack of height, these annuals make great border plantings. Mums and asters bloom a bit bushier so planting them in a grouping is a great way to fill a bare spot.
Right Plant, Right Place
This list is just the tip of the iceberg and while you may fall in love with some of these plants, please consider the conditions to be sure they will thrive in your landscape.
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