A unique challenge faces those of us who design landscapes in regions of the world where there are four distinct seasons- creating a landscape that has elements that shine in each of those seasons.
The importance of plant selection can't be over emphasized. Without careful planning, a stunning summer perennial border can easily become a boring, blank space during the drab winter months. Plants should be considered not only for their size or bloom, but also their bark, berries, structure, and seasonal foliage. Any good designer should have developed a catalog of "four season" plants they use successfully in their landscapes. Below are some examples of how the plantings can change with the seasons (click on any photo to bring it up larger):
Consider including structure to fill in the gaps between seasons, such as pergolas, trellis work, fencing, fireplaces, water features, and sculpture. A strong backbone of hardscape can add that odd season interest your garden needs.
Do you find yourself looking out the windows at your landscape and feeling uninspired? Give us a call today, and we can come up with a plan to give you a spectacular view, regardless of what season it is.
I've been a gardener my whole life. When I was a child, my sister and I each had our own spot in the big vegetable garden that was ours alone. I remember one year I created terraces with small field stones and planted it full of rock roses. Another year was vegetable mounds. I grew up in a small house located in the middle of a small meadow in the middle of a big woods. I'd create moss gardens, transplanting ferns and winterberry plants. I'd weed the flower beds around our house. I love digging in the dirt and playing with plants!
When I met my husband, I fell in love with the lot his small house was on, too. An acre and a third, with a lawn in the middle, surrounded by a large old lilac hedge, surrounded by big trees. He had started the process of landscaping it, tucking some lily turf here, some big old lavender bushes there. As our family grew, the house did too. We added on to both sides of the little box, creating terraced gardens on either side: one is our office entrance, the other is for entertaining. There are long, sweeping shrub and perennial borders screening these lower levels, carving rooms out of the expansive lawn/soccer field. As the trees have aged and failed, they've been removed, replaced by the next generation. New shrubs have been purchased, trials for future design projects, planted to screen, accent, or just fill the space. Along the way, perennials, groundcovers, unwanted shrubs and other 'leftovers' from the multitude of jobsites we service have been saved from the compost pile and tucked into fill the beds.
Recently, Garden Design featured my garden in a nicely written article by Maureen Gilmer. You can read it, and take your own garden tour, here: A Garden for Misfit Plants
You may have remembered stopping here on the Lincoln Township Library tour, many many years ago.... it has all changed!
Anna and her husband Todd own Arcadia Gardens, LLC a Stevensville, MI based landscape design and build company. Her degree in Horticulture with a focus on landscape management from Michigan State University allows Anna to select plants specific to on-site conditions and with maintenance requirements that suit the client's needs. She is comfortable designing across a range of styles- from contemporary to classic- and makes a point to include the client's input throughout the design process. She is an active member of the Association of Professional Landscape Designers and is serving as 2014 President of the APLD-Michigan Chapter. Anna has recently contributed to media such as "The Designer" and Gardendesign.com and is qualified to speak on a variety of topics from landscape design and maintenance to addressing local garden clubs and organizations.
PO Box 88
Stevensville, MI 49127