Four Season Interest in the Garden: Considering Form, Texture, and Color
On October 6, 2008 Mary Saba, from The Growing Place, spoke to the club. The following are notes from that presentation.
Start by looking at the overall structure of the area and the hardscape, as this can add all season interest. Examine the paths, benches, trellises, stepping stones. Think about what it looks like in winter. A good trick is to take a digital picture of your garden, put it on your computer and convert it to black and white. This will show you the "bones" of your garden.
Here are some plants that Mary likes for the Four Season Interest:
- Plants with berries/fruit can provide great winter interest, for example roses, holly, viburnum.
- Twigs such as from Japanese Maple, dogwoods, ninebark, Harry Lauder's Walking Stick provide interest when not in leaf. Only the juvenile branches turn red on Red-Twig Dogwood, so prune them in the spring and cut out all brown, older growth, to the ground.
- Evergreens, yucca, mixture of needle textures, grasses.
- Witchhazel 'Jelena',
- Cornelian Cherry Dogwood (Cornus mas),
- Redbud 'Forest Pansy' and 'Lavender Twist' (Cercis canadensis), will like a little afternoon shade.
- Oregon Grapeholly/Mahonia,
- Cotoneaster hessei.
- To acidify the soil for things like Rhododendrons, fertilize with cheap Coke (as in soda) in the spring.
- Serviceberry (Amelanchier).
- Viburnum Blackhaw 'Knighthood'
- Viburnum 'Summer Snowflake'
- Crabapples: 'Sargent', 'Sargent Tina', Golden Raindrops', Royal Raindrops', 'Adirondack', 'Red Jewel'
- Ninebark (Physocarpus)
- Chokeberry (Aronia) 'Iroquois Beauty'
- Magnolia virginiana - blooms in June so frost doesn't hit the blooms. Will do well in a wet site, nice fall seed pods. Many other varieties are very susceptible to scale.
- Shrub roses, Rugosa roses, Moss roses.
- Sumac Rhus 'Tiger Eye', 'Morton', 'Gro-low'
- Hydrangea 'Pinky Winky', 'Quick Fire', 'Annabelle', 'Limelight'
- Hydrangea Oakleaf (quercifolia)
- Paperbark Maple (Acer griseum)
- Grasses: Panicum 'Northwind', Pennisetum, Little Blue Stem, Prairie Drop Seed 'Tara'
- Perennials: Stachys minima, Iris siberica, Beautyberry/Callicarpa, Sedum, Ajuga 'Black Scallop', Hellebores