I don’t know about you, but if I’m going to have a garden, I basically want it to look great all year. And I’d prefer plants that don’t require constant upkeep or whispered sweet nothings to grow.
I want it to look awesome all the time with very little upkeep. Is that so much to ask?
And, my friends, this is not just a dream. It’s actually possible. And it’s a plan that is actually coming together at our home. It isn’t instantaneous, but it’s so worth it.
Last fall, we dug out some front garden beds and planted a variety of perennials and bulbs. And we really focused on all-year color. That means that throughout the whole year, there is SOMETHING to look at.
It’s already grown so much from the fall (pictured below).
The beauty of choosing perennials with varying bloom times is that it looks better and better every year. The plants just get bigger and healthier – with very little maintenance (after the first year of watering in).
I didn’t get a photo earlier in the spring, but we had tons of beautiful tulip and daffodil blooms in front – the perfect start to spring. And every day, we seem to get a new surprise popping out of the ground.
We recently refreshed the mulch and added just a few plants. And our efforts are being rewarded. And I’m just thrilled to see how it looks all year.
Here are a few of my very favorite plants to add to your garden for all year color. (Click on the links and search the name to find the plant.)
Snowball bush (viburnum)
These bushes are a wonderful showpiece in the garden – they are already sprouting lime green blooms and will turn into large white blooms later in the summer. (These look very similar to hydrangea.) I love that they are already showing lots of blooms and beautiful green foliage – and they are much larger than the hydrangea I planted.
Oh, how I wait for these blooms to pop open. These were one new addition this year and I’m having a hard time not buying 10 more plants. This one is looking super healthy and those blooms don’t lie. (Great for spring blooms.)
This hasn’t come back up yet this season – but it makes a great statement in the garden. It has lovely green leaves and flowers that really draw in the butterflies.
In a Midwest garden, daylilies are a must.The green foliage is a beautiful garden staple on it’s own. They are a great anchor to the garden all year. Then, in the summer, beautiful blooms pop up from nowhere. I want these everywhere.
Iris is one of the unsung heroes of the garden. It is super easy to grow, gets lovely blooms right around Mother’s Day, and comes in tons of different colors. And one of my favorite parts – it’s really easy to divide and grow more.
I love all types of sedum, and I love that they really reward my neglect. (This one is called autumn joy stonecrop.)
We call these live forevers – because I think it’s nearly impossible to kill them
Tulips and Daffodils
I think these are must haves for spring color. Super easy to plant and they come back year after year. I love adding different colors and styles.
I’m a fan of almost all spring flowering bulbs. But don’t tell the others – allium may be my favorites. They bloom a little later (after daffodils and tulip blooms are long gone) and they have taller, purple blooms that just steal the show. My first allium bloomed and I’m impatiently waiting for all the others to burst.
These are late bloomers, but worth the wait for the beautiful purple hues and tall blooms. They attract bees and butterflies like magnets and are gorgeous in arrangements.
These are the quintessential late summer bloomers, the green on these are already popping out of the ground for the year. These may be my favorite flowers.
Tip: When planting or transplanting black-eyed Susans, remember that they need a LOT of water the first year. I just watered them every day last fall. You can also leave them in pots if that makes it easier to water for a bit.
So, there’s a little peek at my early spring garden.
Are there any plants you’d add to the list for all-year color?
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