Monday, 26 August 2013 10:33

Talking Design - Perennial Flowers

Designing a landscape using perennial flowers is the best way to have something wonderful blooming throughout the seasons. Most fallblooming perennials are hardy, long-lived and come in vivid colors. Fall bloomers, late summerblooming perennials and ornamental grasses are the three components of a well-planned garden, which provide beauty and enjoyment throughout the colder seasons. Fall bloomers have all season to grow so many are tall and bold when they flower. The top ten perennials that we use in our landscape designs are the Aster, Turtlehead, Chrysanthemum, Joe Pye Weed, Toad Lily, Perennial Sunflower, False Sunflower, Sedum, Goldenrod and the Blue Mist Shrub. Most of these will bloom from the end of summer until frost.

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Lake Bluff, IL., Schmechtig Landscapes

Ornamental grasses and late summerblooming perennials such as Black-eyed Susan, Coneflower and many others, have dried flowers and interesting stalks that remain into the fall and throughout the winter. These dried perennials and grasses should not be underestimated in the garden. The colors of these fall-blooming perennials compliment our yellow, orange and red fall colors magnificently.

Published in Landscaping
Friday, 23 August 2013 10:22

Color in your Landscape

"I want a lot of color in my landscape" is the most common phrase we hear from a client. To a designer, this phrase has broad appeal because there are so many ways to add color into a landscape design. Adding color in diverse and creative ways is what makes a landscape come alive. Add layers of color into the landscape design that extend from early spring and continue into the fall and beyond. The early spring layer of color comes from bulbs like hyacinths, tulips and daffodils. These plants usually bloom between mid-March and late April. When planted in ground cover beds they will pop up through the foliage and add color to that space. Bulbs are easy to plant and become a welcomed sign of the summer months ahead.

 

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Barrington Hills, IL., Schmechtig Landscapes

The next layer is provided by the spring flowering woody plants such as crabapples and ornamental shrubs. These plants will flower from April through May, depending on variety, and last for 2 to 3 weeks. With the relatively short bloom time of woody plants, the foliage (or leaf) color becomes important as well. Contrasting foliage colors add visual interest.

 

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Winnetka, IL., Schmechtig Landscapes

Perennial and annual flowers are the summer and fall layer of color. Consider perennial flowers with late bloom times and integrate them into the foreground of planting beds like a ground cover. Fall and winter color is provided by foliage and branch color. Additionally, ornamental grass combined with bright-colored red dogwoods and evergreen trees provide winter color. Contrasting colors again become important. Remember the key is to layer color each season to provide the year-round desire for color in your landscape.

Published in Landscaping
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