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How to design a garden with all season bloom

Updated on August 1, 2008

Many flower gardener wants a showy display of flowers all season from spring to fall. To achieve that, you must pay attention to sequence of bloom and design the garden with an assortment of different perennial plants that will bloom one after the other from spring to fall because most flowers generally only bloom for a short time each year.

There are so many flowers to try. However, most gardeners find that a certain set of plants become the backbone of their garden and depend on them to provide reliable colour and blooms year in and year out. Which ones grow best for you will depend on where you are gardening and the microclimate and other conditions in your garden.

Tulips in my garden

Flowers for spring bloom

Pasque flower, Creeping phlox, bluebells, Lungwort, and the many minor bulbs such as Iris reticulata, Chionodoxa, crocus and of course daffodils.

Tulips bloom around the end of April and beginning of May, coming and going in a flash.


Flowers for late spring to early summer bloom

Peonies, Columbine, Siberian iris, German iris, cranesbill, Dianthus, Lamium, Baptisia, Coreopsis, Coral Bells, Salvia and Candytuft. These flowers provide some gorgeous blooms in the late spring, and often last into the summer months.

Columbines come in a wonderful range of lively colours. They bloom in late spring and early summer (May to June), and are ideal for cottage gardens as they freely self-seed. Plant them right at the front of a border where they can be easily seen.

Purple coneflower

Flowers for mid to late summer bloom

Yarrow, purple coneflower, black eyed Susan, daylilies, bulb lilies, tall border phlox, Penstemon, bee balm, Boltonia, and Hosta. These flowers are great replacements for the faded spring and early summer flowers.

Purple coneflower has pinkish droopy petals surround dome-like centers. The five-foot foliage is fairly nondescript, so tuck this perennial behind lower growing plants. Tolerant of relatively poor soils.


Flowers for fall bloom

Toadlily, asters, boltonia, blue leadwort, plantain lily, and goldenrod.

Asters are the stars of the autumn border, providing an array of cool-coloured flowers from September to Christmas.

Bloom sequence and flower combinations

Arrange each group to provide a pleasing sequence of bloom or to orchestrate combinations of flowers that bloom at the same time. This type of fine tuning can take several years to achieve the desired results.


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