Landscape Designs For Seasonal Colors

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There is an art in designing a landscape for year round color.

It requires having knowledge of the different types of flowering plants that perform well in Massachusetts. Creating landscape designs using shrubs, perennials and bedding annuals to get a full season of color. Trees and shrubs provide a framework and the “softscape” structure for your landscape design. The limitation with flowering shrubs is that they only bloom for several weeks. Most broad-leafed evergreens like rhododendrons and azaleas are spring blooming shrubs. Deciduous shrubs like spirea and viburnums tend to bloom early to mid summer.

There are very few fall-flowering shrubs. The real color benefit in the shrub border in autumn is fall foliage. Bloom times for shrubs can also be early or late depending on the severity of the winter. With flowering shrubs and trees taking center stage during springtime, a good landscape design incorporates some hardy perennials for filling in those colorless spots during the summer months. Favorites like Stella Doro daylilies, Brown-Eyed Susans and Autumn Joy sedums are reliable performers year after year.

Having a good supply of perennials in your yard is like having your own flower nursery. These plants should be divided every few years, giving you new opportunities to create more flower beds and spread the color around your yard. There are a couple of disadvantages with perennials. Like shrubs, many perennials have a short bloom time. The average perennials blooms for about 4 to 6 weeks. Most perennials perform best in full sun. And some perennials spread like a ground cover. These types of perennials can be problematic when mixed in with shrubs.

To overcome these disadvantages, you need a third blooming tool in your toolbox: annual bedding plants. The term “annual” means you have to plant them every year, so it’s best to use these in limited areas and as a last resort. The benefit of using annual flowers is that they bloom all season long. Using them for shady areas, in clay pots or urns and around main entry areas will give you the best bang for your blooming buck!

Patio Design

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Whether used for entertaining or quiet evenings, a well thought-out patio design as an outdoor living space is as useful as any indoor room. Before you break ground and begin construction on your new patio, call the Ground Care Landscaping professionals for a free consultation on how to best layout this very important outdoor room! We have been installing patios in brick pavers and natural stone for clients throughout northern Massachusetts for years. We’ve got some good ideas for your patio too!

Here are some patio design tips that will help you in the process:

Decide how your patio will be used. Do you do a lot of entertaining? Do you have a large family? How late in the season will you be using your patio? If your patio is more than aesthetic, consider providing propane gas plumbing in your design. An outdoor kitchen for entertaining and food prep is useful, and a gas fireplace can extend your patio living to enjoy warmth on cool autumn nights. Once the stone and pavers are installed, plumbing a patio with gas is virtually impossible.

Where are you most comfortable in your yard? Most often patios are installed near the kitchen or service areas of the house because it is practical. But if the back of your house is a southern exposure, it may not be comfortable in the summer. Walk around your yard and “feel” where your comfort zone is. That’s where your gathering area should be. A thoughtful patio design considers both function and comfort.

Don’t forget your access and service areas. How will guests approach your patio? Where will you grill? Will you have a table or chaise lounge chairs, or both? Is there a fire pit? Considering the entrance sequencing of any landscape design and patio layout is critical to creating a successful any outdoor living space. Place the grill away from the gathering area and a safe distance from any structure. Providing a bench wall near a fire pit or garden area will provide temporary seating for larger gatherings. Consider subtle path lighting if your patio is approached through the landscape.

We want you to enjoy your outdoor patio to the fullest. Call us today to explore the possibilities!