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  • Writer's pictureSarah Kay

Planting for all year colour

With every garden, especially gardens which are viewed all year round from the house, it's important to consider succession planting to ensure all year colour and interest. I've tried to do this with the planting in my garden so I thought it would be good to show the different forms, colour and textures achieved throughout the year.

My garden is North facing but enjoys all day sun in the back half of the garden with the right hand side bathed in sunshine throughout the afternoon. I've planted in raised beds so the imported soil has a neutrual PH and is a free draining loam.

Here's a walk through a year in my garden with the key plants by month:


Hellebores are the stars of the early months of the year when most other plants are dormant.


This is when Spring bulbs including Narcissi, Tulips and Fritillaria meleagris come into their own. I'm definately going to plant more Spring bulbs in my garden to ensure a colourful display from Feb through to May next year. Plant bulbs in October for best results and let the foliage die down naturally to feed the bulbs for next year.


May is the month of the Allium. I didn't see any signs of them until early March but now they bursting out of their pods. The flower heads look great dried in the Autumn so don't be too quick to cut them down. Geranium phaeum 'Samabor' provide a darker purple complement to the vibrancy of the Allium 'Purple Sensation'.


The Summer months brings the most colour with the Astrantia, Geraniums flowering from June until October/November. I have Agapanthus in pots which provides strong colour and architectural form.


Early Autumn is the time for ornamental grasses to really come into their own. I've planted Stipa tenuissima at the back of my raised beds which combines really well with the Alliums, Geranium and Astrantia throughout the year and is virtually evergreen in our mild climate. It just needs cutting down in early Spring to reveal new growth. Autumn is also bulb planting time.


Winter is the time that the evergreens really become important in your garden. I usually plant around 70-80% evergreens so they are a background foil for seasonal colour and mean that there is green in the garden all year round. Ferns, evergreen grasses and shrubs which provide interested form, texture and foliage work well here.

So remember if you're planning to plant up your garden this Spring/Summer think about when plants come into flower and don't forget the evergreens.

If you would like some professional input into what to plant in your garden, please contact me to arrange a consultation today.

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