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Developing a Plant Schedule for your Landscape

This is an image of a garden that is scheduled to bloom year-round.

Year Round Gardens: Developing a Plant Schedule for your Landscape

A fun and easy exercise in your garden is to develop a listing of when plants come into bloom, fruit, or fall color during the year. Known as a plant schedule, this is especially useful when making decisions on plant types for new planting designs or to enhance existing gardens. While spring and fall months are some of the more showy times of year for plants, it is very easy to develop landscapes that offer interest throughout the year in the Deep South. For example, in a perennial garden, combining coreopsis (spring), yellow coneflower (summer), asters (fall), and evergreen hollies (winter) in an area will provide year round interest.

Combining plants with a range of bloom times creates a year-round garden.

Most often, we favor blooming time when choosing and selecting garden plants. Blooming is an important consideration for adding color and interest, but is not the only way to liven a landscape. Other important plant factors include interesting trunk forms, colors, and textures; stem colors; seedheads and fruit, fall, winter, or growing season leaf colors; leaf textures or forms; or tree and shrub forms in winter.

Each month simply note what plants are providing, or could provide, an interesting feature. For planting designs or existing landscapes, this can often lead to identifying months (most often winter months) where more garden interest could be provided. Selecting plants by times of display is fairly easy. Many searchable online plant query Web sites allow you to select possible plants by seasonal time of bloom, or by listing interesting features such as seed and fruit during the year.

The following plant schedule (PDF) was developed for a garden in central Mississippi as an example.

Publications may download photo at 200 d.p.i.


These factsheets were written by Robert F. Brzuszek, Assistant Extension Professor, The Department of Landscape Architecture, Mississippi State University.

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News

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Filed Under: Landscape Architecture, Landscape and Garden Design, Smart Landscapes October 22, 2021

Participants in a Mississippi State University landscape symposium learned tips for preserving the life in their own backyards and contributing positively to the larger, regional ecosystem. The 66th Edward C. Martin Landscape Symposium was held Oct. 20 at MSU.

A few trees remain standing among an area with snapped off pines.
Filed Under: Landscape Design and Management, Landscape and Garden Design, Landscape Management, Landscape Resources, Landscape Plants and Trees Diseases, Trees March 31, 2021

Mississippi weather can damage trees in many ways, making it crucial to select wisely when choosing trees for the landscape.

A tall, thick layer of mulch around the base of a tree.
Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Flower Gardens, Landscape and Garden Design, Landscape Plants and Trees Diseases March 8, 2021

The glorious gardening weekend we just enjoyed was certainly welcome after the recent cold weather that kept us out of the landscape.

I took advantage of the perfect weather and started on garden chores I’ve been putting off. My main accomplishment, which has been on my list for a while, was putting down fresh layers of mulch. It felt good because I have been accumulating bags of mulch, and the neatly stacked pile was pretty big.

Filed Under: Landscape Design and Management, Landscape and Garden Design, Professionals Corner, Smart Landscapes, Turfgrass and Lawn Management February 1, 2021

The Mississippi State University Extension Service is leading a research project aimed at enhancing pollinator habitat in managed turfgrass of the Southeast.

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Filed Under: Flower Gardens, Landscape and Garden Design, Trees November 2, 2020

I had planned to write again this week about more great cool-season color options, but we had a landscape and garden crasher named Hurricane Zeta make a mess on the Gulf coast.

This storm surprised most folks with its intensity and property damage. It also did a lot -- and I do mean a lot -- of damage to trees that resulted in widespread power outages. My family and neighbors were lucky that our power was off for only 48 hours.

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