Planning Delight

 In Go Go Green Thumbs

Written by: Sumati Shah


Get a pen, get a cuppa, and get comfortable.

If you’ve been keeping a Garden Journal, you’ll like this one.

As your musings take you into next year’s garden in your mind’s eye…plan to delight yourself!

Get as practical or metaphorical as you’d like…in the end you’ll have a few ideas of how to add some colour and maybe some action into your garden at different seasons.


Mixed Zinnias

Having a colourful scene to enjoy in each season doesn’t happen by accident, so think your way through a walk in your garden In each  4 seasons.

Jot down which areas are missing colour in which season – or where you want colour or interest that you don’t already have it.

Rule of Green Thumbs: When planning for colour consider the whole plant: Stems & Leaves can be as much or more interest than Flowers alone!

Here are a few delightful plants that you might imagine in your own garden:

Spring Delight: 

  • Hellebores are the beauties of the early spring: Lenten or Christmas Roses are always luscious
  • Forsythia v.: Great for hanging easter eggs & cheering the dull last days of winter
  • Witch Hazel – Hamamelis x: this one isn’t so common but I have it on my wish list…their intricate flowers are unexpected and a few choices available for more intrigue

Summer Delight:

  • Maybe the roses are beautiful but the bed looks pretty Adams Family bleak unless they’re in full bloom? Nepeta faassenii v. Catmint varieties are gorgeous – a blue cloud underplanted among the roses.  Like the off Broadway ingenue…she’s on when the star can’t be.
  • Evening Primrose  Oenothera biennis – not the most elegant of plants but their neon yellow seems to break the visible spectrum on a summer’s evening the flowers glow from the back of the garden.
  • Zinnias  – The tallest ones are super fun to seed into a middle or back of a sunny area  – ‘Colour’s Power Punch’

Autumn Delight:

  • Burning Bush – super common but always a stunner!  When these are well cared for and planted in a good location the colour variance is always so beautiful, Euonymus alata is a summer wallflower turned autumn show stopper.
  • Asters are now called symphyotrichum, but the new england and belgian types are a beautiful late season perennial flower – pick those up with your fall mums – they’re often sold as ‘fall colour’ in the garden centres too!

Winter Delight

  • Middle of bleak winter it’s nice to see the red stems of Red Osier dogwood – Cornus sericea x or Cornus alba x, or Yellow Twig Dogwood  – Cornus sericea ‘Flaviramea’.
  • Tall flowering grasses aren’t colourful but their feather texture is beautiful and the seeds make good winter bird fodder. Miscanthus are the best genus to check out – ‘Sunrise’ and ‘Huron Sunset’ are two favourites for their flower colour interest
  • Loop back up to the witch hazels for the bridge, and spring will be here before you know it.

Plan for delight …and making it happen will be one too.


Go Go Green Thumbs!



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