Color for All Seasons: Planting for Four-Season Interest

Fall Landscaping House

If you want your garden to really make a statement, consider committing to four-season planting. Though planning for four seasons requires more work, the payoff is a landscape that never looks bare or spotty when the seasons change.  

How To Create a Four-Season Garden

Choose Regional Favorites 

Choosing plants that flourish in your region’s particular climate takes a lot of the guesswork out of four-season gardening. Those who live in warmer places have a more extensive selection from which to choose, but that doesn’t mean cooler areas can’t have year-round gardens. Unique greenery adds flair when colorful blooms are hard to find. Regardless of the type, experts suggest having at least two flowering plants per season. One common denominator of landscaping each season is mulch. For a helpful guide to mulching read our blog here!

Use Container Gardens   

Containers provide a shortcut to the process of maintaining plants for all four seasons. When each plant resides in its own container, it takes only minutes to move plants around when the temperatures warrant it. Container gardens also tend to be more tolerant. Since containers provide more protection and eliminate the need for plants to take root in the ground, seasonal concerns such as freezing and flooding become less of a threat.  

Year-Round Garden Planner 


Let the weather guide you when planning for year-round interest. On top of seasonal factors, such as temperature and amount of daily sunlight, consider how your immediate environment can impact plant growth. Sections of your yard may be more exposed to the elements, with some corners never getting direct sunlight. Other areas may be susceptible to pooling or flooding. Read our blog covering the Best Time of Year to Redesign your Landscaping!


If you’re struggling to decide which plants look best together, mix and match seasonal favorites. Contained plants make this even easier, as you can simply move them around if and when you’re ready for a change. Traditional gardens require a little more forethought. Place the star of fall gardening next to a standout summer bloom for added variety and depth.  

Types of Plants for All Four Seasons 

Spring and Summer  

All-season gardening options are more plentiful during warm months, as the climate allows vibrant flowers to bloom alongside climbing and vining greenery. Bulbs, such as tulips and daffodils, make beautiful spring accessories. Snowdrops and violets add even more color to the scene. Corsican violets in particular are hardy enough to withstand both the heat of summer and the crispness of fall.   

When the days grow longer, heat-loving flowers like geraniums and hydrangeas steal the show. Many varieties will last through fall, especially when contained, which is why these flowers are popular choices for hanging baskets. The Joe-Pye weed is another popular summer option. Their impressive height, which ranges from 5 to 7 feet, makes Joe-Pye weeds perfect background builders, as they draw the eye up and give spaces more depth.  

Fall and Winter  

Once the air grows crisp, sweet autumn clematis shows why it’s one of the most popular fall plants. This white vining flower, which can grow to 20 feet long, looks perfect draped over a trellis or entryway. Perhaps the undefeated champion of fall, however, is goldenrod. This bright yellow flower is a big hit with honeybees, who cherish the flower’s sweet nectar, contributing to not only your home’s aesthetic but also the preservation of the local ecosystem.  

Outside of warm climates, it can be challenging to grow anything other than native plants in winter; however, certain dogwoods, like the “red twig dogwood,” can withstand the chill in any region. Hardy grass, such as blue oat grass, improves ground-level landscape layering and adds an interesting texture to the mix.   


Creating a garden that maintains its luster throughout the year takes extra planning but produces a dream-worthy result. Whenever you’re ready to take the plunge, Design One professionals can walk you through the rewarding process of landscaping with four-season interest.

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