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Planning Your Landscape For All Seasons

Garden Bed

Is your landscape plan optimized for every season? Neglecting to consider how your landscaping will look in winter can be a big mistake in Ontario. Winter is so long that we really need to include elements that can add visual interest in the winter. Fall and spring aren’t peak flower season either, but your landscape can still look good during them. Here are some elements to include in your landscape plan to create all-season beauty. 

Mulch 

Wherever you’re tempted to lay down grass or more annual plants, consider some mulch. While many gardeners use mulch to help the soil retain moisture and nourish plants, mulch can be a decorative element of your garden too. Mulches add texture and colour, no matter the season. Plus, natural mulches made of cedar or other woods may add smell. You can have an aromatic garden even when you don’t have any plants in bloom. 

Natural Stone 

Natural stone is a smart choice for all-season landscaping because it isn’t impacted by the weather. Any hardscaping made with natural stone will add structure, visual interest and colour to your landscape in all four seasons. Consider these features:

  • Retaining wall 
  • Stone patio 
  • Garden coping 
  • Rock garden
  • Pool edging
  • Structure for water features 

Natural stone can also be a focal point of your garden instead of a structural element. Large, natural stone pieces such as our amethyst boulders, mica boulders or western black granite can be added to your landscape by themselves. Think of them as a natural sculpture and you’ll know where to put them. 

Maple Tree in Fall

Four Season Trees 

Although evergreen trees are a great option for all-season landscaping, they aren’t your only option. In Ontario, almost all our landscapes include maples, and if you choose the right variety of maple you can get all-season interest. Maples are always interesting in summer and autumn, but these varieties also look great in winter and spring: 

  • Paper Barked Maple (Acer griseum): This maple has very light green growth in the spring, which contrasts with its cinnamon-bronze bark. In the winter that bark stands out in a snowy landscape and slowly peels. 
  • Three Flowered Maple (Acer triflorum): As its name suggests this maple produces clusters of three yellow flowers in the spring, showier than many other maple’s flowers. Plus it has a golden amber peeling bark that offers deep colour in the winter. 
  • Marmo Freeman Maple (Acer x freemanii ‘Marmo’): This maple is also a spectacle in spring, with bright red flowers. In winter, the majestic oval silhouette adds elegance to a landscape. 

For more landscaping ideas that add interest year-round, contact Grand River Natural Stone and we’ll help you develop a landscape plan. 

Sources: 

http://www.missouribotanicalgarden.org/PlantFinder/PlantFinderDetails.aspx?taxonid=275421 

https://www.elledecor.com/design-decorate/how-to/g3023/landscaping-ideas-for-low-maintenance-yard/?slide=1 

https://www.angieslist.com/articles/creating-low-maintenance-landscaping-all-seasons.htm 

https://www.mortonarb.org/trees-plants/tree-and-plant-advice/horticulture-care/trees-and-shrubs-four-seasons-landscape