These plans feature trees, shrubs, perennials, and bulbs that can be planted in fall. If you can't find all of the plants, you can start now and fill in the rest next spring.
This low-maintenance, foolproof shade garden is attractive in three seasons, but particularly throughout late winter and spring. Witch hazel and astilbe light up the early season with their cheerful blooms. The striking leaves of hosta and Solomon's seal ensure that the garden is attractive even when the flowers aren't in bloom. Garden size: 8 by 18 feet.
Trees and shrubs ("woody" plants) are the four-seasons backbone of the landscape. This garden displays small shrubs among three 'Royalty' crabapple trees. An evergreen, blooming groundcover of vinca blankets the foreground. Garden size: 11 by 13 feet.
If flowers are your thing, this is the garden for you. Seven high-performance perennials will give you plenty of flowers, all summer long and into fall. Tuck the garden into a corner or plop it in the middle of the lawn -- these plants will put on a show wherever they get six hours or more of sunlight daily. Garden size: 9 by 9 feet.
Planting beds around the perimeter of a yard enclose it enough to create a feeling of seclusion and privacy. A small maple tree, chokeberries, and two low-growing evergreens do the screening here, while perennials, annuals, and bulbs provide seasonal color. Garden size: 17 by 8 feet.
A living sculpture -- the gracefully weeping pea tree -- is the focus of this garden bed. In spring, the pea tree's cascading branches are bright with myriad yellow blossoms. At its feet is a garden of low-growing perennials, blending burgundy foliage with purple and pink flowers. Garden size: 16 by 10 feet.
This stylish border features a sophisticated color palette. The perennials in the design, chosen for their long season of bloom, offer flowers in violet-blue and yellow shades. Evergreen shrubs in silver-blue and bright chartreuse-gold keep the color going year-round. Garden size: 6 by 20 feet.
A colorful alternative to the standard all-green landscape, this foundation planting mixes broad-leafed evergreen shrubs and a sculptural tree with flowering perennials and groundcovers. Lay a path of stepping stones around the front of the border to define the garden's shape and to provide access to the side yard. Garden size: 10 x 28 feet.
Here's a garden that will thrive in the cool shade of mature trees -- a difficult growing situation where lawns languish. Perennials were chosen for a progression of flower colors from spring through fall. Pink and lavender shades predominate, with touches of silver, white, pale yellow, and chalky blue foliage. The foliage alone creates a pleasing composition: bold leaves are contrasted with fine, lacy textures and bright leaf patterns. Garden size: 23 by 12 feet.
A garden rich with food sources and nesting sites is an ideal year-round habitat for songbirds. Cotoneaster, viburnum, and other shrubs produce fruits relished by birds throughout the growing season. Coneflowers and black-eyed Susans offer their seedheads in fall. Garden size: 26 by 25 feet.
First impressions are important! This entry garden greets your guests with beauty in all four seasons. A fragrant viburnum, evergreen boxwoods, and a small flowering tree create the backdrop for long-blooming perennials. Across the walk, annual flowers and spring bulbs mingle in a narrow strip. Garden size: 32 by 26 feet.
The addition of flowers brings life to an unimaginative row of shrubs and turns the front walk into a garden path. A variety of bulbs and perennials, many with a long bloom season, fill a bed on the other side of the walk. The curving edge of the flower bed softens the angularity of the concrete walk. Give this garden six hours or more of sun daily. Garden size: 33 by 16 feet.