‘Year round interest’ makes an appearance on every client brief and rightly so. It inevitably conjures up images of reliable evergreens and the deep autumnal colours of deciduous shrubs and trees. The stems of a Dogwood can be a real highlight and a carpet of Bluebells tells us that Spring is in full swing and Summer is around the corner.

However, we often overlook the Winter beauty of many perennials. Once the flowers have faded we can be too quick to ‘cut back’ and ‘tidy up’. Many perennials have interesting seedpods which can look sculptural, especially when captured on a frosty morning. Ornamental grasses are also some of the most dramatic plants amongst a Winter garden.

The enclosed image perfectly illustrates the the architectural interest of Phlomis russeliana against a backdrop of grasses.

When designing a garden for ‘year round interest’  it is important to think about the rhythm of the planting and the changing of the seasons. The garden design team at J&S Scapes create a planting plan as part of the service and provide a maintenance plan to ensure the ‘cut back’ doesn’t get out of control!