Our Favorite 3 to 4 Season Plants

With our busy lifestyles I believe your landscape should work as hard as you do. I also believe that mono-cultures are not a good idea in the landscape and that, as in life, diversity is better. Each plant has its season in the sun when it takes center stage. Within a diverse group problems do not spread like wildfire and the diversity presents continual visual interest as each plant plays its role. All these things said there are some plants that step up and deliver a long season, in some cases, multiple seasons of interest in the landscape. A good landscape uses approximately 30% of its foundation in evergreens providing the gravitas and back drop of interest. In some cases the evergreens can serve as a focal point for 4 seasons of interest such as a Weeping Spruce or a conifer that looks like an evergreen but is deciduous with fall color like a Weeping Larch. Broadleaf evergreens can serve this role too with Rhododendrons and Holly as examples providing year long interest. Aside from the understood importance and foundation provided by conifers and broadleaf evergreens, other plants can provide workhorse interest in the landscape, many with a key blooming season as well as great fall color or colorful season long foliage and stems. Also remember well placed splashes or pockets of Annuals, Herbs and Bulbs add to the show to make your landscape a headliner. Here is my list (53 suggestions) for some landscape hardy favorites that come back and perform year after year as I call it the “gift that keeps giving”. Hardy to our hardiness zones in Michigan, these plants are listed as “Herbaceous” Perennial plants or “Woody” landscape plants.

“Herbaceous” Perennial Plants
Achillea Yarrow
Agastache
Ajuga
Allium/Mountain Garlic
Aralia
Baptisia
Bergenia
Brunnera
Carex
Coneflower Echinacea
Gingko
Hakonechloa
Hellebores
Heuchera
Hops
Hosta
Lambs Ear Stachys
Lamium
Ligularia
Liriope
Nepeta
Ornamental Grasses
Perovskia Russian Sage
Persicaria
Pulmonaria
Sedums
Succulents (such as Sedums)
Sweet Woodruff
Yucca Golden Sword

 

“Woody” Landscape Plants
Azalea Deciduous Northern Lights
Chamaecyparis Gold Mop Cypress
Dogwood Red or Gold Twig
Fothergilla
Hydrangea Oakleaf
Hydrangea Panicle (Quickfire, Limelight, etc)
Hydrangea serrata Tuff Stuff
Hypericum St Johns Wort
Itea
Japanese Maple
Juneberry/Serviceberry
Nishiki Willow
Own root Landscape Roses
Paperbark Maple
Physocarpus Ninebark
Rosa Rugosa
Sambucus Elderberry
Sweet Autumn Clematis
Syringa Landscape Lilacs/rebloomers
Tri Color Beech
Viburnum
Weigela Wine and Roses or My Monet
Wisteria
Witchhazel