The 34 "seasons" of the New England Garden - USA

Submitted by externmed on Tue, 04/23/2013 - 09:55

?For the more beginning gardener:
As has been said of Paeonia mlokosewitschii: "it flowers for about a week, but looks it's very best for 4 hours of that time". (I know this critique is much too severe, but I'm getting to my point+ it can have glorious early foliage)
Our flowering season in E Central New England USA lasts from about March 15 to Nov 1. Some flowers only last about 2 days, but I think the average plant looks really good for about a week. So to maintain flower interest in the garden, we almost have to have plants with 34 different bloom times.
In my garden this year I have already been through several bloom "seasons": 1. early Galanthus, 2. late Galanthus, 3. species type crocus (maybe 2 weeks), 4. large commercial crocus + Iris reticulata cv, 5. (now) Corydylis solida, Narcissus cultivars, some small species tulips, Anemone blanda (on a SW facing slope, haven't started on a SE slope), some Hellebore standard hybrids and H. niger (one finishing and one at peak) and Anemone acutiloba, plus Chinodoxa and Scilla etc.
I guess there could be some lessions here: 1. Create garden interest with design, stone work, foliage, moss and lichens. 2. Flowering time can be shifted a week or more: south slope vs east slope vs part shade etc. 4. Pay attention to those times when there is a break in flower interest. (just in case you need to justify a new purchase) 4. Use annuals to your taste.

I was just struck in my ruminations on how ephemeral it all really is.

Charles S Massachusetts USA Z6a