Creating a Four Seasons Garden for Year-Round Interest

No, a Four Seasons Garden isn’t found on the rooftop of Lumiere Place. It’s a style of garden design that balances a well-chosen mix of native plants & perennials, annuals, flowering shrubs, and ornamental trees that provides year-round interest and color to your landscaping. 

Most home gardens are loaded with blossoms in spring and early summer only. Why? Because it’s when the majority of flowering perennials, shrubs and trees bloom. This gives your garden a burst of color that, while beautiful, is short lived. Our seasons are dramatic in St. Louis, which makes this style of landscape design especially key in creating an outdoor oasis you can appreciate all throughout the year, not just over a month or two. 

four seasons garden st louis landscaping

With a little thoughtful planning, though, there can be something in your yard to delight the senses at every time of the year!

In a well-balanced landscape design you might have spring-flowering Daffodils, Tulips, Iris, Peonies, Forsythia, Azaleas, Lilacs, Rhododendrons, and Dogwoods that then give way to summer-flowering Poppies, Coneflowers, Daylilies, Catmint, Astilbe, and Hydrangeas. Shade-loving plants like Hostas, Coral Bells, and Golden Hakone Grass brighten garden beds with their vibrant foliage. Annual Lantana and Impatiens keep their color till around Halloween, when the Red Maples become a showy red and Ginkgo leaves turn golden yellow. 

The ornamental bark of these trees also adds landscape interest throughout the winter months, as do the red fruits of the Hawthorn tree and the evergreen form and color of the conifers, which range from tall Blue Spruces to White Pines with beautiful, long needles.

To create your own Four Seasons Garden you can start by keeping track of what flowers when to determine where your garden could use more interest. Then you can research, plant, and experiment to learn about plants that have ornamental value during those times of the year.

At Quiet Village, our landscape designers always keep Four Seasons Gardening at the front of mind. Our design team always recommends native plants that have long-lasting landscaping interest.

Here are a few of our favorite Missouri native plants that bring no-maintenance life to any outdoor space!

  • Threadleaf Blue Star – Spring flowers, soft texture, yellow fall color
  • Rattlesnake Master – Interesting summer blooms, striking foliage, fragrant, wonderful dried flower.
  • Little Bluestem Grass – Blue/gray/green foliage that turns a scarlet brown in the fall almost glowing on a rainy day.
  • American Beautyberry – Early summer blooms, beautiful fall berry production that persists into the winter.
  • Prairie Dock – Huge, interesting leaves, whimsical flower, late season blooms.
  • Blue False Indigo – Spring blooms, followed by beautiful seed pods.
  • St. John’s Wort – Summer blooms, followed by beautiful fruit.
  • Purple Coneflower – Summer blooms, followed by interesting spent flower structures which are great food source for finches.
  • Christmas Fern – Evergreen, small fern for the shade. 

native plants st louis

Note that these plants will all thrive in different growing conditions. Research each native plant specifically, or let us know which plants you like and we can assist in placing them in your landscape design.