The autumn leaves have barely left the trees but here we are talking about spring! That might sound strange but if you want a great spring landscape, full of your favorite blooms and ready to enjoy, the time to plan and prepare is right now.
Before winter sets in, before the ground freezes and the ice and snow come, these are some things you should be thinking about and steps you should be taking to ensure your outdoor space will be at its best when it comes to life again.
Plant For Spring Blooms
If you love early bloomers like tulips, hyacinth, daffodils, or allium, don’t wait until next spring to decide to plant them. Bulbs need a period of natural cold to bloom, so plant them now and they will happily hibernate until they burst into gorgeous shades of pink, yellow, red, gold, and more next year.
For some late winter color, plant perennials like hellebores, which have earned the nickname Christmas Rose as well as Lenten Rose for their ability to flower when most others can’t. Put these beauties in the ground now and you can look forward to their shades of deep pink, rich purple, and even delicate greens and whites this winter and early spring.
Fall is also an ideal time to plant perennials like peonies, woodland phlox, and dianthus. Planting in fall will give them time to establish roots, which means they will be stronger when they bloom next spring.
If you’re imagining a springtime landscape filled with lovely tufts of silky white dogwood flowers or cheerful Kwanzan cherry blossoms, then this is the time to include them in your landscape. Fall is an excellent time to plant trees and shrubs of all kinds. Just like perennial flowers, planting now will give them time to establish their roots before going dormant. Come spring, they will be ready to emerge from a strong foundation.
Get Your Patio Ready
If part of your vision for your landscape includes a new patio or other hardscape, then you should be thinking about installing it right now. It’s common to think about improving your outdoor space during warmer weather when you’re likely to get more use out of it, but that is exactly one of the reasons to get your patio installed now.
When warm weather arrives, you want to be ready for it – not just thinking about digging up your landscape. Plus, spring can be wet and muddy, not ideal conditions for installing a patio. So even if you plan to have it done in time to enjoy it, you may still be at the whims of either frozen or soggy ground.
If you’re planning to host a springtime wedding, family get-together, or other outdoor event next year, getting your patio and landscape in order now means it will look great when you need it most – and you can avoid the stress of worrying about timing.
Installing a patio in the fall is also less disruptive to your landscape. Plants are dormant, which means they are less likely to be disturbed and you won’t be damaging plantings already in bloom. And whatever you do need to dig up can be landscaped properly for next year’s success. Remember those bulbs, shrubs and flowering trees you were imagining? They can easily be landscaped around your new patio, all ready for outdoor weather next spring.
As an added bonus, if your patio includes a fireplace or fire pit, you can start enjoying it right now.
Dive Into Your Aquatic Lifestyle
Fall is an excellent time to install a pond, offering a number of advantages over a spring installation. Just as with a patio, spring rains, flooding, mud, or still-frozen ground can mean delays, which can mean a longer wait before you can start enjoying your water feature.
More importantly, installing a pond during fall means it has plenty of time to mature and develop its ecosystem during cooler weather. Marginal plants will be better established since they can expend energy during fall on strengthening their root systems instead of blooming. Koi will acclimate more easily, which means less stress and healthier fish.
And like a patio, once you’re done digging up the ground for your pond, you can landscape around it with all your favorite plants, trees and shrubs so it will be ready to burst into life next year.
Work On Your Master Plan
A landscape is only as good as the plan that precedes it. Running to your local nursery or big box store at the first sign of spring to buy up palettes of flowers and stick them in the ground around your home is not the ideal plan!
Instead of thinking about individual components like flowers, a patio, or pond, think in terms of the whole of your outdoor space. It should be a place you can savor, appreciate, and enjoy spending time in all year long.
The best approach to creating an outdoor space that suits your lifestyle and your aesthetic preferences is to create a master plan. A master plan will take into account things like what to plant and when, where to place patios and ponds, and how your landscape will function as an extension of your home.
A master plan can also help you phase in a project, with high priority additions now, and secondary additions later. And while master planning doesn’t need to be a lengthy process, it can take you some time to really think about what you want your space to be, weigh options, and choose the best ones for you.
Get started on your master plan now and you can begin your journey before the last leaf falls, instead of waiting for spring when you want to be enjoying your space as soon as the first butterfly appears.
If you’d like to discuss adding to or improving your landscape, contact us for a master planning consultation. We’ll work with you to make sure that your outdoor space is everything you dreamed – from this fall to next and everything in between.