Depending upon the severity of the winter, the first of tens of thousands of spring-flowering bulbs appears in late February or early April in this Town of Manlius landscape. At right, a combination of Kaufmanniana tulips, striped squill and grape hyacinth create a ďriverĒ of color leading visitorís eyes to the front door in mid-April.
Through much of the month of June `Huskerís Redí penstemon, `Alaskaí shasta daisies and a variety of Siberian irises provide color while hiding the dying foliage of the spring-flowering bulbs (at right). Even after they finish blooming, the foliage of the penstemon and irises continue to add color and texture throughout the summer.
Then, just as many landscape plantings start to wilt under the heat and drought of mid-summer, this landscape reaches itís peak from July into early September as a variety of heat-loving perennials including blackeye Susanís, purple coneflower, Russian sage and ornamental grasses come into full bloom (at right)!
Finally, the remnants of the summerís colorful display of perennials remain standing as winter arrives to give hope that spring is just around the corner! Depending upon oneís preference, the dead stems of the perennials can either be mowed to the ground in late fall, or left standing until a mid-winter thaw. The debris can be left in the beds where it will be covered by a fresh coat of mulch, then gradually decompose, returning organic matter and nutrients to the soil - just like in meadow!