Deciduous Plants And Why You Need Them In Your Landscape Design

Design, Plantings · Written by Roger

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Sometimes, just out of curiosity, I’ll ask a design client if they’d like evergreen or deciduous plants in their landscape. The majority of homeowners say evergreen. It seems many people think of deciduous plants as “not as good as evergreens,” perhaps because they lose their leaves in the fall.

It isn’t until I explain the real benefits of deciduous plants that they say: “Yeah, let’s work some of them into our design!”

In the first picture you see Climbing Hydrangea, which is deciduous. It’s doing a fine job of visually softening the expanse of brick while nicely framing the house number plaque.

This is the look you’ll have from April to September here in the northeast. In late June to early July there’s a magnificent show of flowering with white blossoms 6″ wide that seem to “float” above the leaves. Then, sometime in later October the foliage turns a beautiful bright yellow as in the photo below. I should also point out that while the vine is leafless during the winter months, the branch stems are a cinnamon brown color with peeling, exfoliating shaggy bark – a handsome look for sure.

To avoid the use of deciduous plants on your property is really limiting the wonderful and seasonal changes your gardens can have. The notion that a leafless plant in winter is lacking something or worse yet detracts from “the look” is absurd. Like in any good design it comes down to composition, arrangement and balance.

I’m going to begin showcasing specific plants in future posts. These Plant Profiles will describe the characteristics of each plant, but more importantly I’ll illustrate how these plants can be used in the landscape to satisfy aesthetic issues and functional issues as well. There’s an old saying, “The right plant in the right place.” Truer words have never been spoken.

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