Four Season Extravaganza To Hide Fence

Part of the You Can Learn Landscaping and Gardening series.
By Ken Brown
December 27, 2007
This Four Season Extravaganza Landscape Design is great for hiding that fence at the back of the yard. It is really a very simple design with many opportunities for you to add your own ideas. It uses 5 different plants to liven up your yard during the 4 seasons.

In the spring your senses will be greeted with daffodils popping up at the first sign of warmth. Then they will be quickly followed with a rush of purple as the Salvias begin to cherish the sunshine. The Salias will have a nice green backdrop with Spireas and burning bushes in the background. But then as summer turns to fall the Spireas and the Burning Bushes will start their own colorful shows. The year ends on a high note as the tall ornamental grasses strut their seeds all winter.

One of the things you will notice about this design is the lack of strong instructions on how high or long to make it. Well, I did that for a reason. This is a landscape design where you can use a little creativity. Imagine you have a really long rope. Then you take that rope and throw it on the ground like it is a snake. Some areas are really small while other areas are huge. That is the goal of this design. You mark out a snake like line from one corner of your fence to another corner. Then you make it into your four season extravaganza landscape design.

If you don't think you are creative then follow these instructions. First know that this is a free form design. It is kind of like a mountain range.
  1. Start at one corner with a rope or garden hose
  2. In a curved pattern put a peak of about 12 feet from the fence. This can be 5 to 8 feet from the corner.
  3. Then in a gentle slope take the hose to about 20 feet from the corner again touching the fence.
  4. It will have a gentle triangular look to it.
So now you can place 4 burning bushes along the fence starting at the corner. Next to the burning bushes place 4 Karl Foerster Feather Reed Grasses. This will consist of your base next to the fence.

Then the next row as you go to the mountain top place 4 Little Princess Spirea and 2 more Feather Reed Grasses. The next row up will consist of 2 Salvia and 2 Daffodils. The following row up the mountain will contain 2 Salvia and 1 Daffodil. Finally on the mountain top you can find a single Salvia.

Now it is important to remember that this design only extends along the fence for 20 feet. If you want to go all the way across your yard then you need to repeat the design as needed to finish the balance. Again an opportunity for you to get creative. If you want to shorten the height remove the line of 4 Spireas and 2 Grasses. Then the next section over you can replace the burning bushes with the Spireas. Then switch back for the following section. That will give you a nice variety and leave a little more yard for you.

Recommended Flowers

The Salvia. You will want 5 of these beauties. The salvia is a plant to place in full sun and requires well drained soil. Place the salvia in borders and rock gardens as they require little care. You can keep salvias blooming longer in the summer season by deadheading them when the flowers are spent.

The Little Princess Spirea comes in a variety of colors and sizes to give you a whole summer of joy. From low shrubs that are easy to maintain like the Little Princess and Goldflame Spirea and the beautiful large Vanhouttei. For years we had Vanhouttei spireas in our back yard. The large plants would produce beautiful white flowers that made the plant appear to be covered in snow. Now we own Little Princess Spireas and Goldflame Spireas, that enchant us with color and flowers for 3 seasons.

Burning Bush.

Karl Foerster Reed Grass Ornamental grasses provide visual interest in your landscape design for the harsh winters. Your garden may be under snow during the winter, what can you do to add winter interest in your landscape design?

Try adding grasses to your backyard garden. Here are a few photos of grasses after this area received 4 to 8 inches of snow. We have already received a few days of below zero temperatures. These grasses have survived winter's toughest components. Imagine the joy you will find when you have native grasses in your backyard.


Flower Quantity Interest Color
Salvia 5 Spring - Summer Dark Blue, Purple
Daffodils 3 Spring Yellow
Little Princess Spirea 4 Summer - Fall Green to Gold
Burning Bush - Euyonomous 4 Summer - Fall Green to Red
Karl Foerster Feather Reed Grasses 6 Summer - Fall - Winter Tan or Brown

This is a plot showing Four Seasons Extravaganza Landscape Design with Daffodils, Salvia, Little Princess Spirea, Burning Bush, and Feather Reed Grass
This is a plot showing Four Seasons Extravaganza Landscape Design

Click on image to see larger view.

This is a high level 3 dimensional view showing Four Seasons Extravaganza Landscape Design with Daffodils, Salvia, Little Princess Spirea, Burning Bush, and Feather Reed Grass
This is a high level 3 dimensional view showing Four Seasons Extravaganza Landscape Design with Daffodils, Salvia, Little Princess Spirea, Burning Bush, and Feather Reed Grass

Click on image to see larger view.

Have Fun with the Design

I dare you to be brave enough to show your creativity with this design. If you don't like daffodils then put in tulips, Bearded Irises or the Japanese Iris. The goal is to have some flowers peaking out of the ground as winter begins to move out of town. That first rush of color let's you know that spring is close. You become enthusiastic about spring and about getting into the garden.

This should require minimal care. We had enough rain last season I didn't have to water my grasses, burning bushes or spireas. So, water only as necessary. When it is time for the burning bushes to change colors you will be rewarded with extravagant beauty.

After the Salvias lose their flowers you can cut them with scissors and you will receive a whole new batch of color to finish out the summer. I hope you enjoy this design and I would love to receive photos from you to put in my scrapbook. Just look at the contact us page for details.

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