Year Round Plants

Year Round Plants

Table of Contents

Many of us consider our gardens as seasonal stages, an ever-rotating theater of brief-blooming perennials and annuals that emerge and disappear in quick succession until, when winter comes, there are little but a few evergreen shrubs left.

However, this doesn’t need to be the case, with many plants offering all year delight. Here’s how to make your outdoor space have an impact all year, using some of the most beautiful evergreen plants that will add structure, form, and cheery color to even the most wintry of gardens.

Tips when growing plants for all year round

If you want to fill your garden with outdoor plants for all seasons, it does necessitate a little bit of planning and consideration to make sure you can get the most out of each plant. This kind of foresight is particularly important when so many of us are used to growing seasonal shrubs – using all season outdoor plants means we need to be sure we’ll pick things that we won’t get sick of after a couple of months.

So, when choosing what to grow, here’s a few key tips.

Firstly, consider the kind of garden you have, particularly the kind of soil type and sun exposure, and the overall design or theme you would like to create. Then think about the kind of plants you like, not just during the blooming summer months, but the kinds of shrubs you would like to see in winter. The best plants that look good throughout the year are generally ones that will add structure, color, and shape to your garden.

You can even find all year plants that will change into a variety of different colors as the seasons change!

Now, let’s get stuck into the best all year plants for your garden.

The best plants for all year round


For luxurious flowers in the spring, and luscious green leaves all year round, it has to be the stunning Camellia plant. 

Its structure makes it a good option for planting in large containers to decorate a patio (more tips on the best plants for patios here) or as a border shrub in mixed planting schemes. 

Cornus alba ‘Sibirica’ (Tartarian Dogwood)

We all need an extra splash of color in winter and tartarian dogwood certainly delivers this with its vibrant stems that infuse an outdoor space with brilliant red. However, even outside of winter this crimson-stemmed plant offers much to delight the eye, producing tiny white flowers and berries in summertime and with variegated leaves that, while delightful throughout the year, are particularly gorgeous in autumn when they too burnish to red.

Cornus alba ‘Sibirica’ is a good example of the color and variety that it’s possible to introduce into your garden even during the colder months. Find more cold weather flowers inspiration here


Barrenwort is one of the best round outdoor plants because not only will it grow well in shady, otherwise bare areas, but it produces delicate, whimsical sprays of flowers in shades of red, pink, purple, yellow, beige, and white. It’s a low-growing shrub with heart-shaped foliage that often has a pink tint to it - a tint that then deepens dramatically to bronze in the fall. 

Barrenwort is a wonderful and interesting shade plant that should be considered as an all year treat. 

Related Post: Annual Shade Plants

The best full sun year round plants

Magnolia Grandiflora

For a full sun plant that will provide beauty and structure all year, look no further than Magnolia Grandiflora. With dark, glossy leaves and huge white flowers that are deliciously fragrant, Magnolia Grandiflora adds extra life to your garden as it attracts many birds.

Its flowers bloom in late summer and autumn and with its dense canopy, this evergreen plant poses an impressive figure in your garden. 

Fruit trees

Other plants that excel in full sun are fruit trees like apple and pear trees. These are wonderful crowd pleasers, producing sensational blossoms in spring, delicious fruit in summer and autumn and then a gorgeous display of golden tones in autumn as their leaves slowly change.  

To really make these fruit trees pop, you can even plant early-blooming spring bulbs like crocuses underneath them.

Crocuses are a wonderful option for a winter garden as they often bloom quite early. Find more flowers for a stunning spring garden here.

Year round landscaping plants

As mentioned at the beginning of this article, putting structure into your all year garden is an important step. Evergreens like box or yew are the perfect all year shrub to achieve this. Their sturdy shape will help to hold everything together all year. 

While box might not be seen during the summer when everything else is in full bloom, this popular hedge shrub with its pretty - and tiny! - green leaves will be a glad surprise come winter when their verdant color will restore a little vitality to the outdoors.

Similarly, yew is a low-maintenance, all year evergreen that offers a nice alternative to other more common topiary plants. Best of all, yews also offer up brilliant red berries in autumn adding extra vibrancy to a fall garden.

As you can see, it couldn’t be easier to create color, structure, and delight all year in whatever outdoor space you have. So get planning and then get planting!

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