Choosing the right plants for your yard is critical to a beautiful and lasting landscape. Yet visiting the nursery in search of new greenery can be a daunting task. With so many varieties of flowers, shrubs, trees, ground cover and decorative accents, making decisions can be overwhelming.
Whether you are starting from scratch or just redesigning, advance planning is the key to effective garden design whether you use a local company for creating or designing your landscape or decide to do this yourself. We have ourselves used Groby Landscapes’ own landscape gardeners to enable us to decide on the right plants for our landscape garden in Loughborough, If you have a similar local company you might want to try to get the same result.
Divide and Conquer
First, assess the conditions. Break the property up into sections or zones. This might be as simple as looking at the four sides of the house, or it may involve considering ten or more different planting areas. Inventory the current plants and decide what you want to keep and what you might like to transplant. Assess each area for its soil quality, moisture and lighting.
Follow the Sun
Available sunlight is the most important factor in choosing appropriate plants for your landscape. Choose a sunny day to complete a lighting inventory on each section of the yard. Record the time when direct sunlight first and last covers an area. Add up the total hours that an area receives full sunlight.
Many beautiful flowering annuals and perennials can be planted in full sun areas. Hibiscus, coneflowers, lilies, cannas, zinnas, marigolds and petunias are good choices.
Areas that get three to five hours of full sun can also support a wide variety of interesting and colourful plants, including ivy, ferns, daisies, bleeding hearts, butterfly bushes, day lilies and violets.
Don’t give up on areas getting fewer than three hours of direct light. There are many beautiful, low-maintenance species that are shade tolerant, including hosta, impatiens, nettle, begonia, hydrangeas, amethyst.
Think Like A Stylist
Creating the perfect landscape requires choosing the right combination of color, design and accessories. At the nursery, use your inventory to select plants that work together.
• Any taller plants should be placed at the back of a particular area. Arrange your plants as if you were arranging a family photo, with the tall folks to the last row and the shorter ones front and centre.
• Be conscious of how much space you have and how much growth space the plants need. What appears thin on planting day may fill a large area in a few short weeks.
• Play with colour and season. Some plants flower early, some late, and others flower all summer.
• All stylists accessorize. Consider adding interest with various sized rocks, décor, bird baths and feeders. A shepherd’s hook with a hanging basket can also enhance a garden area.