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Who, What, When, Where, and How of Landscaping

Who, What, When, Where, and How of Landscaping

Wow, it is already fall! Cooler days are ahead of us. I know, we are all looking forward to that! We do spend a lot of time outdoors during the next few months, and fall is the BEST time of the year to plant! So let's get planning NOW, so we can start planting.

First step is to select a theme. Are you going formal or informal? Japanese Garden? Cottage Garden? Tropical Paradise? Your theme will determine how you plan your space. Keep in mind your future goals or buildings when designing such things as pools, sheds, and patio spaces. All these things will play into your garden.

Next is to sketch the individual beds. You can use spray paint or a garden hose to visualize the space. This will help you start your design. Within the overall areas of each bed, start with the foundation plants - the spine of a garden bed. These are usually medium sized evergreen shrubs. From there, step down to the edge of the bed, with each step using a lower growing shrub or plant. Annuals are great for the lowest step as they are usually short and provide the most show for the front part of the bed. Add a larger specimen plant to accent or anchor one part of the bed. These specimen plantings are also used to soften the corner of a building.

There are some rules often referred to in the landscape. One of them is to plant in odd numbers. In addition to that is the staggered planting style verses straight lines. For groups of plants, this usually makes them look more natural. For formal gardens, that goes out the window. The use of texture will help break up the gardens for example use a small leaf up against a larger leaf. Or you can use grasses with their fine texture next to a larger leaf camellia. The difference will make each plant grouping stand out and let us see the design of the bed, as opposed to a mass of greenery. Often times, variegated plants will be a valuable addition to your design as they can brighten up darker areas of the landscape. At the end of the day, do what looks good to YOU. For it is YOU that will be staring at it day after day.

The next step is my favorite - Time to choose the plants!!! Always consider sun loving versus shade loving plants. Any area that gets afternoon sun would be considered a place for sun loving plants... Avoid shade loving plants in these areas. Besides this critical step, most of the plants available in your local garden center should be fair game. Finding out which plants are tropical, deciduous, evergreen, annuals, or perennials will be the final piece to your design. Having sections of your garden change from winter into spring and summer and back in the fall will add interest and variation in your landscape.

Are you excited? Ready to get going? But have more questions? Then join us for our fall seminars, starting this weekend with this topic - Who, What, When, Where and How of Landscaping.