Choosing plants for your landscape. To many, it may seem obvious that this is an incredibly important step. However, more often than not, when we meet with clients to discuss which plants they like and which they’d prefer not to see in their landscape, we’re often met with this response:
“Wait…isn’t that your job?”
To some extent, it is. But choosing the plants that go into a landscape is a very personal choice. After all, once the plants are installed and we leave your property, it’s up to you to keep them looking gorgeous. Our favorite plants might turn into your worst nightmare in terms of upkeep, or you might find out you hate the way they look.
At Garrett Churchill, our top priority isn’t to give our clients what we like. It’s to work closely with you to determine what you want (and need) from the landscape that surrounds your home or business. At the end of the day, we want you to love our finished product. It’s why we do what we do!
Here are somethings to consider when choosing plants for your landscape:
We like to consider maintenance of the landscape when coming up with a design. After all, you are making an investment, and we want to make sure that investment looks good as it matures. I have never met with someone that said they wanted a high maintenance landscape, so we generally plan on low to moderate maintenance requirements.
You don’t need to be an expert botanist to know what colors you prefer in your landscape. Giving us a basic color scheme, or even just a list of your favorite colors, is a perfect place to start with plant selection.
Most plants, except for annuals, only bloom for a week or two, so careful selection is required to get some color in the landscape throughout the growing season. Foliage color also creates quite a bit of interest in the landscape. Foliage ranges from varying shade of greens, yellows, and rich burgundies during the growing season.
3. Evergreen vs. Deciduous
There are many types of evergreens. Some of them flower, and some of them don’t have showing or even notable flowers. Evergreens can be the foundation of the garden, and provide color during the winter months when leaves have fallen from all the deciduous trees and shrubs.
Flowering evergreen shrubs generally flower during the spring. If you plant nothing but flowering evergreen shrubs, you won’t have any color during the summer or fall. By comparison, deciduous trees and shrubs flower throughout the growing season but only for a week or two.
If you don’t spend much of the summer at home then you will be most interested in plants that bloom in the spring and fall. If you like to spend a lot of time outdoors then you may be interested in plants that predominantly bloom during the summer months.
4. Planting Locations
Most nurseries and garden centers stock a wide range of trees, shrubs, perennials, and annuals. If you are going to tackle a planting project on your own, gather a bit of information about your landscape before visiting one of these spots.
Will you be planting in a sunny or shady spot? Is the soil usually wet or dry? Professionals at these locations will be able to assist you with proper plant selection for different areas of your landscape. Gather a small collection of your favorite plants and put them together to see if you like the way they look. If one doesn’t fit with the others, put it back and grab another.
There are rights and wrongs in plant selection. Don’t place plants that like shade in the full sun, or plants that like moist soils in a dry area. They simply won’t perform well and will likely not live for very long. Other than that, beauty is in the eye of the beholder so choose plants you like.
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