If you are seeking to transform a little corner of your world into a more attractive, relaxing and picturesque area, the clever use of landscape plants will help you achieve this very task. It is not as difficult as your may think and some amazing effects are possible. A little planning is the key and first you need to get to grips with what you’ve actually got in your yard.
The vital factor in creating a successful and low maintenance landscaped area is selecting the right plants. They need to suit the characteristics and natural features already in place including the soil, sunlight and shade, drainage and exposure to the elements. If the landscape plants are well matched to the conditions in your yard they will be happier, look great, grow well and need less care and attention. This gives you more time to relax and enjoy your garden.
Naturally plants need to be suited to the general climate in your area but there is also the “microclimate” to consider. For instance, often the northern side of a house will be much shadier and cooler than the southern because of shadows thrown by the house. Walls facing west can be a few degrees warmer. Evergreen shrubs usually do not fare well on the western aspect of a house.
For some added inspiration in selecting your plants take a stroll around your neighborhood and make note of any particular plants and displays that appeal to you and find out their names. A friendly chat with the owner should arm you with plenty of information and you can be sure that the plants are suited to your area. Also be on the lookout for ideas and creative ways that people have used with certain trees or shrubs to create an attractive vista.
Having completed your research and being fully “clued up” about your site topography and requirements and armed with plenty of resourceful ideas you are ready for the enjoyable task of buying your garden plants. So let’s look at just some from the many choices on offer.
Trees may not be on your list of choices for plants as they may be too large for the selected area. They are a significant feature and live for long periods, so a careful choice is needed if you do decide to include them. There is a huge range to choose from and certainly there is one to suit your landscaping needs, whether deciduous, evergreen or conifer.
Oak trees are very popular deciduous trees as they are hardy and beautiful with a species suited to almost any landscape. Maples are also a rugged and adaptable tree that will produce beautiful color in fall. It’s really hard to go wrong with one of these beauties.
Pines are a widespread choice of evergreen tree and there is sure to be a variety to suit just about any climate needs. Junipers, Spruce and Cypress are great for northern gardens.
These versatile garden plants can be used for so many purposes. They can create effective backgrounds and barriers. They can be planted close together to form hedges, which may be clipped to form a formal hedge shape or left to grow into a natural screen. The low growing prostrate forms make attractive ground covers. Others can be planted in groups to create a spectacular display of blooms. As most shrubs are more substantial they provide a good foundation and background for the smaller and shorter lived flowering plants.
Hydrangeas and Viburnums are hardy shrubs which have great summer foliage and come in spectacular color varieties.
These will reward you by returning year after year to your garden and include some of the most loved flowering plants. Favorites such as carnations, chrysanthemums and daisies belong to this group. A very popular landscaping use is the perennial border where large numbers are planted together in a colorful display as a border or edge.
These will live for a single gardening season and are a must for a bright, showy garden that looks good all year round. They come in every shape and size and low growing varieties can be planted closely together as a large group in either a single color or mixed ones for a bright and showy effect. Certain varieties are suited to the cool season such as Snapdragons, Sweet Peas, Marigold, Larkspur and California poppy while Sunflower, Coleus, Impatiens, Petunias and Lobelia are warm season varieties.
This idea is becoming quite popular because of the health benefits as well as economic advantages to be gained from home grown fruit and vegetables. You can use raised beds to convert a small space into a fresh produce area. Many varieties of fruit and vegetables can be made into a tasty landscape while doubling as ornamental and attractive garden plants.
So what are you waiting for? Use these ideas to kick start your project and start enjoying the full potential of your landscape right now.