There is a great deal of skill and creativity involved with choosing the correct plant for the correct location in your landscape, and unfortunately many people get it wrong. Below is an overview of plant selection, landscaping tips, and how to do it like a professional.
Consider Your Local Ecosystem
Before you begin selecting plants, you’ll want to evaluate your local ecosystem. You need to know your soil, the moisture and sun exposure levels. You’ll also need to know about the wind levels, and how cold and hot the temperatures become. Only after this information has been compiled can you begin the fun process of selecting foliage, flowers and fragrances. Other things that you’ll need to know include shade patterns and how much water is available at any given time.
Choose Native Plants
There are a lot of advantages to choosing native plants. These species have evolved in the local area for thousands of years and are easier to work with, especially for those that are new to landscaping and botany. They boost the local ecosystem and are perfectly suited to the local hydrology, climate and soil. That being said, these plants must still be chosen and planted with care, in accordance to their unique needs regarding water, sunlight and soil composition. Furthermore, you will need to group them based on companion planting arrangements with other species that share similar characteristics.
Another advantage of native plants is that they need less pesticides and fertilizer than their non-native counterparts. Once they’ve been established, they don’t use as much water and can greatly lower air pollution. Finally, many of these plants offer both sustenance and shelter to local animals such as butterflies, birds and insects.
Anticipate Plant Size
Both plants and landscapes differ widely in size, and the last thing you want is a property that becomes overgrown. Plant size is based partly on DNA, the condition in which it is grown and the resources allotted to it. Plants which grow rapidly can be readily pruned while keeping its original form intact and unharmed.
A common mistake made by novices is to select a plant based on what seems good momentarily, or its ability to fit in a specific location. This process doesn’t work, simply because what looks good in a plant nursery might not look the same when placed in your landscape. You want to begin with plants that are well formed and healthy, but they also need to be specimens which won’t grow to the point that they overrun your garden. The manner in which you choose your plants will determine the success of your project.
Not only must you pay attention to the visible vegetation, but you must also consider the roots that will form underground. One aspect of landscaping that must be emphasized is that even if you do all the right things and select the right plants, sometimes things still won’t work out. This is a natural aspect of gardening which is why patience and experimentation is so important.