As spring approaches, you may be considering taking on a landscaping project in your yard. Whether it is adding a few plants or a complete new landscape, there are a few basic design principles you may want to consider:
Right Plant, Right Place
When it comes to any new planting the most important thing to consider is the concept of Right Plant, Right Place. This is the principle of looking at the conditions you have (sun or shade, dry or wet, exposed or protected, etc.) and matching the plant you select to the site. This simple step greatly increases your plants chance for success. You also want to keep in mind the ultimate size of the type of plant you are selecting for a spot to make sure it will not grow too slow to provide the impact you seek, or too quickly and outgrow the space provided.
Creating Interest Year-round
Once you have the science of getting the right plant down you can think about the art of making the garden beautiful! Since many plants only flower for a few weeks per year you want to use a combination of plants that offer a variety of interest through flower color, berries, leaf color, different textures, and other interesting characteristics throughout the year. To help guarantee color, try working with long blooming plants such as repeat blooming hydrangea, carpet roses and knockout roses along with perennials like coreopsis, nepeta, salvia, perovskia, and echinacea that will bloom for extended periods. You also want to make sure you incorporate evergreens into your design so your garden looks great even in the winter months when the other plants have lost their leaves or disappeared altogether.
One common mistake is planting too many of the same plant. Since many plant pests are specific to a particular type of plant, this monoculture is an invitation to insects and diseases to come along and go from one plant to the next to wipe out your whole investment. Not only does this type of planting put you at greater risk, it is also usually very boring to look at! Instead try using groupings of plants (masses) of three to seven plants and planting different species so you are not putting all your eggs in one basket.
As with any art form, good design follows certain principles that are universal such as the use of balance, proportion, and repetition. In landscaping this can mean balancing the flowering tree on one side of the walk with a grouping of evergreens on the other side. Making sure the patio is proportionate to the scale of the house. Repeating the colors of the flowers throughout the garden for continuity. Whether you are designing a planting, a patio, or an orchestral symphony, following fundamentals of design will help guide your design to success.
How Hicks Can Help
Knowing your plants and knowing design is not everyone’s forte. That’s when the landscape design team at Hicks Landscapes comes to the rescue. With experienced designers with extensive knowledge of design and plants, and our expert crews to provide professional installation, we are here to help you create the landscape of your dreams. Get in touch to discuss how to start your project.