HomeBlogGreat Garden Plants – Choosing and Planting
August 29, 2014
Great Garden Plants – Choosing and Planting
Choosing only great garden plants rather than choosing plants on a whim or accepting plants from well meaning neighbors and friends will ensure a garden that you will love forever.
It’s so simple while strolling around your local garden center to fall in love with the array of beautiful textures shapes and great colors of all the specimens that surround you, before you know where you are your basket or trolley is stuffed full to bursting.
This is a common enough phenomenon and very understandable with these great temptations in front of us. Apart from depleting funds in our wallets, keeping up the practice will soon deplete any space we have in our gardens.
Below you’ll find some tips and advice to help you avoid getting yourself into this situation.
In order to avoid the problem of what could simply be termed as “plant collecting” be better prepared before you set out to attend the nursery. Some time should be spent in making some sort of plan for your yard and that includes sitting down and going though some good informative books and manuals with relevant pictures and information on each of your selections.
One of my favorite gardening books that I always refer to, as do so many others is Dirr’s Encyclopedia of Trees and Shrubs. To find out more about this great reference book visit this link to read more about it.
Sitting down and going through your manual, you could start by building a list of all the great garden plants that you like. You’ll probably find that your list will be very long, this is normal, just whittle it down until you have a selection consisting of only the great specimens that meet all your criteria. You will only have enough space for this selection, all the others would only clutter up the garden space, prevent your main plant selection from thriving and only detract from your expected show.
Make a list of the great plants that you really, really want to have.
Draw out a rough sketch of where you want to have them.
Ensure you have chosen those that suit your climate
Consider your soil type, heavy clay or sandy type, acid or alkaline.
Does the area you will be planting out, get a lot of sun or is it shaded by buildings or tall trees.
Consult your manual to make sure the mature size of each fits in well with others surrounding it .
Only when the above steps have been taken, should you set sail to the garden centers with any thoughts of buying.
Soil Testing Equipment
To get the best results and improve the flowering of your plants, soil testing equipment when used, will give you all the right answers. For a small charge, many countries have offices set up to provide residents with soil test results.
Many people simply go online and purchase their own soil sampling kit which is great for saving a lot of time rather than going to the trouble of sending samples to the soils testing offices. These soil testing methods are fairly inexpensive and come in many varieties.
Some methods of analysis use chemicals and test tubes much like you found in the science class and some use probes that you stick into the soil to take readings.
Once you know your soils PH levels you will be able to check and see if the lists of candidates you have are suited to your soil type. This will bring you closer to your final list of great garden plants that will suit your soil type best.
Although you can alter the PH levels through the addition of the right soil improver’s that suit individual specimen requirements, this practice is most suited to small areas of the garden. A great option would be to purchase the plant types that will grow well in your own particular soil type.
Shopping and Setting Out Your Array of Great Garden Plants
Once you are armed with your notes and final plant choice, you will no longer be tempted by all the other colorful displays in front of you. You will head straight to those on your list and only those. If they are not in stock, simply order them or source them from somewhere else.
Sticking to this shopping method will prevent those previous experiences of having your new purchases dying on you simply because it wasn’t meant for that particular environment.
Once you get your stock back home, do some experimenting by placing them while still in their pots, in various positions to give yourself some idea how they would look together. Although you will have your plan that you originally made at the beginning, playing around with these trial positions is still a great practice.
Although you might find some new planting positions from your original plan, double check your manual or book for the matured specimens heights. Always having the tallest plants at the back and smallest at the front will give the most pleasing affect. Once happy with their arrangement, go ahead and start planting while adding any suggested feeding.
Now that you have all the area planted out, stand back and admire your work. Right in front of you are the great garden plants of your own choosing. They will not die on you, they will survive and grow strong in their new home, all because you have taken the time and trouble to ensure that this happens.
As each growing year passes your great garden display will give pleasure as they change and mature. You will be glad that you sat down and made your plan, read through those books and manuals to educate yourself. Most of all you will be rewarded for not being distracted from the task on hand.
There will be no more need for you to come home with armfuls of new plant stock. You won’t be hypnotized by all the new colorful specimens that used to tempt you before, because none of these displays that you come across can compare with the beauty that awaits you at home.
Video With Good Tips For Choosing the Best Garden Plants
As stated in the video, while at the garden center it’s a great idea to double check the tabs on each specimen to make sure that they fit in with your planting plan.