When it comes to improving your landscape, planting vegetation is one of the best options you've got to bring some life into it. However, before planting anything, it is important that you take the time to consider the plants you want in your landscape and where you want them planted. This way, it becomes easier to create a landscape that's not only low-maintenance but which will also thrive for many years.
It's common knowledge that you do not want to plant water plants in desert gardens unless you want to commit "planticide". And the same holds true for other plant types too. For instance, a majority of prairie plants will not do very well in waterlogged soil while rock garden plants may end up keeling over if they are tucked into loamy, nutrient-rich garden beds. So, how do you know which plant types will do well in your landscape? Two things will determine this - the plant and the place.
This, rather new gardening philosophy basically serves as a landscape's matchmaker, making it possible for one to place plants in spots where they will naturally flourish. The result, a landscaping design that is easy to maintain.
1. The Benefits of Following the Right Plant, Right Place Philosophy
When the right plant is put in the right place, allowing it to enjoy perfect growing conditions, a couple of things will happen:
2. Hardiness Zone
USDA's Hardiness Zone discloses that if a plant can survive winter in your region, then it is a hardy plant. Most gardeners take things a bit too far when it comes to hardiness zone and growing plants from zones that are warmer. Often, they end up tucking these questionable plants in a planting bed they've placed near their home's southern wall or in a sheltered backyard where the temperatures do not fall that low during winter. To ensure the success of your plants, consider filling up your landscape with vegetation/plants that are hardy to your specific zone. Don't know much about your zone? Learn more here.
Some plants need to be in the sun to thrive while others will only do well in the shade. You will always get the best results when you understand your landscape's lighting. To figure it out, take a day and watch where the sun hits your landscape as it travels through the sky. Ideally, do this after every hour and take note. That way, when you come across a plant that's tagged "partial shade", you will know if any parts of your landscape offer such conditions.
4. Consider Soil
Different plants need different soil types to thrive. The good thing about soil is that it can be changed by adding in some amendments. For example, you can turn clay soil, a slow-draining soil type to a fast-draining, more porous soil by adding some organic matter like compost into it. At the same time, you could create a unique soil type by constructing and filling up raised beds, things that add some stylish hardscaping to the overall scene.
5. Size Things Up
A plant tag tells you how large a plant will grow under the right conditions. You are, therefore, advised to plan for this and place plants accordingly. Make sure that they have ample space for spreading and lots of headspace for vertical growth.
In the right spot, taller plants may offer privacy by creating a screen or may serve as a stunning setting for other plants. But in the wrong place, they will be an eyesore. On the other hand, smaller plants may end up being dwarfed by hardscaping or surrounding plantings, and this may lead to them disappearing from view.