Know as much as possible about landscaping plants
Knowing about landscaping plants, about their characteristics and needs is absolutely essential. You must always bear in mind that your landscaping plan will only be successful if you put the right plants in the right places.
So before you go and buy all the wrong plants, read about the available landscaping plants and start putting the right plants in the right places in your mind with the help of your landscaping plan.
You may want to have in your landscaping any of the following:
- Various trees, including conifers,
- why not evergreens,
- some shrubs,
- annual and perennial flowers,
- roses (link to another site) and rhododendrons,
- clematis and other vines and creeping plants,
- grass and other ground covers,
- aquatic plants.
Don't buy too fast — Look around, document yourself, ask questions
Once you have a good idea of what you want, look around and make sure that you know enough about the plants you have in mind. Nursery catalogs can be an acceptable source of information, but there are much better sources, such as landscaping plant guides.
There are so many plants for landscaping. Visit a good nursery, look for the plants you identified, check others out. If you are still uncertain about some plants, ask knowledgeable, specific questions. Nursery employees who see that you have some knowledge are more careful about the answers they give. An uncertain junior employee will get help and give you the right answer rather than risk giving you a wrong answer.
Don't buy right then and there, but rather take notes. Look at other plants and to take some more notes. You may make wonderful finds. New plants hit the market every year, this is why guides and catalogs have to be constantly updated. Remember to check each plant's preferences. Some like the sun and some don't. Some will thrive in soggy locations while others will die.
Bear in mind that the plants you saw at the nursery are young plants, so they may not give you a good idea of how they will look after a few years. And it's not only a question of size. Plants may actually start to look different as they become more mature. So look around your neighborhood for mature versions of those same plants. You may just find out that some plants you thought you liked don't look so good once they're fully grown. Or that a plant you thought would do well in a rather shady spot doesn't do so well in the shade. Unfortunately, what's written in the books is not always right.
It would also be a good idea to go to a botanical garden. You will see there a large variety of plants, some young and some mature. Since these gardens are usually beautifully landscaped, it may just give you new ideas and help you mix and match your landscaping plants.
Plants suited for special sun and water conditions
Few plants can grow in full shade, but a number of shade plants can survive with little sun, if the soil is well drained. The list of plants that can survive in wet shady spots is, on the other hand, really short. Or maybe you have a sunny stream running through your yard, or simply a spot that remains soggy but sunny most of the time. There are many plants that can thrive in soggy locations, if they get enough sun. If it's the opposite and you often have drought conditions, then you should know there are some drought smart plants (link to another site).