By Alan Eadie, Jeff's Outdoor Landscape Designer
Browsing around garden centres in the Haldimand County and Caledonia area can be a lot of fun, but it can sometimes feel a bit overwhelming when you’re trying to decide on what to purchase for your particular landscape.
Narrowing down your options can be daunting when you’re faced with so many choices! Rest assured, it’s easy to create a landscape you’ll love if you give some thought to a few things in advance before heading out to the garden centre.
Things to consider
We’ve put together a list of seven things to consider when deciding on the best plants for your landscape. The list is meant to help make it easier to choose plants that will thrive within the particular conditions of your landscape and bring you and your family maximum enjoyment.
1. Style of your home and existing landscape
This is more of a concern if your home or landscape already has a distinct style. If this is the case, you may want to stick to choices that will complement the existing “look and feel” of your outdoor living space. If your property doesn’t currently follow any particular design aesthetic, you have more freedom to experiment.
2. Exposure and available light
Take some time to observe the path of sunlight across your landscape throughout the day. Make notes to take with you when you go shopping, so you’ll have them to refer to when reading plant labels. Different varieties of plants thrive in varying levels of light, so you’ll want to make sure you have an appropriate spot to plant whatever you bring home.
Think about your goals. Are you interested in having taller, denser trees to provide shade or privacy? Would you prefer smaller shrubs that will allow sunlight to stream in through your windows into your home?
3. Soil type and condition
Soil is more important than many people realize. Knowing your soil’s clay and loam content and pH values is crucial before planting. For plants to thrive, they need the specific type of soil they’re best suited for, and rarely does “one size fit all.” The good news is that soil can be amended fairly easily. With a little planning, you can create different types of soil for different areas of your landscape, opening up many more possibilities for plant varieties.
4. Foliage colour and texture
Colour is often the first thing we notice in a landscape, but texture can be just as impressive. Some homeowners prefer more muted colours throughout their landscape, opting for contrasting textures instead. Others combine colour and texture, which can result in intense visual interest.
5. Flowering season
Consider a particular plant’s flowering season. Perhaps you’d like to choose a selection of plants with staggered flowering seasons so that you can enjoy blooming throughout the seasons.
6. Winter interest
How your plants will look during winter is often an afterthought when deciding what to choose, but when you’re deliberate about it, the results can be stunning. Plants with certain types of bark or berries can be absolutely beautiful in winter, so keep this in mind while shopping.
If hydrangeas are a part of your landscape, consider letting their dried flowers remain throughout the fall and winter, rather than cutting them back; some people love the way they look.
7. Level of effort required
Be honest with yourself about the amount of time you’ll really want to spend on landscape maintenance. Some plants require more care than others, and you’ll want to make sure that caring for your plants doesn’t start to feel like a chore. Choose wisely!
Consider an expert consultation
Often, a homeowner has an idea of the look and feel he or she wishes to achieve but could use some professional advice. Our friendly staff can offer guidance and ideas to help you create the perfect landscape.
Contact us for a consultation.