This simple planting design covers a number of key considerations when planning a landscape.
- What is the main purpose of the planting design?
- How much and what “level” of care will be given to this landscape?
- How will the gardens look throughout the year?
What’s the purpose for this planting design?
Sometimes there is an absolute functional reason to “work” the landscape, such as a slope with erosion or a nasty view that needs screening. Other times it could be purely aesthetics where you just want to create something beautiful for enjoyment. More often than not the two goals work side by side.
From a functional and practical sense, the sign in this landscape needed a “setting” where lawn mowers and other equipment would not come near it. In addition, future lighting will need a safe area for the fixtures to sit.
Who’s going to take care of this planting design and what’s it going to cost?
Every aspect of your design should be considered from a maintenance and longevity standpoint.
“Every time you establish a planned landscape there is care and on-going cost associated with it.”
Line design, plant selection & spacing, hardscape choices, groundcovers, mulch – you name it and it will have an affect on care and on-going cost.
Homeowners need to be aware of this fact and consider it in their initial decision making. Yes, climbing wisteria is a beautiful thing, but realize what goes along with it.
If you’ll look at the plan pictured below, the shape of the bed is a simple oval; making it a snap to cut the grass and line trim the edge.
The two evergreens used are Cherry Laurel and Blue Star Juniper. For the most part these plants can mature on their own with little pruning and intervention. Most problematic and maintenance-heavy landscapes are due to poor plant selection and arrangement.
How will the garden look throughout the year?
A main request for this planting design was to have seasonal color. For this circumstance and relatively small garden, I decided on 2 symmetrical areas dedicated to seasonal color. Yes, we discussed the work and cost to maintain this feature and it was acceptable. What you’re seeing now (summer) is New Guinea Impatiens and “Wave” Petunias.
The seasonal color plantings cover April to November. In the off-season the evergreen Laurel and Juniper carry the garden with balance and interest.
This design is so simple, yet it functions as it should.
If you have a question on a landscape you’re working on, ask it in the comments below. If you have a picture and it’s posted on the web (e.g. Flickr, Yahoo, Picasa, etc.), include the link in your comment.