Continued from page 1
If, on other hand, you relish “fussing,” annuals, vegetables, fruit trees or fruiting shrubs (such as raspberries, blackberries or currants), and tea and shrub roses can be added to your landscape. These plants all require routine maintenance including trimming, pruning, weeding, deadheading, and regular pest control.
SIZE, PROPORTION AND BLOOM TIME
A plant’s final size – height and width – are also important factors in choosing plant material. Plant size should be in proportion to size of bed and size of any buildings or fixtures. If you’ve ever seen foundation plants that have overshadowed home they were supposed to compliment, you’ll know what I mean. Those overgrown arborvitae eventually have to be cut down and dug out, which is backbreaking labor, or expensive if you have to hire a Bobcat. Better to plant with end result in mind.
Bloom time is your final consideration. You may choose to create a mixture of shrubs, bulbs, perennials and annuals in your bed, which will produce a long period of blooming as each group flowers successively. You may decide that one splash of color, followed by a pleasing palate of green, is more to your liking. Knowing when a plant shows its best side (and what it looks like afterward) can help you choose whether that plant belongs in your yard, or if you’ll maliciously suggest it to your crabbiest neighbor.
Take time to plan before you plant, and you’ll be rewarded with seasons of color, fragrance, and garden health.
The author operates a small market farm in east-central Indiana. Her ezine, Leaflets, covers a host of gardening and cooking topics. Subscriptions are free via the KittyVista website (http://clik.to/kittyvista)