How to Plant a Heather GardenWritten by David and Alissa Dewitt
HEATHER GARDENS - Mass plantings of heather, either planted with one of each variety or one hundred, can be ideal for a sunny area. Spaced appropriately, plants will mature into a tapestry with drifts of foliage and flower color.
When planning a garden of heather, begin by making an outline of your area first. If you're planning a border, start from back of bed with taller plants and work forward; if bed is to be viewed from all sides, begin sketching your design from center out. If you have room, planting varieties in odd-numbered groups is most effective. Even numbers of plants often make a new garden look too balanced and unnatural. Draw circles outlining area that plants will fill out at maturity (about 3-5 years) growing into a weed smothering mass. Roughly figure 18Ē spacing when determining how many plants you will need (sq. ft. x .44 is formula) for a large bed. Choose taller growing varieties for back or center of bed and work your way to edges, keeping in mind that plants will grow into a solid mass of foliage leaving little bare ground exposed. Grays and dark greens absorb light; reds, gold and glossy foliage reflect. You want contrasting foliage to define each grouping, so choose a gold or other colored foliage variety, then choose a silver, gray or dark green for next grouping. Flower color is not as important as you may think but offset mauves with white or light pinks if plants are to bloom at same time. Use winter blooming Ericaís' glossy green foliage as a buffer between a lot of Calluna with colored foliage.
This may all sound a bit confusing on printed page, but donít let it be because they are all compatible with each other. Arrange them until placement looks right to you. You may want to plant other types of plants in heather garden. Dwarf conifers are natural companions with interesting foliage and habit of growth. The vertical forms they achieve are welcome in heather garden. Other companion plants are: low growing Sedumís, Iberis, Hypericum, Lavender, Sempervivum, Allium, Arabis, Artemisia, Dianthus, Nepeta, Santolina, and Thyme to name a few perennials. Compact Cotoneaster, Vaccinum, Cytisus and other leafy shrubs can also be interesting companion plants in a garden of heather.
Tips to Improve the Functionality and Atmosphere of Your Patio with PlantsWritten by Nicole Martins
When I began to create planting plans for clients in mid 1990ís one of my main concerns was, how will this collection of plants; greenery, flowering, size and shape grow together to create an aesthetically pleasing arrangement that feels right in its proportion and scale. If you are looking to create a planting plan for your patio or small outdoor space, same concerns need to be addressed. Keep in mind that small spaces require great restraint, with a plan towards bringing together a cohesive look. Plants for small and large patios will still be used for similar purposes: decoratively, to create a focal point, add privacy, screen out unwanted views, and to create shade and such. No matter what your objectives, plants can play a significant part in enhancing your outdoor dťcor. Take a look at tips and information below before you get started. Hopefully this approach will take you from buying plants impulsively or obsessing over a single plant and move you towards creating a sensible and aesthetically pleasing plan for your outdoor space.
See plants in a new light and show restraint
Your outdoor patio is an additional room and with a nice set up you will be able to relax, cook, entertain and enjoy spending time in your outdoor garden room. To get most out of your outdoor room with plants, begin thinking about plants as structural elements that can help you to create a ceiling and wall planes, similar to foundations inside your home. By thinking in these terms, you will begin to see plants differently and hopefully be inclined to choose plants based upon form and growth habit rather than a single factor such as ďItís a pretty plant.Ē The problem with this approach is that it doesnít help you to put together a unified look, or to create an effect. Showing restraint is one of most challenging aspects of using plants to create pleasing effects outdoors. It is important however, that before another lovely plant makes its way into your shopping cart, and later home, you head to nursery with a clear vision of what you want.
Create a plant wish list
Consider size of your patio, itís not endless real estate after-all, and plants and planters should be chosen thoughtfully. If you or anyone you know just canít say no to another plant or needs to take in all homeless, tired plants out there thatís fine, but be careful not to clutter up your patio with all of them. A helpful approach to selecting plants for your patio area is to take a good hard look at your space, and put together a wish list of all realistic things you want plants to help you achieve; for example: to create greater privacy and to screen an unsightly view. Some people will want a way to create shade or to add dimension to a planting bed; others will want to soften an area, or create a focal point. Whatever your objectives or constraints, this will get you heading in right direction.