How to Choose the Best Plants for Your Outdoor Landscape
Plants offer quite a lot of benefits to your home. Besides providing clean air, they also enhance your yard’s appearance, making it a more relaxing escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
Of course, choosing random plants won’t be enough if you aim to get full advantage of these perks. You have to make sure that you pick the ones that you could maximize while maintaining healthy growth throughout the year.
So if you’re planning a landscaping project in Mahomet, IL, read on to learn about the key elements of landscaping and the factors you must consider when choosing the best plants for the task.
4 Landscaping Elements to Think About
Landscapes are composed of several elements: form, color, texture, and pattern. Here’s what makes them important:
The form describes the plant’s three-dimensional shape. Basically, landscape professionals use plants’ form in planning how a particular plant can fill up a given space. Some examples of forms include:
Color is considered the most conspicuous element of landscape design. In fact, it is quite significant that any given hue can pull an entire landscape together or leave it in chaos.
In plants, colors differ not only in their blooms but also in their leaves. Some come with variegated foliage while others display rarer hues like white, pink, and orange.
Of course, color in landscaping refers to both plants and the vessels they are placed in.
This describes the coarseness or smoothness of a plant’s surface. It also encompasses the unique texture of the bark, branching structure, and leaf density of the plants.
When used in landscaping, plants with an overall fine texture makes space seem larger. In contrast, coarseness creates the illusion of a smaller space. This explains why landscape experts use fine-textured plants often and coarse ones sparingly.
Pattern, in this case, refers to the repetition of elements within the design. In a landscape, this is what unifies the design and creates a unique aesthetic for a garden.
5 Factors to Consider When Picking Out Plants
Landscaping in Urbana, IL requires expertise and knowledge on all the elements above. However, you (the property owner) need to contribute to the plant selection. After all, you’re the one who’ll be enjoying the landscape.
That said, here are five factors you should think about when picking plants for your landscape:
1. The environment
Before shopping for plants at the nearest nursery, you must first research what plants are most suitable for your property. The unique environmental conditions in the landscape – particularly the planting zone, sun and shade patterns, microclimate, and soil composition – determine plants’ capability to thrive in a specific spot.
Here’s a pro tip: Stick to native plants in your area as they have a higher survival rate. Native plants also require less maintenance since they have been established under the specific conditions your place has.
Since they have adjusted and evolved in that particular place, native plants are most suited to the climate, hydrology, and geography. They also need less maintenance, fertilizers, and pesticides in the right condition and use less water.
Different plants – especially trees – grow into various shapes and sizes. This greatly affects the space they fill and neighboring objects (e.g., electric posts, perimeter fences, etc.). So before you pick ones to use in your landscape, find out how big the plants can get once they reach full maturity.
Knowing how big plants can get before including them in your landscape design will help you avoid problems like:
- Obstruction of foot and vehicular traffic
- Interference with overhead utility wires
This knowledge will also help you plan the irrigation system and nutrient distribution for all the landscape plants.
3. Susceptibility to pests and diseases
Plants add beauty to the surroundings of a property, but only if they are healthy. Some plants are prone to pests and diseases that eat away at those lovely flowers and leaves, damaging their health.
When this happens, you would need to use different treatment methods. And with this comes additional effort, time, and money spent on landscape maintenance.
Fortunately, certain plant species are resistant to these threats. To save yourself from dealing with these issues in the future, set aside time for choosing plants with higher parasite and disease resistance.
Just take apple scab, for instance. This common fungal disease causes heavy leaf drops among crabapple varieties. While some may survive, these plants lose a lot of their leaves and end up looking less attractive than they are when in their prime.
In this case, you can choose disease-resistant crabapple varieties like “Adams,” “Adirondack,” “Purple Prince,” “Sugar Tyme,” and many others.
4. Bloom time
One of the perks of landscaping plants in your property is appearance enhancement, which means you’ll probably be including flowering plants into your collection. Since this is the case, you’ll also need to plan their bloom time to make sure that your garden becomes a delightful picture all year round.
To achieve this, it is a good idea to develop a bloom calendar. This will help you pick out plants that bloom for each season. You can also choose flora that offers year-round blooms or evergreen plants for constant green foliage.
5. Level of maintenance
Even established plants will require some level of maintenance. How much water and sun they need, and other specific growing requirements like pruning, should also be considered when choosing plants.
Keeping these things in mind when planning your landscape design will help you determine how much time, effort, and money you’ll need to spend in maintaining your garden. It is also helpful in aligning them according to your available time and preferred level of maintenance work.
For instance, if you’re quite busy and are only seeking a green escape through a landscaped garden, it would be wise to stick to low-maintenance plants in your garden.
The Perfect Plants for the Perfect Landscape
Picking out plants for your landscape serves a variety of purposes. It helps ensure year-round beauty and allows you to manage your time and resources wisely. Consider the landscaping elements and the different factors to consider in plant selection listed in this article to choose the best plants for the perfect landscape for your home.