There are two sides to this equation that need to work together for your landscape to work. One, will it grow in my yard? Two, will it look good with my overall landscaping plan?
Will it Grow?
- Know Your Zone! I wrote about this two weeks ago, so please refer back if you are a zone novice like I was.
- Plants have soil requirements. Sometimes you can change the soil by adding sand or other materials, but some plants are pickier than others. You cant go wrong by choosing local species. Incorporating these into your yard ensures a healthy landscape and adds local character. Of course, there are foreign plants that will also grow well and can add accent and interest to your yard.
If you visit a local nursery, the professionals there should be selling plants that will grow in your region. Theyll usually take the time to discuss a plants needs as well.
Planting for Your Landscaping Plan
Begin with assessing your needs...Do you need to create screening and privacy in the backyard? Evergreens and vines are able to block views of neighboring houses or help a fence fit into the yard. Here's a few suggestions, but check your zone first:
- Evergreen Shrubs for Screening: Honeysuckle, Rhodies, Regtip Phontinia, Inkberry, Glossy Abelia, Nandina
- Evergreen Trees for Screening: Holly, Eastern Red Cedar, Magnolia
- Evergreen Vines for Screening: Chocolate Vine, Jasmine (in warmer climates), Cross-Vine
Whether youre just beginning to landscape, or you have an established yard that needs updating, you probably want unity from the color, form of the plants, textures and your style. Following local and regional trends can really help with this.
Even when something will grow well in your zone, it still has specific sun and shade needs, which are listed on the tag. This can be a huge consideration when placing anything in your landscape. Part of your yard may have full sun all day, and another section may be in the shade.
Lastly, if youre going to pick out a few new plants, take some photographs of your yard with you. Take them from different angles so youll have a complete picture of how the new plant will fit in. I can't tell you how many times I've gone to a nursery...couldn't quite decide if something would fit...drove home and looked at it...then drove back to the nursery.