Unless you have unlimited time and an unlimited budget, it is better to work with nature than fight against it, when choosing flowers and plants for a landscaping project. Choosing plants that are adapted to the local climate and thrive in the local soil is undoubtedly the route to success. Listed below are the other important issues that should be taken into consideration.
If you live in a part of the country that suffers high levels of rainfall, you need to choose plants and flowers that cope well in damp and wet conditions such as hostas, hydrangeas and dogwoods that tolerate some waterlogging and resist rot.
Those living in dry areas like the East of England should consider plants, flowers and shrubs that are drought resistant. Plants and flowers that tolerate dry conditions generally have silver or grey-green leaves which reflect the sunlight and are often coated with fine hairs to trap moisture around the leaves of the plant. Examples include sedums, euphorbia, lavender, and rosemary.
The ‘hardiness’ of each plant, which indicates how well it will cope with heat or cold, needs to be considered, especially in windy areas with a significant chill-factor. Some plants will fare well when planted against sunny walls which act as storage-heaters, while others may prefer a shady and sheltered location.
Soil Conditions and Types
Checking the consistency of the soil and measuring its PH level is vital when choosing flowers and plants for a landscaping project. Clay soils have poor aeration and a high degree of water retention. Loams offer a good average across the board for aeration, nutrients, and drainage, while sandy soils are low in nutrients and drain quickly.
Ericaceous soils are perfect for plants such as rhododendrons, azaleas and camellias that flourish in soils which are acidic.
Gardens with alkaline soils should consider plants like campanula, ceanothus, geraniums, honeysuckle, lavender, lilac and dianthus. Successfully growing plants away from their favoured soil conditions requires containers with specialist compost and particular plant foods.
Size & Shape of the Landscaped Area
Knowing the size to which a plant or tree will grow and knowing the rate of growth is hugely important, bearing in mind a tree such as a leylandii can grow by nearly a metre per year. Nobody wants a large tree or shrub growing to a size that blocks attractive views, nor one where vigorous root growth can damage the foundations of nearby properties.
Locating larger plants towards the rear of beds, with plants reducing in size towards the front of a flowerbed, ensures each plant makes the best possible visual impact. Setting climbing plants like vines, clematis, ivy and honeysuckles against walls and fences can add height to gardens without using up valuable depth.
Colour & Fragrance
Choosing flowers and plants for a landscape project, with colours that match or offer contrasts, adds much to the visual appeal of a garden. A selection of cool blues can bring peace and tranquillity to a garden, while bright, striking colours can make it vibrant and lively. In winter, plants with attractive leaf forms, variegated leaf colour or brightly coloured barks can provide much-needed colour.
Finally, an aspect of garden design which shouldn’t be overlooked is bringing beautiful fragrances into a garden to excite the senses. Brushing past fragrant honeysuckle, sensing lavender on the wind or stooping to pick fragrant herbs, are among the great joys offered by choosing scented flowers and plants for a landscaping project.
All of these factors are taken into account by professional gardening and landscaping firms like walshlandscaping.co.uk, so if you chose to work with one of these you can be sure that the right plants and flowers will be placed in just the right spots in your garden.