When planning your garden, choose a variety of plants to form an ensemble, rather than buying piecemeal and hoping that they will look good together. Here's a guide for choosing the right plants for your garden.
Know the difference between perennials and annuals
One of the easiest and best ways to add colour to your garden is to include flowering perennials and annuals to your landscape design.
- Perennials come back year after year. They are more expensive initially, but you will find that they save money over time. Flowering perennials bloom for two weeks, or even all season long, depending on the variety.
- Annuals die after one year. They are less expensive than perennials initially, but must be replaced each year. A few begin blooming in late winter or early spring, but most bloom in mid- to late spring and provide colour for months.
Gardeners today have a nearly endless selection of these flowering plants. A good local nursery will feature those that are easiest to grow in your region.
- When choosing an annual, ask about its sun, soil and water requirements; how long it blooms; what the flower looks like; and any diseases or pests that threaten it.
- When choosing a perennial, ask those same questions but also ask if the plant dies back in cold weather or, if not, what the foliage looks like throughout the year.
Adding visual interest
Raised planting beds, large containers and garden beds planted behind retaining walls add visual interest to a yard and make gardening easier.
- These features eliminate the need to bend down to the ground in order to weed and so reduces strain on your back.
- To be sure that the plants are within easy reach, carefully plan the size and position of each raised bed and container. For instance, if you will be able to get at a raised bed from only one side, make it no more than one metre (three feet) wide — the distance you can comfortably reach. If you can reach it from either side, it can be 1.5 or 1.8 metres (five or six feet) wide.
- Position containers so they will not be awkward to reach.
Create a beautiful and unique garden with these handy tips. You might be surprised by how easy it is!