• Sandi Manna

Selecting Plants

Updated: Mar 20

Your garden needs some variation in height. Choose plants wisely for your landscape when planning a garden. The back of the garden will be the location of the taller plants.

By varying texture and combining evergreens along with deciduous, it creates more interest. Your garden needs a little backbone in the winter. As fond as I am of interesting winter plants, I believe evergreens act like the backbone. Consider combining conifers such as False Cypress along with broad leaf shrubs such as Rhododendrons. Low growing plants in the front of the border accentuate the shape of the bed. They help soften any sharp edges or difficult transitions, and draw your eye through the bed itself.

Think about how the sunlight affects color. Hot colored plants such as red or

orange can make a hot space feel hotter, while blues and soft yellows help cool it down. If you're looking to brighten up a darker space, consider bolder colors such as red or yellow. Plants that thrive in the shade are often chartreuse and their foliage can help brighten a dark spot.

Spring Bulbs:Don't forget about spring color. Bulbs such as hyacinth, tulips and daffodils put on a show when the frost disappears. Other plants such as perennial Lenten Rose (Helleborus) and Witch Hazel (Hamamelis) bring color to your landscape even before the snow melts.

Consider form, line and color. Certain plants, such as canna lilies can steal the show

with their dramatic display of foliage. Heuchera come in a rainbow of colors and are low to the ground. The foliage of Japanese Painted Fern brings attention to any garden. Think about both foliage color and shape. Combine plants with feathery foliage such as Amsonia or ornamental grasses, with that of large leaves such as Helleborus (Lenten Rose) or Ligularia (Leopards Bane).

Incorporate a little nose candy. Aroma is candy for the nose by planting fragrant shrubs.. On average, a person takes 23,000 breaths a day. The scent contained in each breath conveys information. Research has proven that scent conveys memories more strongly than any other sense.

There are many fragrant shrubs you can plant. Don't forget about the fragrant perennials! Here are some tips for incorporating fragrance into your landscape.

- Place fragrant plants close to areas where you can catch a whiff of the aroma. Near windows, walkways and especially entrances or patios.

- Place scented plants in a sunny spot or near a south facing wall. The reflected heat may make the odor a little stronger. Incorporate scented plants in patio containers or window boxes.

- Plant fragrant plants in an enclosed space. The scent will tend to collect there and stay rather than being carried away on a breeze. Nothing alters our mood more than scent. Smell goes directly to the section of the brain that controls stress levels, heart rate and blood pressure. That makes plants like lavender and roses both beautiful and therepeutic.

Remember the pollinators. A garden is comprised of many different elements. While

we're admiring the beauty of our landscapes, hummingbirds, bees and butterflies are finding food and pollinating our gardens. Research shows that pollinator numbers are declining due to a number of factors, habitat destruction being one of them. Please consider making your garden into a mini habitat for them.


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