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Garden Review & Design | Part II

Updated: Feb 13

Designing Your Best Garden

Now that you have a better understanding of your garden’s environment, and possibly have a garden design in mind, let’s learn how to customize your plant selections for a garden that not only reflects your style and personality, but will flourish and thrive in the new season. 

Whether you’re rearranging your current plots or expanding your roots to new ground, we’ll help you learn how to select the right plants for your environment and how to care for them.

Choosing the Right Plants for the Right Spot

Every garden has its unique charm, and because we know our garden’s environment, we have the key to choosing the right plants. So, let's get started! First things first, how much or how little sun did your garden receive? 

Understanding Sun Exposure

Plants have particular preferences when it comes to where they like to grow. Some plants revel in the full, blazing sun, while others flourish in the cool shade. And then, there are those that happily sit in the middle. When choosing plants, consider their sunlight preferences to ensure they'll thrive in your garden.

Full Sun - Plants that require full sun typically need at least six hours of direct sunlight per day. However, some may require full-day exposure. The amount of direct sunlight is required for their growth and the production of vibrant flowers, vegetables, or fruits. It's crucial to position these plants correctly, ensuring they receive the needed sunlight. However, remember that even sun-loving plants might require some shade during the hottest part of the day to prevent scorching.

Full Shade - Shade plants can often thrive with less than three hours of direct sunlight per day. These plants have adapted to flourish under the canopy of taller plants and have developed mechanisms to photosynthesize efficiently in low light conditions. While some shade plants can tolerate a few hours of morning sun, intense afternoon sun may lead to scorched leaves. 

It's worth noting that "shade" doesn't mean "no sun". There are varying degrees of shade, from partial to full, with different plants suited to different levels. Therefore, knowing the specific shade requirements of your chosen shade-loving plants will ensure their optimal growth and longevity.

Partial sun/shade - Partial sun or partial shade plants fall in the middle of the sun-loving and shade-loving spectrum. These plants typically need direct sun each day, preferably during the cooler morning hours, but appreciate some shade during the heat of the afternoon when the sun is at its strongest. It's important to remember that 'partial' can lean towards more sun or more shade, depending on the specific plant. Understanding this balance is crucial for the overall health and growth of your plants.

The Right Soil

Different plants have varied soil requirements, but most garden plants thrive in well-drained, loamy soil rich in organic matter. A good garden soil should have a balance of sand, silt, and clay particles, known as loam. Ideal soil pH varies between 6.0 and 7.0, allowing optimum nutrient availability. Essential nutrients like nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium should be present in ample amounts, as these are vital for plant growth and development. When choosing your plants, always make sure you know their required soil type and nutrient requirements. 

If you found out that your soil might not be ideal for the plants you are choosing for your garden, don't worry, almost any soil can be amended with the proper compost. For further details on soil requirements and amendment practices read our blog, Soil Preparation & Care. And don’t forget, we have everything you need at the greenhouse to obtain the perfect soil for the plants you select. Stop by and see us!

Moisture Levels & Drainage

Lastly, make sure to choose plants that can withstand the amount of natural water they will receive in your garden. While some plants, like willows and iris, thrive in wet soil, embracing their 'wet feet' with gusto, others are less tolerant of soggy grounds. Plants such as lavender and rosemary prefer well-drained soil and can suffer in overly moist conditions, making drainage an important factor. Ensuring the right moisture balance is key to helping each plant in your garden start the season strongly.

If you found that your garden location received too much or too little moisture, appropriate actions can be taken based on your results. For flat areas, consider installing a French drain or raised beds to improve drainage. For steep slopes, consider installing a retaining wall or using ground cover plants to slow down runoff and prevent erosion. 

Plants That Match Your Style & Personality

Choosing plants that resonate with your own style and personality can transform a garden into a deeply personal sanctuary. Imagine stepping outside into your own slice of paradise — a garden that is the ultimate expression of you. Think about it. What does your garden say about you? Is it a riot of color that's a feast for the eyes, splashing vibrant hues in every corner, or perhaps a tranquil retreat, where the whisper of the wind and the perfume of blossoms are the only company you need? Could it be that your heart beats for those little winged wonders, like bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds that turn a garden into a living, thriving ecosystem? Let's dig a little deeper and unearth the garden style that's as unique as your fingerprint.

Reflect on your favorite colors and the types of plants that spark joy when you catch a glimpse of them. And remember to consider your own unique way of organizing. Do you embody perfection and prefer a more 'neat and tidy' approach using compact, petite flowers such as tulips or pansies to create harmonious geometrical patterns? Or, perhaps you are as carefree as the wind and are drawn to the spontaneous charm of a cottage garden, graced by the towering splendor of delphiniums, the whimsy of foxglove, and poppies swaying carefree with the breeze. For a garden full of life and movement, fluttering butterfly bushes could be your focal point, while structured shrubbery can lend an air of formality and bring order to your outdoor oasis.

As you discover your garden's potential and your personal preferences, the flowers and design you select will reflect your unique flair—a living masterpiece cultivated from the essence of your imagination. So go ahead, dream a little or a lot, and when you're ready to transform those dreams into dirt and petals, stop by our greenhouse. We'll plant the seeds of your imagination together, with your vision and our green know-how to make it bloom spectacularly!

Happy gardening!


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