Once you’ve got settled in your new home you’ll be able to give some thought to the landscape design you prefer. It will be something to suit your lifestyle and needs and can be as simple or as complex as you like and have room for. One thing you’ll need in any kind of design is plants, so how do you go about choosing them? Here are some tips.
- While there are many beautiful plants you won’t be able to fit them all in. If you try with just one of everything, your garden area will most likely look somewhat hodge-podge, with no cohesion to tie it all together.
- If you are working with a small area you choice may be even more limited. One way to choose plants is to ensure they can do more than one function. For instance, an espaliered apple tree can provide privacy, cover an unsightly wall or fence and give you fruit as well. A tree or shrub can have interesting bark, give vertical interest, provide shade and also delight you with perfumed flowers in season. If the leaves have a pretty autumn colour or if it has berries on it throughout winter, so much the better.
- Contrast colours. When choosing plants there are many different shades and hues, not just in the flowers, but the foliage. Find greens that contrast and plant darker greens in the background with lighter greens in the front, or have them side by side. You can also find plants with deep red or chocolate coloured leaves. A rich burgundy or purplish colour paired with chartreuse finds both colours enhanced.
- Look at shapes. Contrasting shapes is another thing to consider when choosing plants. Wide, round leaves, thin spiky leaves, pendulous or vertical – all add interest to the garden and overall design. The overall shape of each plant can also be a factor in your choice. Round mounding shapes look good with taller more vertical shapes.
- Some repetition provides cohesion. Try a couple of different plants that have the same or similar coloured foliage. Two or three different plants that have silvery blue foliage and a couple more with that golden look that brightens up your day will look fabulous.
- For some people, a garden is all about annuals. But while showy in season, these create a lot of work because they have to be replaced so frequently. Consider using perennials or shrubs and trees that will be permanent and give visual interest all year round. Choose evergreen columnar shapes to contrast with a rectangular hedge or trees with pendulous or weeping branches. Just make sure you know how tall each one will be when mature and that it is not planted where it will be a nuisance.