Plant Design Tips and Plant Choosing Tools

Plants, let’s talk plants.PlantDesign

Spring is here, or so they tell us, though we’re not seeing much sign of it at the moment here in the UK. With Easter upon us any moment, the traditional start to the gardening year looks like it’s not going to get off to the usual flurry of garden centre purchasing.

A tragedy for garden centres but if you want to make this year the year you create an amazing garden, then the delay to the season is great news…

How the Bad Weather Will Help You Create a Wonderful Garden

Although the cold, wet weather is holding you back from getting out into the garden. It really is a good thing though, if you use it to your advantage…

One of the biggest mistakes you can make is to get carried away at the garden centre.

You can easily spend a small fortune on the world’s loveliest plants, get them home, put them in and… oh dear, not looking as good as you hoped?

Great gardens do not happen by accident. Nor by luck. They are planned.

So, if you really want to achieve your dream garden, a little bit of planning will get you there considerably quicker and cost effectively than the seasonal impulse purchases will.

How to Plan the Perfect Planting Scheme

GeraniumI’m not going to lie to you, combining plants to create stunning combinations in your garden borders does take some thought. It isn’t a five minute job, if you want to do it well. So, let’s make sure your time is well spent.

Most planting schemes go wrong because people focus all their efforts on the plant’s flowers. What’s wrong with that? It’s not like we buy plants because of their attractive root systems, now is it!

Unless you live in a tropical country, chances are, the plants you purchase will spend more days in the year without flowers than with them. So, if you’ve just chosen a plant because you like the flowers, then at least 80% of the time, perhaps more, it won’t be looking the way you want it to.

Key Factors with Choosing Plants

  1. Does the plant easily grow in your garden conditions without becoming invasive?
  2. Overall characteristics of the plant (what’s it like when it’s not flowering – VERY important)
  3. Height and spread – will it be the right size for the area you wish to place it in?
  4. Does it have year round interest or is it just a flash in the planting pan?
  5. How will each plant look with those surrounding it?

As you can see there’s a lot to think about, and really we’ve only just scratched the surface with the most important aspects. You can probably also see why great planting combinations can be elusive when you are impulse buying plants.

How to Make Sure You Choose the Right Plants for Your Garden

It’s all to easy to end up buying the wrong plants for your garden’s conditions. That’s why research BEFORE you go shopping is essential.

To make life a little bit easier for you, especially if you don’t know many plants, there are some great tools you can use to help take the pain away from choosing the right plants for your garden and tastes. The video below will show you one such tool.

Click Here to use the Right Plants 4 Me database

What really speeds up plant choosing is being able to know what conditions a plant likes, just by looking at its leaves! It’s far easier to learn the characteristics rather than individual plants. For instance, all plants that have a silver/grey foliage require full sun. They won’t survive in the shade.

There’s lots of other signs that are easy to spot and will enable you to know which plants to put where. I’ve created a mini-course called the 5 Minute Plant Expert that will show you exactly what to look for.

If you want to know how to choose plants that will create stunning combinations, then take a look at the Plant Design Formula, it’s discounted until the end of the month. It will show you a really simple formula that will enable you to combine plants to look good all year round.

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About Rachel Mathews

Professional international garden designer for over 20 years. My mission is to de-mystify garden design and make it easy for people to successfully design their own garden - without needing to spend a fortune!

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  1. Thank you for the help. My wife and I want to get more plants in our house and yard, but are not sure how to decide. I had not thought a lot about the height and spread of the plant, as you mentioned. Would you recommend that we draw out a plan to know the size of plants that we need? http://www.dinsan.com.au

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