Welcome to the Homeowner’s Guide to Planting Design
Planting Design, or softscape as it is sometimes called, is that part of landscape design that focuses on plant life – from groundcovers to trees. This is truly a field unto itself with studied and passionate folks (often called horticulturists) providing plant selection and design.
This is one aspect of landscape design, IMO, that needs more attention.
Planting design table of contents
With a thorough understanding of plants – and they’re all different – you can create plantings that are beautiful, functional and sustainable. New plant varieties are coming out all the time, all to improve performance and solve plant-health issues. Afterall, plants are living things.
I mentioned earlier that “plants are all different”. And that’s obvious simply by looking at them. But because they’re living things, appearance is only one aspect of their differences. You must also consider mature size and shape, exposure & soil preferences, insect & disease susceptibility… the list goes on.
Considering all their unique preferences & characteristics, it’s no wonder plant design is so challenging.
Selecting the proper plant requires design sensibilities, but equally, if not more importantly, individual plant knowledge. Published plant information in books and on the web give a nice foundation, but watching plants thrive (or struggle) in various conditions is the best source of knowledge.
Practicing the best methods for installing plants plays a key part in whether the planting will thrive, languish or die. These are living things that require particular conditions & treatment. And like yourself, if surrounding conditions challenge your well-being your health will decline.
“Roger provided an excellent critique on the plantings specified in our landscape plan. He advised as to which plants were appropriate for a particular area and made alternate suggestions for those that were not. After his review of plant spacing, we were amazed at the excessive amount of plants shown on our plan. Surely we’ve avoided future overcrowding & renovating.“
Landscapes are complex, and shortcomings anywhere in the process can affect the project… and your peace of mind.
My approach is process-oriented. I break things down from planning to implementation — and make sure everyone is kept informed.
My goal is to alleviate concerns such as design decisions, costs, workmanship and material quality. I want folks to stress less and actually enjoy the process.
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