Planning Your Landscape Part 2 – Plant, Shrub, and Tree Selection

Part 1 Lot Planning
Planning Your Landscape – Part 1 Lot Planning
June 14, 2019
Part One The basics
Tools of the Trade—for Gardening Part One, The basics
June 27, 2019

In Part 1 of this series, we looked at how individuals can plan their landscape to reflect their individual taste and needs. Once the overall landscape plan has been approved and finalized by those who will be living there, it is time to think about what plants, shrubs, and trees will be desired and appropriate for the areas of landscaping so designated. Again, as in planning the landscaping for your home, let all who will be living there participate in sharing what types of plants, shrubs, and trees each would enjoy having. When this list is complete, there are essentials to consider for each choice:

  • Probably first and foremost is checking the hardiness zone for each plant, shrub, and tree desired. Lean what hardiness zone you are in by going online or checking with a local nursery. Then check the plants and trees on your list that will thrive in the hardiness zone where you live. Eliminate those choices which will not survive or do well in your zone.
  • Learn about the insects in your area which will enjoy damaging your plant, shrub, and tree selections. Find out how best to combat the insects and how much time and money could be involved. Find out if there are natural ways to control insects and pests in your area. Using this information, determine how insect resistant your plant, shrub and tree choices are.
  • How disease resistant is each of your choices?
  • Learn about rainfall, and how much moisture your hoped-for plants, shrubs, and trees require.
  • Find out what type of soil you have and what kind of soil you will need. Can the soil you have been improved to accommodate some of your choices?
  • Will you need to fertilize, and if so, what will work and how expensive is it?
  • Make a chart showing the height of desired plants, especially flowers and shrubs, so they can be placed in attractive settings to compliment not hide each other.
  • How tall will each tree selection grow and how deep and wide is their root system? Many a driveway has been cracked by tree roots
  • How much shade and sun does each plant variety need?
  • What kind of grass grows best in your area?
  • Are your plant, shrub, and tree choices low or high maintenance?
  • What is the availability and cost of what you desire?

All of the above seems complicated and very time-consuming. However, you want your landscaping to reflect you and those who live with you, and you want to be able to enjoy your outside spaces. If you make a list of each plant, tree, and shrub you are considering and then going across the page, create columns for each concern, you can, as you answer each question, write a brief answer in the column next to each selection. Sometimes just a “yes, no, or checkmark will be all that is needed to see if that particular plant, shrub, or tree will be a good choice for your landscape.

Once you have decided on your plants, trees, and shrubs, it is best to again consult with a local landscaper. As with many of life’s challenges, by getting the advice of someone who has knowledge in that area, you will benefit in the long run. A little money spent on getting professional landscaping advice is usually well worth it as gardening mistakes can be very costly and time-consuming. Best Cuts Lawn and Landscaping for folks who live in Ocala, Florida and surrounding areas know how to help. Their phone number for information and a free estimate is (352) 216-0512.