By LMG Calla Victoria
There are several planting techniques that can be utilized when planning your garden design:
1. Mass plantings are designed for impact. Using this method tightly plant groupings of the same plant in the same color scheme and the eye is immediately drawn to that spot in the garden. Beautiful examples of this type of planting can be seen in the top photo of Nong Nooch Vine, and the drift of lavender petunias, the pink azaleas below. When considering mass plantings we are talking about a minimum of five large plants of the same species to create this impact, or fifteen to twenty small seedlings. As a general rule you should always buy plants in increments of five.
Mass planting of Petunias Mass planting of Azaleas
2. Graduated or theatre-style plantings are designed to showcase each plant in your garden with respect to heights. The low-growing plants and groundcovers should be in the front, shrubbery of medium height should be in the middle of your planting bed, while the tallest plants should be towards the back of your bed.
A perfect example of this technique can be seen in the photo of the four levels of impeccably manicured hedges above. At ground level the dense chartreuse moss, used as a groundcover, stands out against the second level which is dark green monkey grass. The wispy long thin texture of the monkey grass contrasts beautifully against the bright pop of green rounded foliage of the rhododendron, and finally the rich hues of the ‘Purple Pixie’Loropetalum adds yet another layer of texture, color, and interest. In order to achieve this perfect display in your garden it is mandatory that you pay close attention to the maximum heights listed on the planting labels of each variety of plant that you purchase. This will save you from having to dig up and re-plant specimens that were planted in the front of your garden bed that are taller than other plants mistakenly planted behind them.
3. Mixed Flower border is a flower bed that combines multiple types of plants (such as annuals, perennials, shrubs, trees, and groundcovers in multiple colors, shapes, and textures). It is planted tightly so there are little or no weeds, and there is something of interest blooming year round.
4. Planting on Berms-Berms are little man-made hills that can be used to provide interest in an overly-large expanse of yard. Berms improve drainage, give some dimension to flat landscapes, create a privacy cove, function as a barrier from wind or water, and buffer against road noise. Berms are great aesthetic solutions to contrast the bland concrete columns on elevated homes.
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Remember, never get too busy to stop and enjoy the beautiful flowers!