These 5 tips will help you choose the right plants for your garden.
Rosy Hardy, the owner of Hardy’s Cottage Garden Plants, told me what she looks for in plants when buying them.
Rosy has a channel on YouTube that is all about plants. Rosy Hardy Gardens.
Rosy Hardy, a plant expert and award-winning grower, explains how to select the best plants for your backyard.
Here is the video interview with Rosy.
Look at the base of the plant to find the best-looking plants
Rosy says that the color of the flowers always draws people in.
“But it is more important to check for healthy, strong growth at the bottom of the plant.” The bottom of the plant should have a little root showing, indicating that it is not a small plant that has been transplanted into a larger pot.
My post on How to reduce the cost of planting border received several comments from people working in nurseries who said that some “2L” plants are actually 9cm in 2L pots!)
Rosy said that you could purchase plants in their bud if you are going to a nursery that is reputable and where you can trust the labeling.
If you buy plants in bloom, you will know exactly what you are getting.
Check the base of the foliage to determine if your plant is healthy.
You should know the amount of sun or shade your plant requires.
Rosy says that you need to know the amount of sun or shade in your border. A west-facing garden border is ideal for growing plants, as it has plenty of light and is gentle.
Buy plants that will grow in a sunny or shady position!
What’s the soil type? There are plants that grow best in sandy soils or heavy clay soils, for instance.
It’s important to choose plants that are grown locally rather than those mass-produced and potted in faraway places.
You can also ask questions about the plants if you purchase from a local nursery. They are often very knowledgeable about what they sell and how they grow the plants.
Check if your border is sunny or shady.
When the plant blooms and for how long.
For good examples, see this post on Six perennials that bloom all summer. Their flowering can be intermittent.
Some flowers flower in a large burst at a certain time.
Rosy says that if you want to choose the right plants for a large burst in flowering, ask yourself, ‘what will follow?’
When and for how long does the plant flower? Plan for what happens next.
Flower and leaf shapes in contrast
Rosy says if your border is full of flowers that are all the same shape, it will appear dull. This is true even if the flowers themselves look beautiful.
When you are buying plants, consider the contrast. She suggests pairing a round bloom with a spire. Plant a clump with leaves or flowers that are rounded with a group with spikes.
You can also plant taller plants in the front. You don’t have to follow the traditional method of creating a garden border, with larger plants at the rear, medium-sized ones in the middle, and small ones at the front.
Verbena bonariensis has vibrant lavender flowers on a tall wispy stem. You can see the plants behind it if you plant the plant at the front. Rosy refers to these plants as’see-through’.
Select plants with contrasting shapes, textures, or colors in the leaves or flowers.
Plant the best plants!
Check the label first to determine how large the plant will become. You need to give it that space in the border.
Rosy recommends that you hold two plants, about shoulder width apart, in each hand. This spacing is fine for most perennials.
Plant perennials at shoulder width apart if you do not have a measuring tape. Fill in any gaps with annuals and biennials, as they will not compete for space the same way.
It will take these perennials 1-3 years to cover their space. You don’t have to leave the ground bare. Rosie suggests that you plant biennials and annuals to fill in the gaps.
Perennials are plants that stay in your garden for at least three years.
A plant is an annual if it grows from seed to flower and then dies within a year. Biennials do the same thing in two years.
The biennials and annuals will not compete with perennials, as they will eventually die. You can fill in the gaps between perennials with annuals or biennials.
Cosmos, marigolds, cleome, and snapdragons are good annuals to use as borders. Foxgloves, wallflowers, and marigolds are good biennials.
Remember how to select the best plants by pinning them to your pins
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