Landscaping Plant Considerations
A lot goes in to doing a truly professional landscape. It requires a significant amount of plant knowledge and construction experience to do it well. Here are some of the main considerations that need to be taken in to account while developing a design.
- Overall design objectives and style.
- Hardiness = What kinds of plants will REALLY survive in the area. USDA Hardiness zones are just a start. Must know exact species and work with a supplier that has consistent sources that are tested and proven for the area.
- Sun / shade = how much direct and indirect sunlight to the area. N,S,E,W facing and tree cover amount.
- Moisture = amount of natural moisture, slope, soil conditions, irrigation.
- Soil = Type, texture, components, intake rate, water retention, drainage erosion. Sandy, clay, silt, and loam mixes, topsoil, barren fill, porosity.
- Environmental conditions = Other impacting factors such as winter road or walkway salt, wind, etc
- Mature size, shape, and growth rate = Plants must be spaced properly to account for their growth rate and mature size. Balancing this across an entire site and keeping it cohesive and complimentary to building architecture is critical to getting a stunning final result.
- Balanced flowering schedule = Spring, early summer, late summer, fall balance.
- Fall color and winter state = Effectively incorporate fall color and the amount of evergreen plants that continue to provide cover and color during the winter.
- Maintenance required = Regular trimming, fall and spring cleanup.
- Disease and Pests = Some plants are vulnerable to specific diseases and pests that are native to the area.
- Life span = Plants have very different lifespans. If not part of the original plan many landscapes will start to look poor after 8 – 10 years.