A Tree Without A Flower May Have A Cone The Best Plants for a Small Garden

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The Best Plants for a Small Garden

Before planting or planting any new plants in your landscape, especially if you have a small garden, it is important that you understand the needs of each plant and the conditions they face on a daily basis.

All plants have specific requirements for sun, shade, water, etc. but small gardens, due to their limited layout design, increase these requirements. If you plant the wrong plant in the wrong environment or simply buy a plant without doing your homework, you’re setting yourself up for a lot of unnecessary heartache.

When I think of some examples of small gardens, I imagine front and back yards in townhouse communities. Plantings are usually compacted into very small beds, the back yard is usually fenced off to create a small lawn, and the soil is usually very poor and lacking in organic matter, as it is pulled under the ground during construction.

Since the houses are also shingled together, the roof drains empty directly into the courtyard, along with a roof drain in each neighborhood. Every yard has a fence or neighborhood fence and so on, the air flow in these areas is very limited, which causes moisture retention and creates a big problem not only for the plants but also for the siding of the house. Sound familiar?

Because of the potential problems mentioned above, you need to take some time to observe your garden at different times of the day and study the plants you like.

It is important to know;

• When your plants are in the sun or shade during the day; Morning sun is cool sun and is a great place for partial shade to shade loving plants; The afternoon sun is a hot sun and the plants here must be able to withstand intense heat

• What your soil is made of – loam, loam (a good organic mix) or sand – clay soils stay moist longer and require less water. Clay soil is the main culprit for the sickly, yellowing leaves you see in many commercial landscapes, plants are simply sinking – clay or sandy soil, drains faster and requires more water and weekly monitoring.

• If you have wet areas or any drainage problems – where your roof gutters run; Shaded areas will stay wetter longer and need less watering

• If you have beds that shade large trees, they will prevent rain from reaching the ground; The plants here will need more water.

• Plants planted under a tree in the root zone will need more water and fertilizer as the tree will absorb most of it.

• If you have a wind problem… fences can reduce or increase wind and possibly dry out plants

Once you understand the different conditions your garden may face over time, you can begin to choose plants that will bloom with you year after year. Try for a low-maintenance gardening experience by planting plants that mature slowly and fill in over time.

Adding shrubs such as butterfly bush, spirea, or knock out rose not only adds seasonal color, but also helps manage your landscape as you prune or reduce the size of these shrubs each spring. Many perennials and ornamental grasses will have the same effect

By choosing low-maintenance plants (slow growers, need less water and fertilizer, don’t have disease or pest problems, regenerate or cut back every year), 95% of your annual gardening is done during your spring cleanup.

With this in mind, I recommend shrubs and perennials 4-5 feet tall / 3-4 feet wide and trees no taller than 15 feet. I like to avoid any fast growing plants that require maintenance pruning during the season.

The plants below are mostly pest and disease free, require very little moisture once established, and require very little maintenance throughout the year. All will bring years of enjoyment to you and your garden when kept in the specified environment.

Plants for full sun – afternoon sun or hot sun;

• Knockout Rose

• Crimson Pygmy thistle with yellow flowers

• Boxwood winter gem

• Butterfly Bush

• Dwarf Burford Holly

• Hoogendorn Holly

• Nandina variety

• Repanden Yew

• Lavender

• Liriope variety

• Calamagrastis ornamental grass

• Penacetum ornamental grass

• Brick

• Hydrangea Panniculata or Oakleaf

• Sedum varieties

• Clethra- very fragrant

• Coreopsis Zagreb

• Cone Flower-Echinacea Varieties

A variety of perennial geraniums

Plant for morning sun and afternoon shade or cool sun

• Acuba variety

• Astilbe varieties

• Caryopteris- Blue Mist Shrub

• Dwarf Burford Holly

• Hydrangea (macro phylla)

• Lilac- Meyer Palbin- Fragrant

• Repanden Yew

• Variegated Liriope

• Hosta types- some fragrant

• Gumpo Azalea

• Ajuga

• Heuchera varieties

• Nandina variety

• Helleborus species

This is a great list to start with, with many evergreen and flowering varieties.

Knowledge is flowers!

Todd

twscapes@gmail.com

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