Planting without planning may be one of the biggest mistakes a new gardener can make. Skipping the garden planning process can result in beds and blooms that are overcrowded, getting too much (or not enough) sun and water, or that just look messy and sad. Avoid these common garden planning mistakes when putting together your garden, and your plants will thank you!
Disregarding the Sun
Your garden has many microclimates. Some areas are bathed in direct sunlight for hours, others are sheltered and shaded. Study your garden before doing your planning. Get familiar with how much sun different areas of your outdoor space get. Sun loving plants will want at least 6 hours of sun a day, partial shade plants will need 4 to 6 hours, and plants that thrive in shade need little more than dappled sunlight.
Picking a colour scheme for your entire garden, or different themes for different areas, will help your outdoor space to be pleasing to the eye. You can pick flower colours to evoke a mood, complementary colours for visual interest, or monochromatic colours for a calming and polished look. Blooms and plants that compliment or contrast your exterior home colour will stand out, and plants with bright, vivid colours will attract birds. You can tell any story you would like with your plant colour scheme, just as long as you decide on that story before planting.
Keep in mind the size your plants will reach when they are at full maturity, and space them with room to grow. In an overcrowded garden, plants have to compete for resources, and eventually someone will lose. Perennials may slowly creep the first year or two, and then burst into their full space by year three. Be sure to leave space between plants to give them room to breathe and grow.
Not Considering Companions
For the best results in your garden, consider the right companions for your plants. A companion plant may naturally attract beneficial insects, discourage harmful pests, provide nutrients, shade, or support for another variety of plant. Companion plants can also offer beauty and purpose to your garden with complementary colours, textures, or shapes. If you have a vibrant perennial that sleeps through the winter months, such as Geranium Rozanne, what can you plant around her that will stay green? Consider how your plants will pair when planted adjacent to one another to help your garden grow.
Not Using Containers
Container gardening is ideal for novice and experienced gardeners alike. A well draining container filled with potting soil and your favourite bloom can be moved around your garden to different areas. Container gardening with Geranium Rozanne, or other hardy blooms, is the best shortcut you can take with your garden planning. Containers can be easily moved to areas of more (or less) sun, next to more complimentary plants, or different areas of your outdoor space.
Careful planning is the key to a garden that will grow, thrive, and bring you happiness in your outdoor space. Don’t make these common garden planning mistakes and you are sure to have a vibrant and blooming outdoor space to enjoy for a long time to come.