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How to Pick the Best Plants for Your Garden

Sep 2, 2008
Buying plants on impulse is common, but is it the wisest for our gardens? There are many factors to consider before purchasing. Determine your garden conditions, is it sunny or shady? Is the soil well drained or waterlogged?

But wait! Test your soil first, to determine the pH level of your soil and what kind of nutrients you need to add, if any. Is the soil acid or alkaline? Most plants prefer soil that is slightly acidic, but there are some that must have alkaline soil to grow. You can alter the soil's pH level, but it's much easier to simply plant for the soil you have.

Will you plant your plants in groups, or by individual plant? If you buy one of everything, sometimes your garden can look a bit chaotic, but then even that can have a charming look of it's own. Group plantings that are more organized tend to look more harmonious and offers a lot of creative design ideas.

Before planting out, place your chosen plants around the garden bed in their pots to see how they will look. Re-arrange them until you are satisfied. Grouping plants in sets of threes or fives usually looks better than planting in groups of even numbers. Be sure that you have an interesting combination of colors and textures of plants. Tall plants should go to the back, or the center if your garden will be viewed equally from all sides. Try to keep your plants away from trees. The roots of trees are fiercely competitive and will steal all the nutrients and moisture meant for your flowers.

Another factor to consider when choosing plants is their bloom season. You want to have some going both in early spring, summer and fall so there is something interesting happening at all times. Many times people choose some that do a wonderful show at the same time, then there is nothing else the rest of the year thus creating a somewhat barren looking area.

The right color scheme is one way to maintain the harmony in your garden. Imagine the color of the flowers when they are in bloom. Some colors may clash with others, but can still be planted side-by-side if they have a different blooming season. Foliage color is also important. Many flower plants have silver, grey or purplish foliage that is just as attractive as the flower. This means that they are still attractive well past the blooming season and so have added value.
About the Author
By Rachel Ray who loves planting and gardening .and finds it soothing to the soul. Drop by her site dedicated to making life more comfortable and reducing anxiety.
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