The Right Plant Scheme to Make Your Garden Look Spectacular
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Published by TOP4 Team
It’s the plants that make a garden. Great design and amazing fixed structures can look disjointed and out of place without the right combination of plants surrounding them. Understanding the amazing qualities of plants can add to a design. The textures they bring, their ability to set a mood, the way they can affect the perspective, making a space feel larger or smaller. It can seem daunting putting together a planting scheme, especially as getting it wrong can be a costly exercise.
Choosing the right planting palette may rely on the style of garden you have. Resort-style gardens tend to suit tropical planting schemes, and more traditional gardens suit a looser cottage style of plant, but that’s not to say you can’t juxtapose your plants to your design. There aren’t modern gardens taken to another level with the use of dainty cottage-garden plants such as foxgloves and Erysimum. To pull off this juxtaposition, in any style, you need to be restrained and definite with your plant choices, so as to not clutter a space or mismatch styles of plants. A garden with a contrasting planting scheme, such as this, tends to be an artwork to look at rather than a garden to live in.
If you are unsure as to what planting scheme will suit you, do a bit of research into what puts a smile on your face. Tropical plant combinations have a mix of high-impact, large-leaf textures whereas traditional cottage gardens are made up of a tapestry of intertwined plants. Beach gardens have large drifts of strappy-leaved plants, and modern gardens focus on hero plants surrounded by a cast of supporting greens. A great way of choosing a planting style is to not follow trends — go for what makes you happiest as you are the one who will be living with it.
Once you have your planting style and plants, getting the right combinations of shapes and textures are where the designer element comes in. Traditionally, taller plants were grown at the back of the garden bed with progressively smaller plants being used towards the front of the bed to five a raked, amphitheatre effect. These days, planting is a bit more of a relaxed affair with large feature plants being placed closed to the front of the bed for maximum viewing pleasure and a more up-and-down design to the body of the bed. To get this look, go for tried-and-tested combinations of plants where rounded shrubs are surrounded with strappy leaves and taller plants are underplanted with perennials creating a layered effect. Trying to get plants into every nook and cranny is a sure-fire way to get a designer look in a garden. Planted step risers, paving areas bordered with low plants, and vertical gardens are all ways of achieving this.
Planting out a whole garden can become an expensive affair, so spend your money wisely. Find out what is quick-growing and buy those plants in small sizes such as 125mm or 140mm pots. For slow-growing plants, invest in some larger stock, buying 45L and above. Your smaller plants may lack impact once they are in, but give it a year or so and they will overtake initially larger stock and keep up their quick growth rate into the future.
A garden is about embracing the plant life, nurturing it and watching it grow to its full potential — the potential you have helped it reach. A garden will always give you back so much more than you put in and the things in life that take time and patience are the things that give the most rewards. So embrace the plants in your garden and make your space a truly amazing one.