Summer is finally here, and you may be wondering about how to keep all your plants thriving. Besides deadheading and watering let's think a little bit about layout and landscape design.
Summertime is when plants are stressed the most so moving them around right now is less than ideal; and with a little work over the winter we can greatly reduce our workload for the spring and summer.
If you do decide that you are going to re-organize your summer gardens, think about snapping a few photos now because that giant hosta over in the corner will be an unrecognizable pile of goo in December when it’s ideal to move it to the other corner.
You may have some really tricky spaces in your garden that can influence your landscape design efforts. Shade provided by deciduous trees is seasonal. The leaves on those trees provide shade in the summer, but what little sun we get in the cooler season may hit the ground with full force when those trees are bare. This can be especially true for lawns.
One common mistake I see in landscape design is when people assume that the native plants they have chosen can make a go of it in full sun from day one. Remember that the rhodies and salal evolved to thrive under some canopy, with dappled sun and a thick layer of mulch to keep their roots moist. This can be a vastly different environment from a modern building site or even an established yard.
I try to group plants together that have similar needs, blueberries and lavender probably won’t do well together as they have differing water and ph needs. The sweet box really should not be in with the roses as they have different sun requirements.
Be careful of plant tags. I occasionally see plants labeled wrong and the tags are not always correct. Usually, I look online at a few reputable sources to confirm what the tag says if I am unsure. There is also an excellent cheat sheet the pros use, available online at GreatPlantPicks.org. This is a great tool to find plants that will grow will in a summer garden landscape in this area.
Consider native plantings
There are some really great reasons to go with native plants, and if you decide to go that route with a little planning you can save money and time digging.
In the winter, there are bare root native plant sales where the plants are amazingly affordable. Here is the King County one: King County Native Walk-up Sale. The downside to this is they mostly happen when the weather is not that nice, so remember to refer to those photos you took when doing layout.
In any case, try not to get frustrated. Environmental Construction Inc. can help with just about anything related to your landscape design and summer garden. Contact Us.
I have often heard that gardens are never really done, as they are made up of living things that grow and change...so good luck!