The guidelines the garden club is following include:·
- Choose plants that are well-suited to the available sun, soil, moisture, and size of the site, and those which are long-lived and disease-resistant, while not being invasive. You’ll find that many native plants naturally fit these guidelines.
- Select anchoring shrubs and trees that maintain an attractive shape and size without any need for shearing. These shrubs can be evergreen and/or deciduous with four-season interest. Many newer cultivars of old favorites have been developed in recent years.
- Minimize the use of annuals, and limit annuals to those requiring little water and no deadheading. Plan for a succession of bloom in your perennials and shrubs to supplement the color show.
- Arrange your plants in a less formal, more naturalistic layout. Use drifts of plants rather than aiming for perfect symmetry.
- Phase in increased use of low-growing plants as groundcovers and deemphasize use of purchased mulch. (But continue the practice of mulching, which is a very eco-friendly activity. It decreases weeds, preserves water, discourages soil-borne diseases, cools roots, and looks great.)
- Include a variety of plant families, to avoid the pitfalls of a monoculture, such as susceptibility of the plants to the same pests and diseases.
- Incorporate organic matter into the soil, and eliminate or minimize use of chemical pesticides and fertilizers.
- Have some fun and try something different.
I will feature some of the new plants we have chosen in future blog posts. Please give us your feedback here in the comments.