Gardening Articles: Landscaping :: Yard & Garden Planning

Entry Garden Make-Over (page 2 of 2)

by Jane von Trapp

Practicalities

As you get started, be mindful of your soil conditions, the direction your house faces, and patterns of water drainage. Make a scale drawing of your space and how you'd like to divide it. Before sketching any plants in the drawing, consider their mature size. This way, you won't be tempted to choose plants that will be too large or too small for the space available. Then select an appropriate mixture of plants. Consult nurseries and cooperative extension offices, as well as local planting guides.

If available, choose named varieties of plants over species; they are often superior in appearance and performance to unnamed forms of the same plant. Also look for compact or dwarf varieties. Even the most diminutive plant in its nursery container can become a maintenance headache if it is naturally too big for its space. Generally, with the exception of trees, look for plants that grow no higher than your windows.

If you are planting under eaves, remember that plants there will receive much less rainwater and possibly light, depending on the depth of the overhang, than plants exposed to the sky. Supplemental irrigation may be needed.

Jane von Trapp is an author and landscape designer based in New York City.

Illustration by Janet Fredericks

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