Nurseries are filling up with row upon row of perennials, trees and shrubs that look mighty tempting to the home owner who is itching to add to his or her landscaping. Here are a few considerations for garden design that will make newly purchased plants an attractive improvement to the home grounds, courtesy of writer Amelia Leavitt Hill.
The most important thing in landscaping is to do nothing without a definite plan. Try all your ideas on paper or in your mind’s eye, but when you have finally made a choice, stick to it. Nothing is less attractive than a lawn studded with scattered beds which have nothing to do with each other or with the general design. If you want to do the best you can for your garden, don’t let the charm of some new blossom for which you cannot find a space in any bed, tempt you to “just stick it in anywhere,” or to add an unplanned-for bed to hold it.
Consider the points of the compass in your calculations. Remember that most plants need full sun, and should have it for at least a portion of the day. Remember, too, that trees and shrubs cast shadows, and that their roots draw nourishment from the soil, so avoid planting close to them. And one last caution—make haste slowly! Perhaps you are attracted to a plant that would look good in a mass planting, using many of the same variety. It’s best to buy one or two specimens the first year, put them in the location of the proposed bed, and see how you like them before buying an armload of  plants of the same type.
Nature cannot be hurried, and what she does in her own time is always well worth waiting for. You can, of course, put in large and expensive plants; but they won’t be as satisfactory as if you had bought smaller ones and waited for them to grow where they are to live. Most important of all—if you give yourself the chance to live with what you’ve done, you’ll have an opportunity to find out whether you like it and to make changes before it becomes necessary to tear up the entire plot to incorporate them in your design.
Amelia Leavitt Hill wrote most of this article.

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