From Dean Dowd on August 26, 2008 in Landscaping
Today’s post comes from Euphrasia, a new CalFinder contributor. Euphrasia has loved homes and gardens since the age of 2. She’s been involved with home and garden design for many years and has writtten about everything from stress management to personal development. More on Euphrasia to come. Until then, here’s her first post on “Favorite Landscaping Plants”:
A beautiful, established, and well-maintained landscape is a joy to behold and a joy to be in – and it gives curb appeal and adds value to your home. There are many, many options available for landscaping plants, no matter where you live.
Assessing Your Space
Each region has its own requirements of the trees, shrubs, and plants that thrive there. For example, temperature and drought tolerance are major factors that need to be taken into consideration before you begin to make your selections. Next, you need to assess your specific situation, in terms of what’s needed. For example:
- Are you in a new home with no landscaping to speak of?
- Is your home in a development with a definite look and feel?
- Is your landscaping established, but too labor-intensive to maintain?
- Are there Homeowners’ Association rules and regulations?
- Will you be making drastic changes to your home’s landscape, or doing a cosmetic upgrade to the existing scene?
Gathering Ideas Once you have this baseline information, there is a variety of efficient ways to begin your idea-gathering process for choosing specific plants. By exploring landscapes that lift your heart when you look at them, you’ll be in a better position to create a home landscape that nourishes your soul and suits your budget.
- Look at home and garden magazines.
- Visit locally owned and operated nurseries and garden centers – great sources of information about what really thrives in your area.
- Drive around and look at different neighborhoods and the landscaping styles of different homes.
- Find landscaped parks to walk through to see what’s thriving there.
- Dine in restaurants known for their outdoor dining areas’ charm.
Discovering Your Personal Favorites As you conduct these explorations, you’ll find that certain landscape “flavors” appeal to you consistently. Now you’re ready to hone in and see what particular plants, trees, and shrubs are commonly used in your favorites.
If you’re like most people, you’ll tend to be drawn by the beauty of whichever plants are flowering or at a peak point of development or maturity. It’s easy to be seduced into making choices based on the fleeting blooming season of a particular species, so it’s wise to bear this in mind, too.
Favorite landscaping plants are so different from region to region and home to home – so to save yourself time and energy, the ideas presented here are a good starting point for discovering your own personal favorites.