Lush Landscapes

Ryan Kertesz, Southern Landscape Company

Blend for Beauty

Many people believe you have to choose between a French garden and English garden. The intricate, symmetrical lines of a French garden are truly inspirational, yet the whimsical attractions and meandering paths of a proper English garden also don’t disappoint. They are two very different schools of thought – opposite ends of the spectrum, really. As in everything in life, most of us lie in the middle, so don’t hesitate to meld the two together! Make your outdoor space a personal thing of beauty, one that revives the soul. Also, remember the phrase “stop and smell the roses,” as it should be taken literally. The peace that can be found within nature is boundless.

Chad Sikes, CityGreen Services

Research Equals Success

Most people assume it’s their lack of a green thumb when something fails in their garden. But the truth is, many variables are involved when considering plant material for your home. Achieving success in your yard starts with selecting plants that perform well in the given environment; talk with a specialist to learn the specifics of your planting zone. Then you’ll need to prepare the planting area, which includes adding soil amendments, and provide the proper ongoing maintenance program. These are all key components of a long-lasting, healthy, and vibrant home landscape. 

Kim Bonastia, Signal Mountain Nursery

Ask the Right Questions

To help determine the right landscape, I ask the following questions: How much maintenance do you want to do? Are you an avid gardener? When deciding a design, think about how much time you’re willing to invest in maintaining the area. Do you enjoy working in the yard, or would you rather plant and forget? Select your plants according to your lifestyle and the time you are willing to put into it. What are the conditions of the site you are looking at landscaping? This question is one of the most important; plants thrive in the right environment (for example: shade vs. sun, wet soil vs. dry soil). What type of style and purpose are you trying to accomplish? Look through garden magazines or gardens on Pinterest to get a better idea of your personal style before coming to a garden center or meeting with a landscape designer.

Ruben Viva, Images Landscape Service, Inc.

Consider Your Plant Size

In my many years of experience, what I frequently notice is that the mature size of plants is not taken into consideration when designing a space. Plants all grow to different heights, widths, and spreads. Too often we must pull out overgrown or overcrowded shrubs because care and thought weren’t put into the eventual size of the plants. Look up the mature size of the plant before you decide on where it goes. Planting close to a structure or even next to another plant may not work if the mature size overtakes the area. Your planting space may seem bare at first – if that’s a concern, fill in the spaces with inexpensive shrubs, perennials, or flowers until the plants grow and mature.

Sue Chamberlain, Garden Stylist

Perfect Your Walking Path

Landscape designs include inviting paths to your front door, your patio, or your activity area. Incorporate paths that reflect your style. Multi-stone paths are a good choice; they are more eco-friendly than slabs of concrete, which encourage wasteful water run-off. Design with water conservation in mind. Also, I advise enhancing your walking paths with size-appropriate shrubs and perennials that have natural movement and soft textures. For example, lamb’s ear and evergreen yew shrubs have soft leaves and needles that feel wonderful to the touch. Neonic-free, or insecticide-free, flowering perennials are another colorful complement to natural walkways. Ground covers between walking paths are drought-tolerant and a low-maintenance way to add interest to your path. Think natural and native … and be surrounded by nature!

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