Rules 5-7 of Garden Catalog Shopping

Getting the most out of your online or hardcopy garden catalog experience is best done by following rules.  Well, they’re not so much rules as “guidelines”; Bill Murray knows what this is all about.  For the Midwestern gardener, rules 5-7 focus mostly on the size of the plants and where they are planted in the landscape.

Five.  Size and Shape.  How big will the plant grow?  How wide?  The eventual size and shape of a plant makes a big difference and will determine if it is sustainable in a landscape.  Stuffing a medium to large plant into a small space usually means frustration and repeated pruning efforts.

Six.  Location, Location, Location.  Sun and shade, wind and soil – these are the important considerations.  Hostas, bergenia and pachysandra belong in the shade; putting them in the full sun is only going to lead to disappointment.

Seven.  Consider Views.  Especially in winter, a landscape is viewed from inside the house.  Be sure to look from the inside out when making plant selections.

John Fech
Horticulture Extension Educator at Nebraska Extension
John Fech is a horticulturist with the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and certified arborist with the International Society of Arboriculture. The author of 2 books and over 200 popular and trade journal articles, he focuses his time on teaching effective landscape maintenance techniques, water conservation, diagnosing turf and ornamental problems and encouraging effective bilingual communication in the green industry. He works extensively with the media to extend the message of landscape sustainability, making over 100 television and radio appearances each year.
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