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Choosing The Right Plants For Your Garden (Part 2): Tips for Proper Spacing

Visualizing the future is essential when planning a new flower bed. Paying attention to the correct spacing for your plants, when you first plant your new bed will go a long way in creating a garden bed that you love. When you first plant your garden it may look sparse at first, but keep in mind that within a few months it will be fuller, taller, and more colorful. Taking into account the different heights, colors, textures, and masses of all the plants is the key to success. It is always a challenge to get the spacing between plants right on your first attempt, especially if it's your first time.

Consider the Spread of your plant

Especially when planting trees, shrubs or evergreens, it's important to consider the ultimate size that the plant will become. These plants will create the structure and backbone of your garden and you want to make sure that they have plenty of space to grow.

While plant that you initially pick up at the nursery may be only a foot or two large at the time, the tag might tell you that it ultimately will become 4-6 feet tall and wide. It's important to plant it in an area of your garden where it will have the space it needs as it matures - so that you don't need to be pruning it all the time. This is not only an extra chore that you don't need, but oftentimes will alter the natural gracefulness of the plant, creating something that doesn't resemble the characteristics of the plant that you fell in love with in the first place.

When planting perennials and annuals, this isn't quite as important - you can get away with planting them a little it closer than with other things, but when planting the larger shrubs and trees in your garden, it's definitely something that you want to pay attention to.

Gardening will teach you the art of patience... and spacing plants properly and waiting for them to fill in is all part of that.

Patience is hard though - and gardening is all about unbridled enthusiasm though, right? After all - gardening is supposed to be fun!

After you've properly spaced your "forever" plants that will provide the structure of your garden, you'll most likely be left with some pretty wide-open spaces. The trick is though - they're not actually open - just temporarily vacant. That's where the fun part comes in. Fill in these spaces with "right-for-me-right-now" plants - plants which you know full-well are not part of your forever plan, but that you can enjoy and have fun with as space allows.

Planting your garden this way also allows you grace to relax and have fun. Knowing that when one of your "right-for-me-right-now" plants dies or needs to be removed, you can make that choice without remorse. It's all part of the plan - no failure - just the natural evolution of your garden!

More to come...

Next up - considering a plant's height when planting your garden...


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