There are a lot of factors to take into account when you are deciding on the best way to softscape your home. Softscaping includes all of the elements of landscaping that are living and growing—think plants, trees, shrubs, and flowers.
Knowing which plants will work best in your space comes down to knowing three essential elements: your space, your environment, and the characteristics of the plants you are considering.
Know your space
In choosing the right plants, trees, and flowers for your property, you have to know your space. Here are some questions to ask yourself:
· What kind of square footage are you working with? How much of it do you want softscaped?
· What are the physical elements you need to work around? If you’re placing flowers or shrubs under a window, what is the height of the window?
· What function is your softscaping serving? Is it purely ornamental, or is it there to screen or cover something, or act as a divider?
· How will your space be used? Are you softscaping a garden for growing prize-winning roses, or a backyard where kids and pets will make it a high-traffic area?
Know your environment
Different environments support different types of plants. Here are some questions to ask yourself to get an idea of environmental factors to consider in choosing plants and flowers:
· What is the soil like in your area? Does it have a high concentration of a particular mineral or other element that can impact plant growth? How acidic is it?
· How much rainfall do you get? Is it spread out throughout the year, or are there rainy and dry periods?
· What is the temperature like in your area? When is first frost?
· Are there insects or wildlife in your area that are drawn to certain plants and would present a threat to their being able to flourish?
Know your plants
Once you know what kind of softscaping your space and environment can support, it’s time to find out more about the plants themselves. Here are some questions to ask:
· Is this plant deciduous (meaning it sheds its leaves each year) or evergreen?
· How tall will it get when it is fully mature?
· What shape is it? Is it too wide or narrow for the space you want it to occupy?
· Does it bear fruit or flower?
· Is it or its fruit/flowers poisonous to people or pets?
· How much care does this plant need, and does the level of care fit your lifestyle?
If you have questions about what types of plants, trees, or flowers would work best in your landscaping design, talk to a professional landscaper for guidance in creating your perfect outdoor space!