It is very easy to start of on the wrong foot when planning your landscape project. You stop in at the nursery or garden center and see all those wonderful choices. All the color, texture, and blooms can be intoxicating. You hastily make impulse purchases based on what catches your eye. You bring it home and plant it. Somehow it does not look right. You like the plants all right but what’s wrong? Further down the road many of your plants are struggling for survival and others quickly outgrowing their location. This happens with homeowners as well as with some landscape contractors.

There is a method to invoke to avoid many of these problems. That is the process of planning and design. A design, whether done by you or a professional, is important in helping you make important decisions about what you want and of course plant selection.

So how can a design help in plant selection? When a design is drawn to scale it helps establish the space you have for walkways, patios, furniture, and yes plants. In this design your walks, patios, lawn areas, etc. will help you establish and develop planting bed spaces. Once you have these planting spaces established you can start making decisions about what you want to accomplish in the designed spaces. Maybe you need a low evergreen hedge under the windows. Or maybe you need privacy. Maybe it’s a colorful flower show. The point is this starts you on the selection path.

What happens next takes a little effort for the homeowner or you can hire a professional to help you. Research horticulture books about the plants that fit your needs. Many books are written for this and there are web sites as well that can be very helpful. Make sure you note how big the mature size is. Will it be able to grow comfortably for at least 10-15 years in your location? Does the soil and sun/shade requirement match your location? If not keep looking! When you find a plant that works mark it on the plan. Create a circle to show it at 10-15 years growth and label it. It is also a good idea to have one or two alternatives in case your first choice is not available.

Continue the process until you complete all of your spaces. Remember to consider texture, fragrance, color, bloom timing, fall color, winter interest, deer resistance, exposure, soil, drainage, the existing plantings, the architecture of the building, and any other of countless factors. As you work through this you will find the plants will “choose themselves” through the sight’s and the design’s needs. As an industry professional I use this process for planning and designing every project from simple foundation plantings to elaborate gardens.

Before you go to purchase your plants layout and prepare your planting beds. Pre mark your plant locations. Now you are ready for plants. Go to the nursery or garden center. Bring your plan and plant list. Buy with confidence that you know what you are buying, where it belongs and what it will do. This is a great deal different than “impulse buying” your landscape.

I know this must sound like a lot of time and effort and it is. Unless you have a passion for gardening and a lot of time you may consider hiring a professional to design and install your landscape project. I would still recommend being involved in the process so the new project reflects your needs and tastes and does not become just another “cookie cutter” design that is the same up and down your block.

Maintenance & Plowing

Regency Landscape offers high quality residential and commercial grounds maintenance and snow plowing services in the following towns:

• Long Hill Township
• Warren Township
• Bernards Township
• Bernardsville
• Berkeley Heights
• Watchung
• New Providence
• Surounding areas

Patio & Pavers

Regency knows that a well designed and installed paver project can add beauty and value to your home. Pavers may be used for eye pleasing patios, elegant pool skirts, meandering walkways and drive ways. Don't forget retaining walls and raised planting beds. The possiblities afforded by pavers are limited only by the imagination. Our Design/Build services are available in:

• Morris County
• Somerset County
• Union County
• Hunterdon County
• Middlesex County
• Warren County