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Landscape Plan for a Sunny Spot and Tips for Success

08.01.11

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I'm all about the sunshine lately! It has been nice and warm here for the last 2 days, after more than a week of weird weather, and I am so glad to get outside again. Planting in my yard is one of my favorite activities, unfortunately I am always limited on funding for this type of project. Rather than go without, or purchase one large beauty, I opt for many plantings that cost no more than $5 each and a few that will be even less (likely around $3). They may be small, but with a few bags of Composted Steer Manure (less than $1 per bag and great for your plants) and a little TLC, they will be more than large in due time!

Each Land: Scape I produce, you can rest assured is extremely budget friendly, assuming you purchase the small lot. You are welcome to purchase larger or very large varieties of each plant if that is affordable for you, but it isn't necessary for you to still reap the reward, on big impact color scapes! That is the beauty of a color scape, you don't need to invest hundreds to have something wonderful even in it's most infant growth stage. The color arrangement provides the impact rather than the size of the plants.

I typically buy my plants from Home Depot, Lowe's, or Walmart so each of the plants I choose should be readily available assuming they are meant for your climate zone.

If you assume that each of these plants is the full $5 (which it probably won't be) this Land:Scape should still cost you no more than $55! That's budget friendly for sure, because these plantings (forsythia, flax, cyprus) will get quite large and this will cover a decent portion of your yard if you plant it properly.

Always be sure to check your climate zone and pay careful attention to the planting distances outlined on the plant's container when you purchase them. They will never reach full height or width if they are planted too closely.

Without further ado…here is color story for full (moderate might be pushing it, but might be possible) sun.

The Planting Guide below is for the purpose of giving you an idea of where each plant should be planted in relationship to the other plants. Always follow the instructions on your plant tags for the actual distance or spacing each plant requires, then use this guide to arrange them accordingly. Consider the center of each circle to be the stem and root system of the plant and space from the center of one plant to the center of the next (according to the planting instructions on the pot or tag).

The New Zealand Flax will provide the most impact in this Color Scape if you purchase it in the burgandy-ish color. The Kangaroo Paw comes in a wide variety of colors but for this arrangement I chose pink, and the verbena in 2 different colors: a bright deep red and a purplish blue. The Erysimum is fabulous in orange because it gives you a gradation in orange colors ranging from redish orange to yellowish orange and the main color is amazing and rich!

Let's begin with a few key ingredients and steps for you to complete to achieve your beautiful land:scape:

1. Before you plant it is a good idea to amend your soil with compost. It is the most budget friendly manner of adding organic matter to your soil and can be purchased for literally less than $1 per bag (for Composted Steer Manure) at your local Home Depot or Lowe's type store.

It will make a world of difference, that I can promise you! Many people have jumped on the personal composting bandwagon recently, because of the green movement and the benefit to not only our planet but to your yard. For me this isn't an option given how small (and I mean minute) my yard is. So purchasing Composted Steer Manure is my next best option (and it's fast). Chicken Manure is even more fab, but much more expensive, so I leave that option up to you and your budget!

Check with your local Utility company to see if they offer free compost. Often times they do! Compost is not the same thing as mulch, but free mulch will be fabulous to add after you have planted to help with water retention and reduce weeds. Weeds will love the composted environment and will sprout up like crazy!

2. Make sure you have proper drainage in your planting area. You can do a quick check by digging your planting hole and filling it with water. If it hasn't drained in 15 minutes, you need to amend your soil further to increase drainage. If you have a high clay content you will want to amend your soil when it is completely dry, do not attempt this when wet as you will change the structure of your soil and it will be worse.

3. Follow those planting instructions, they are there for a reason. Once you have planted your land scape you will want to water it in, well. This helps the roots spread and begin to open up for future growth.

4. Fertilize regularly (again according to the instructions). I like to use either the hose attachment that Miracle Grow makes with refills or something like Shake N' Feed. This will help your plantings grow large fast and keep them healthy, giving you the most bang for your buck. Buy them small, and fertilize them big! That's my motto!

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