A Beginner’s Guide to Choosing Landscaping Flowers

A garden without flowers is similar to a painting without color. The fact that flowers do much more than just lend color to your landscape adds to the appeal factor. However, choosing the right kinds of flowering plants can be quite a difficult decision because of the sheer variety available.

These few tips outlined below will help you hone in on the flowers you want to beautify your garden.

Perennial versus Annual

Perennial flowers are usually more popular because they bloom year after year, giving your garden a fresh look with each blooming season. Annuals only last for a season, but they usually flower right from spring all the way through autumn. Depending on what type of flowers you prefer, you can choose daisies or daylilies (perennials), or go with flowers like marigold and petunias, which are annuals. You can even have a mix of both so your garden has some color throughout the year no matter what season. Annuals are more convenient in containers because you will be re-planting them every year.

Native versus Exotic

The reason you see many gardens in a particular area having the same theme of flowers is that they’re probably native to that climate. The obvious advantage with natives is that you know they will be able to survive your local weather conditions. Exotic flowering plants are certainly more sought-after, but they may need more care than natives, and may not survive at all, depending on how traumatic the climate difference is between their native region and your area. Nevertheless, many people are willing to risk the trouble to protect and nurture their exotic plants because they are so visually appealing.

Color Themes versus Random Color

Finding different flowering plants of a particular color is not challenging, but if you want some variety, then mix and match the colors you think you will like best. Contrasting colors can go beautifully together, especially if you choose flowers that bloom at the same time. There’s also a color wheel you can use to select contrasting or analogous hues for your garden color theme. For example, blue, pink and purple are analogous to each other, as are yellow, orange and red. The final effect is what you’re going for, so try to imagine your garden with those colors and see if you like it.

Plant Size

This is an important factor affecting your decision; the flowering plants need to be arranged in a way that all of them are visible from every angle. If it’s a central piece, then the tallest plants go in the middle, with the shorter ones on the periphery. On the other hand, if they’re up against a wall, the tall ones go behind the shorter ones. This type of arrangement ensures maximum visibility for all your plants.

Choosing the right types of flowering plants can be fun when you’re putting in a landscape garden for the first time. It’s certainly a lot of work, but the final look will be more than worth the effort and money you spend on the project.

Robotic Lawnmowers for a Beautiful Landscape

A stunning landscape usually comes with a lawn that matches it in grandeur. But maintaining a great big lawn takes time and effort that many don’t have to spare. A robotic lawnmower is more than just a convenience. Once you use one, you’ll think of it as nothing less than a necessity to keep your lawn trimmed perfectly – with zero effort on your part.

Benefits of Owning a Robotic Lawnmower

The first benefit is getting your weekend mornings off! Many robotic mowers have automatic timer settings that allow you to program them for specific days of the week. The internal clock tells the mower when to start working, and may even have a feature that lets it dock for charging automatically. Once you buy it and do the initial programming, it pretty much does the job without any more human intervention.

The second benefit is the amount of energy saved. These are usually electrical devices with electronic circuits telling them what to do. Therefore, they use much less energy than mowers that run on gasoline. The only energy you have to put in is the initial programming, where you insert pins into the perimeter of your yard so the robot knows where to stop and turn. After that, it’s pretty much on its own. It can negotiate larger objects such as trees and ornaments, and leaves your yard looking spruce and neat every time.

The third benefit is that of environmental impact. Because these are electrical gadgets, they don’t pollute the air like gas-run models tend to do. They’re also a lot less noisy so you won’t find yourself being rudely awakened on a snoozy Saturday morning by a combustion engine mower going at full tilt right underneath your bedroom window.

The fourth benefit is safety; most of the better models have object recognition built in as a feature, so if you have kids that leave their toys on the lawn, the blades will automatically shut off if the mower encounters them, keeping your blades and your kids’ toys safe from damage. Some also come with rain sensors that automatically shut down the unit when they sense rain. This prevents electrical damage as well as damage to your lawn. They’re also safe for the family dog who might just be sunning himself on the lawn when it’s mowing time.

There’s clearly no argument; robotic lawnmowers are better for you, the environment and the safety of your family. However, you may have to shell out a thousand dollars or more for one; advanced models may cost twice that. But, considering the fact that your time can be used more productively, it’s well worth the investment.

Small Plot Landscaping and Lighting Ideas

When you have a small plot with which to work, landscaping and lighting can be as much a challenge as it is for a larger piece of property. The limitations of space are obvious, but there are also limitations based on the type of landscape and lighting components that will work well without compromising the quality of overall work.

In a small plot, good landscape planning should define the starting point; and this planning should involve using elements that give the illusion of more space than is actually there. You can do this by using your own twist on the three main components of landscaping: softscaping, hardscaping and lighting.

Softscaping

The plants that go into your small plot garden are critical components of the final look. Varied species give the impression of a much bigger garden purely because to the human eye, ‘variety’ automatically translates into ‘expansive.’ Different colors, sizes and varieties all add up to contribute to this effect. Don’t assume that just because the space is small, the plants have to be tiny too. Even a large tree can form a centerpiece for your plot, with other elements carefully and artistically placed around it. You can use smaller plants around the boundary to dispel their stark lines and actually ‘break up’ the outline of your space. When using a combination of light and dark colored plants, make sure to push the lighter ones to the back and bring the dark ones to the front.

Hardscaping

A small plot generally won’t allow for the use of many themes, so pick one, such as a rock garden, a fountain or other waterscape element or even a tree, as we’ve suggested above. The idea is to centralize your theme around that centerpiece to achieve a sense of congruence. Remember: the space limitation means a limitation in terms of the number of components, but under no circumstance should it mean a curb on your creativity. A single sculpture can be the centerpiece of your small garden, with small plants and shrubs laid around as if in a floral tribute.

Lighting

Lighting for small plot landscape design is one of the critical elements to achieving a finished look. Proper lighting can lend a touch of illusion, making your garden seem much bigger than it is. For example, centralizing your lighting on a pole near the middle of the space and having them point outwards at various elevations will make the space look more “spread out.” Similarly, ground lights facing upward also add a touch of additional space, or at least an impression of it.

Using these tips and techniques, you can convert what seems to be a small garden into a plant paradise fit for kings! Size may be a limitation, but that doesn’t mean you have to think small. No matter how small your plot may be, using the right pieces in the right places, coupled with lighting of the right types and positions can make any space more inviting – by day or by night.