With the weather starting to warm up and having spent a lot of time on designing and implementing planting plans recently, I thought it was about time I gave a little more insight into the planting plan process – from design through to implementation.
For many people, myself included, it is the plants that bring a beautiful new garden to life. So it is really important that this element reflects the garden owner’s personal style, encouraging them to spend more time in their garden.
From a design point of view, plants are what pull everything together – softening hard landscaping, creating focal points and seasonal highlights as well as bringing a more sensory element to the space.
So how does the process work?
- The first step is to talk through your likes and dislikes with regard to planting. And just like the hard landscaping, this comes down to personal choice. From specific species you may want included through to general colour preferences – it’s crucial to get a good understanding of what you as a client like, so that we can create a planting plan that is individual to you.
- It takes time to put together a planting plan because there is so much to think about. This is why we treat the planting plan as a separate plan to the overview design plan. Our temperate climate in the UK means that we have a huge palette of plants from which to work with. Generally speaking when creating the plan, we’ll start off by looking at the condition of your garden – the garden’s aspect, soil type, and position of planting beds within the overall garden design. We’ll also consider what is called successional planting – ensuring we have plants that flower throughout the seasons, to extending the flower show from spring through to autumn, as well as creating a solid structural base of shrubs and trees.
- I describe our planting plans as a paint by numbers but with plants. This is because the plan shows every plant, its position on the plan and the allotted quantity of any given plant. Along with the plan a full planting schedule with the Latin name of each plant, the total number shown on the plan and the pot size and a mood board with pictures of each plant is given. I often book a face-to-face meeting for larger planting schemes to talk through the plan.
- The next step, once a client is happy with the planting plan, is sourcing the plants. This stage can take some time – rarely are all the plants available from a single nursery. This year in particular has been a busy time for the horticultural industry and our suppliers have seen a spike in demand and a drop in supply which has meant more time being dedicated to sourcing plants for our clients. We try to source all our planting from local nurseries where we can.
- On the day of planting, I will personally check through all plant deliveries – we take pride in the quality of the plants we provide. I will then set out all plants myself, to ensure spacing and positioning of plants is correct and that best planting practice is adhered to. Finally, our landscaping team will plant everything up and give the new plants a good water.
- Many clients are filled with trepidation at the thought of suddenly having lots of new plants to look after! We will therefore ensure you have the information you need to care for your plants, and are always just a phone call or an email away if you need advice or support going forwards.