Placing Your Plants
Living trees, shrubs, vines, groundcovers, annuals and perennials are usually the most important materials in landscaping. Their selection, placement and maintenance are the main criteria the layman uses to evaluate landscape work. It is extremely important, therefore, to select plants that will serve the function as dependably as possible. For every landscape need there are numerous plants to choose from.
Plants are basically used as specimens, in lines, in groups or in masses. Each method creates a different effect. Most landscapes will use all four types of groupings.
• Specimen or accent: You can use plants as specimens to emphasize a character shrub or an unusually interesting tree. Use sparingly an accent plant can can create interest and contrast. Flowering trees are commonly used for accents. Placing a specimen plant or small tree near the homes entrance can draw attention to that area.
• Line: Lines of trees, shrubs and other plants can help carry the home's architectural lines into the landscape. Straight or curved lines of tree plantings can shade parking or play areas or serve as a windbreak. Always select hardy, well-adapted plants to form a line since the visual effect can be spoiled if any of the plants become damaged. Also be sure that the same soil, drainage and sun conditions occur along the entire row since any of these factors will significantly affect the plant.
• Group: Grouping is a relatively natural way to use plants. Placing several trees, shrubs, etc. fairly close together will create a more massive effect. Since plants are often grouped naturally, this is a good method to relate your landscape to the natural environment.
• Mass: The mass is an extension of group planting. In mass plantings the individual plants tend to lose identity. Mass plantings are useful for relating larger buildings to the site since these plantings can be large enough to be in scale.