The Designers Corner -- Its as easy as 1-2-37/20/2012

The Designer's Corner - Its as easy as 1-2-3.


Have you ever shopped for plants and got stumped on how many of one kind to buy? Do you just pick up pairs of plants when shopping at the nursery because you think everything needs a mate? It can be confusing to decide just how many plants you need to buy to create a good design in your landscape. Most designers preach you must plant in 3's and 5's. Of course when using this rule, it's tough to make a mistake, but sometimes other combinations will work just as well or even better. Here are some helpful hints to keep in mind when designing your bed.


A Single Plant (1)- is great when you want the plant to stand out on it's own. This would be a plant that you want to make the centerpiece of your garden - example Weeping Japanese Maple or any ornamental tree or shrub. Stay away from onsies of smaller less significant plants. A series of loner's could make your garden look scattered and disconnected.


A Pair of Plants (2) signals formaility. Two of the same plants tend to divide your eye, so this number works best when used like sentries to mark a walkway or an entrance, or when used to frame a window or door. Trees and shrubs are easy to plant in pairs, but perennials can become more challenging.


A Trio of plants (3) - is always a good combination. When placing groups of threes, it is easiest to space them in an offset triangle. Avoid placing them in a straight line.


Four Plants - (4) - Can be very difficult to lay out, but if you think of them as a group of 3 plus one -- your design will be much more inviting.


Five Plants (5) - A very classic design pattern using five plants would be to set your plants out in two parrell rows with thre in one row and two in the other. When placing the plants stagger the second row in between the spacing of the first row. This works great when you are dealing with a rectangular bed. It will help your eye move through your design.


Six Plants (6) - Really are just two groups of three. You can follow the same guidelines for 3 plants, avoid breaking 6 plants into groups of 4 plus 2, as this will make your design appear unbalanced.