Gardening Laidback Gardener Tip of the Day

The Right Plant in the Right Place

20170808A Cliparts Zone.jpg
Plants will be happy when you plant them in the right spots … and so will you! Illus.: Cliparts Zone

This is one of the basic precepts of laidback gardening.

Rather than trying to modify your environment so it suits the plants you’re trying to grow, why not choose plants that suit your environment?

Once you have accepted that  you can live with the conditions naturally found on your property and you’re growing only plants that are well adapted to what’s available, you’ll be surprised to discover just how easy gardening can be!

For example, if your soil is naturally sandy and dries out in record time, just grow plants that can tolerate dry soils. If the soil is constantly wet, why not look for plants that adapt to damp soil? Put sun-loving plants in sunny spots, shade-loving plants in shade. Etc.

And also respect your hardiness zone! Why plant zone 6 plants in zone 4, which then forces you to protect them from the winter cold? In zone 4, plant varieties adapted to that zone or to colder zones (zones 1, 2, 3 or 4), then they won’t need any kind of winter protection. If you live in zone 6, grow plants from zones 1 to 6. It couldn’t be easier!

It’s when you battle Mother Nature by planting plants not suited to the conditions available that you inherit all the problems (insects, diseases, dieback, cold damage, etc.) and therefore all the work.

Instead, learn to follow Ma Nature’s lead and … just let nature take its course!

Larry Hodgson is one of Canada’s best-known garden communicators. He has notably been editor-in-chief of HousePlant Magazine, Fleurs, Plantes et Jardins, À Fleur de Pot and Houseplant Forum magazines and is currently the garden correspondent for Le Soleil and radio garden commentator for CKIA-FM Radio. He has written for many garden publications in both the United States and Canada, including Canadian Gardening, Harrowsmith, Horticulture, Fine Gardening and Organic Gardening. He also speaks frequently to horticultural groups throughout Canada and the U.S. His book credits include The Garden Lover’s Guide to Canada, Complete Guide to Houseplants, Making the Most of Shade, Perennials for Every Purpose, Annuals for Every Purpose, and Houseplants for Dummies, as well as nearly 60 other titles in English and French. He is a past president of the Garden Writers Association (now Garden Communicators International) and the winner of the prestigious 2006 Garden Media Promoter Award offered by the Perennial Plant Association. He resides in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada.

2 comments on “The Right Plant in the Right Place

  1. Bary Langille

    It’s so hard to convince people of this. The other one is choose a plant of an appropriate size to avoid constant pruning.

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