Choosing the Right Plants

Choosing the Right Plant Can Help Solve Common Landscaping Problems

by Mike Dooley

Plants can’t help you find a new job, or teach your teen respect, but they can solve other problems. Let’s take a look at common problems and some solutions.

Problem: When I look out my window, all I see is the house next door — and a wall five feet away.

Solution: This problem could be solved with a variety of tall shrubs, but most shrubs get as wide as they do tall and that would block travel beside the house. You need something that gets eight feet tall but stays only 18 inches deep. Install a well-made trellis with a vine like English Ivy growing on it. English Ivy is green all year and can take sun or shade.

Problem: My builder did not take landscaping into consideration, so he put the sidewalk about 18 inches from the wall. To fill that space, I want a plant that is very low, evergreen, reasonably drought tolerant and blooms.

Answer: Why not try Prostrate Wall Germander? It’s easy to grow and will fit into very small space. Germander blooms pink and is surprisingly drought tolerant.

Problem: I want a very small tree for my courtyard. Most of my other plants don’t bloom in the heat of summer so how about a summer bloomer?

Answer: Crape Myrtle is the answer. It blooms in midsummer. But, please don’t whack the top off to promote blooms on the new growth as that ruins the shape of this beautiful, small tree. Research the many colors and sizes available on the Internet to get the perfect plant for your personal taste.

Spring is here, so don’t put off your landscape project again this year!

Happy Gardening!