Plant Selection Perfection

Erin Conant

There are times when we think too much, and times when we just don’t think enough. But when it comes to creating the landscape you truly want, precise plant selection, planning, and thoughtfulness are key to rendering the terrain your senses desire.

And, it all starts with being realistic about what you have to work with and that means plant selection for the conditions you have.

In this part of Texas, we often contend with frequent droughts, soil that is mostly clay or rock, or hungry and indiscriminate wildlife. Of course, there are lots of experts on these issues including local plant nurseries and gardens, AgriLife Extension agents, Master Gardeners, and our very own conservation consultants. Don’t hesitate to solicit their talents and expertise when selecting your plants.

Also, when choosing your “forever plants” like trees and shrubs, plan for the future. They start out small, but they don’t stay that way. Consider whether that shrub you plant by the window will end up obstructing your view, or if that Monterrey Oak at maturity will cause roof or power line issues. Also, think about the location of outdoor faucets, dryer vents, and roof drip lines, and avoid designs that might make it difficult to mow.

Once your design is complete and you’ve identified which plants work best for you, shop wisely. Buy smaller, less expensive plants that are healthy-looking and not wilted, full of weeds or root-bound.

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