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How to Pick the Best Plants for Your Garden

Given the ever-increasing number of choices, selecting the proper plants for a garden can be overwhelming, especially for those with limited knowledge of anything green. Making a garden grow, however, can be easy and fun for any skill-level.

Set yourself up for success by taking advantage of the knowledgeable staff at your local nursery and garden center, such as the experts at Adams Nursery & Garden Center in Lancaster. Here are their top 10 things to consider when choosing the right plants for your garden.

  1. Color

Choose plants that are visually appealing. Don’t be afraid to choose colors that you like, even if they aren’t what everyone else in the neighborhood uses. It could be colors of leaves, colors on a tree or a shrub, colors of flowers or all of these mixed together. The staff of Adams Nursery recommends using a color wheel; and taking colors from opposite sides for a pleasing effect.

  1. Sun and Soil

It’s important to know what conditions are necessary for the plants you’re choosing. Tags on plants include information about the soil needed, as well as water and sunlight requirements from the grower.

For example, you don’t want to put a plant that likes full sun – meaning six hours or more of sun – in a spot that gets less that because it won’t perform the way you want it to grow.

  1. Tall Order and Short Stack

Make sure to place the tallest plants in the back. The experts at Adams Nursery say that whether those are tall perennials, shrubs or trees, always make sure to create a backdrop for the medium and shorter plants you’re going to place in front. Think of it as setting the stage for your beautiful landscape.

  1. Inspect

The experts at Adams Nursery tell customers to select strong and sturdy plants, and avoid those in damaged pots. Also, shoppers should seek guidance from professionals at nursery and garden centers in order to tap into their knowledge and see if they would put the plant in their own yard.

  1. Three’s Not a Crowd

For a wow factor and instant volume, plant in odd numbers – particularly groups of three.

It’s pleasing to the eye, it fills up space better than a single plant, and oftentimes, as the plants mature, it creates a bit of a mound and can be seen as one large plant. Mass or group planting works particularly well with smaller plants.

  1. Create a Focal Point

There should be one thing to draw the eye. The staff at Adams Nursery suggests incorporating striking or unusual plants. It could be something with funky, wart-like bark or exfoliated bark, or a plant with an interesting leaf shape. Create a focal point with something unique – even an unusual tree specimen or a flowering tree would work. Don’t forget to consider a statuary or garden art, too.

  1. Climbing Plants

Those who like climbing plants but are fearful of ivy growing onto their gutters or windows should consider varieties such as Clematis vines, honeysuckle or climbing roses; and place them at the bases of trellises or wooden or metal wigwam structures upon which they can crawl.

  1. Right Plant, Right Location

Have a sense of how large the plant will grow when it’s fully mature. The staff at Adams Nursery can help you make sure you purchase the right plant for the right location. You don’t want a plant to grow into a house, under a driveway or crowd other plants, which could smother or inhibit the other vegetation around it and potentially cause damage to your home.

  1. All Season Benefits

Make the mixture of plants one that has something to offer over all seasons. Daffodils, tulips and hyacinths, for example, can show off in the first of the spring while trees, shrubs, perennials and annuals are appealing in the summer and provide fall color.

Local nursery and garden centers will have lists and displays of trees and shrubs that have great fall color. For interest during winter, the staff at Adams Nursery suggests trees and shrubs with distinctive bark or berries. Look for color or unique characteristics, such as cinnamon brown exfoliating bark, which might be interesting against a fresh blanket of white snow. There also are shrubs and small trees that have beautiful red berries on them that attract wildlife, too.

  1. Shapes and Textures

The shape of a plant and the form and texture of its leaves can be visually appealing. Shrubs and hedges can be trained and pruned into shapes, such as rectangles and domes. The experts at Adams Nursery recommend using a variety of different textures and plant shapes to avoid monotony in the garden and create a lush, layered look.

Adams Nursery & Garden Center at 5799 Genesee in Lancaster has been named one of the Top 10 Best Garden Centers and Nurseries in New York State.

For more information about gardening, stop in at Adams Nursery at 5799 Genesee St, Lancaster, NY 14086 or visit their website at and click on the resources & tools tab.


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