At Meyer Landscape & Design, our ‘Garden Plants’ are herbaceous plants; Annuals, Perennials, Vines, Ground Covers or Sub-shrubs. These are plants whose above ground portions either die-back or go dormant and new growth begins each year from the roots or new plants. Vines will tend to become woody with age. Thinning of some old growth each season will both encourage new growth and help maintain both vigor and strong blooming branches. Sub-shrubs are woody type plants whose branches are not winter hardy in our climate and are best cut down early in the spring to 6-8”above ground to encourage vigorous new growth. Examples of sub-shrubs that we carry at Meyer are: Buddelias (Butterfly Bush), Caryopteris (Blue Mist Spirea), Hibiscus, Tamarix and Callicarpa (Beautyberry Bush).
Plants all have their own optimal growing conditions-light, drainage, moisture and exposure. These requirements are generally listed on the label or information sheet next to the plants. Plants will generally grow vigorously and thrive under these ‘ideal’ conditions. Many plants will grow under less than optimal conditions, but will sometimes struggle or be more prone to problems.
Selecting the Right Plants
Shopping for plants for a particular area around your home, will need a some amount of investigation with regards to the amount of actual sunlight available (Full Sun is 6-8 hours direct sun/Part Sun is 4-6 hours of sunlight/Part Shade is 2-3 hours of sunlight/Shade is less than 2 hours of sunlight/Deep shade is total lack of sunlight). However, a location with full sun from 10am-2pm could be considered Full Sun, as this is the strongest sunlight of the day. Small leaved or thinly branched trees that allow sunlight to ‘dapple’ thru create only part shade. Bright ‘indirect light’ can be found in ‘Open shade’ along a north side of fence or building that has no other obstruction and is suitable for many varieties of Part Shade-Part Sun plants. Also, an understanding of the area’s drainage conditions, whether it dries quickly (hillsides, berms or areas under overhangs), stays constantly moist (swales and bottom of slopes) or is average soil that drains well. The final aspect to check is exposure, whether the plants will be along the East side of a structure or planting windbreak (protection from the Northwest winter winds or along a West property line, fully exposed.