A thoughtful plant design can make an enormous difference to the look and feel of a your home. Unfortunately, most homes are built without a clear landscape plan in mind. Plants are thrown together with little thought to how they will complement each other or how they will fit the space long-term. We specialize in providing plant designs that are both gorgeous and low-maintenance. If you want to go all out, we've got you covered with access to every supplier in the area and designers who think outside the box. If you want something that you never have to worry about, we can design a plan that will be incredibly low-maintenance. Whatever you're looking for, we would love to help.
Basic Principles of Plant Design
When it comes to plant design, the size and growth pattern of the plant is incredibly important. Most builders install plants that look nice and full when the home is built but give little consideration to how large the plants will eventually become. If you have to trim your shrubs every two weeks in the summer, you know what we mean. When we do design work, we pick plants that will fit the space well, even at their largest potential size.
2. Sun/Shade Tolerance
Plants tend to be fairly resilient, but to bloom and grow as they should, they need the proper amount of sunlight. Some plants need full sun; other plants need full shade. Some plants can handle morning sun but not afternoon sun! We are careful to take these factors into consideration when we're working on your space.
Green, green, and more green. Sadly, that is what we see in most plant designs. Boxwoods are great - don't get us wrong - but Georgia is blessed with many plant species with a wide variety of leaf colors, bloom colors, shapes, and sizes. Some of our favorite evergreen plants for year 'round color contrast are Crimson Fire Loropetalum, Sunshine Ligustrum, Lemon-Lime Nandina, Kaleidoscope Abelia, Cinnamon Girl Dystilium, Gold Mop Cypress, and Blue Star Juniper. We work with our clients to find the right mix of colors, textures, and growth habits to provide year-round interest.
Something that can be easily missed in plant design is year 'round interested. Roses are great in Spring and Summer, but they are thin, colorless, and even unappealing all winter long. Camellias are stunning, but they will only bloom in the late Fall/early Winter. If you aren't careful, you will end up with a landscape that looks messy in Spring and empty in Fall. With the help of a good designer, you can plant your outdoor living space to be interesting, full, and beautiful all year long.
Proper plant installation is important, and that's why every plant installed by Redwood Lawn & Landscape follows a very specific process.
Here are the extra steps we take to help ensure that your new plants will thrive in their new home.
1. Soil Amendment
Your native Georgia red clay does not provide the ideal conditions for your new plants to grow, bloom, and thrive. When landscapers and landscape companies dig a hole, drop in the plant, and cover it up, they are creating lots of potential problems for your plant. If the sub-soil is hard enough, the digging will create a clay pot in the ground, which will hold water for long periods of time, causing root rot. The lack of nutrients in the soil also means that the plants roots tend to circle, rather than growing out into the surrounding areas; when this happens, the plant can eventually choke itself out. To avoid these issues, we mix premium top soil into every hole that we dig, adding nutrients and giving the plant softer ground to expand its root system.
2. Planting Height
It is fairly common in Georgia to see plants or trees planted with a large berm around them to help hold water. This can be helpful for some tree species, but it is deadly for the majority of plants that you will use in your landscape design. We see far more plants in Gwinnett County and the surrounding area die from over watering than from lack of water. To solve for this problem, when we install shrubs, we add premium top soil under the new plant to help raise it up slightly above the surrounding grade. We use our top soil to give the new plant good nutrients on all sides, as well as permeable soil so that the plant will not sit in water. For more information on this, check out Jim Putnam's full video guide to planting plants here.
3. Root Ball
A common problem with potted plants is circling roots. When plants outgrow their pot, their roots hit the edges of the pot and then begin to circle around the plant. This circling pattern must be stopped before planting the plant in its new space. If the roots are small, this can be done by gently pulling the roots loose by hand. On larger plants, the circling roots can be cut with a shovel prior to installation. This will not hurt the plant! Just be sure to water the plant in well and give it time to expand its root system into its new soil.