Adolescent Landscapes: Making it Through
the Maturation Process
by Christina Gaona //

Homeowners always want trees that provide immediate privacy, flowerbeds that are lush
and full, but with landscape everything is about timing. While working on a landscape
design or installation, homeowners must keep this in mind in order to grow a landscape
that will successfully mature over time.
How Plants Grow
Understanding the effects that the environment can have on the plant development
is vital to ensuring that you have a well sustaining landscape. The plant development
process includes the changes in a plant from seed germination to juvenility and
maturity through flowering and fruiting. Most plants that are bought at a nursery
are already in their mature phase, though they are rarely fully developed.
Environmental conditions such as long or short periods of direct sunlight,
temperature, and watering have a direct effect on plant flowering and
morphology. Cooler temperatures and short day-lengths encourage
dormancy in most plants, though optimum temperatures for different
plants vary. It is important to carefully select the types of plants that
you  want to include in your landscape design so as to ensure that
your plants will have optimal growth.
Thoughtful Planting
Throughout development, plant growth occurs in both the roots and stems and
can also be measured by a plant's girth. Keep in mind that although your annuals,
biennials, and perennials may seem small at planting, your plot should not be
overcrowded because your plants will continue to grow and fill in any open
spaces. Perennials, especially, will continue to grow year after year.
Remember that initial overcrowded plating that looks full can actually do
more bad than good to your landscape in the long-term. Planting in groups
can simplify your landscape's maintenance requirements and replicates
how plants grow in the wild.  
If there are no or few trees on your property, consider investing in quality trees to
plant in your landscape design. Carefully choose your trees by selecting trees
that will thrive in your conditions and ones that will have room to grow. Research
how tall and wide certain species of trees will be at maturity, so that you have
an idea of how large the trees will become (smaller trees thrive better when
transplanted), though it will take years for your trees to fully mature. Evergreens
are great for privacy planting because they never lose their leaves, while
deciduous trees are perfect for providing shade during the hot summer months.
Trees that flower at maturity can be a beautiful focal point in your landscape.
article courtesy of

photo courtesy of Talley Associates
photo courtesy of Talley Associates
photo courtesy of Talley Associates
photo courtesy of Hocker Design Group
photo courtesy of Hocker Design Group
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