I just got started on a new planting project for a couple who recently renovated their home and want to update the look of their planting beds. My customers recently purchased this house...the old beds were put in by the previous owner, and weren't well-maintained -- shrubs had become leggy due to lack of pruning, and there was no real rhyme or reason to what was placed where. When you're working with a low, ranch-style home, the scale of the plantings is so important to making the beds look really great against the house.
It's a really cool thing when I get to work with a customer who cares about the plants we're going to be installing. Recently, I took a trip to the nursery with them to make plant selections. I like to do that with many of my customers so they can see which plants speak to them personally.
This customer had already done their homework, and came to our meeting with a list of deer-resistant plants that they liked (deer being a huge problem in our area). They didn't want their new plantings to turn into breakfast, lunch and dinner for the hungry local wildlife...but in making this list, they forgot to consider the issue of SUN. How much sun or shade you have on your property is a huge consideration for what you should choose to plant.
As I work through this project, I'll be sharing more here on my blog about planting for shade, as we're doing for this customer. Every property has its own, unique soil, sun, shade and drainage characteristics. These all must be taken into account, along with personal preferences, when embarking on a landscape design project. I really love this part of the design process -- it's this careful planning and consideration that results in the best, most lasting landscape designs.