Mass Plantings Dos and Don’ts
Filling a garden bed with mass plantings of just that one plant is a good-looking solution to a small garden because it adds design strength. It’s also a brilliant way to reduce maintenance, because a dense mass of plants tends to stay ahead of the weeds. But there are a few tricks to making it a huge success.
Tip one: It’s all in the selection. If you do a bit of research on your short list of contenders you’ll avoid planting a lot of something that ends up being really unhappy. Your checklist should include the following: It is evergreen; it looks good most of the time; it grows to an appropriate height so that there’s no need for pruning; it will cope with minimal water, fertilizer and pesticides. Landscape architects plant a lot of Flower Carpet roses because they sail through the checklist.
Tip two: Create a single understory border along the drive or the path to the front door beneath existing trees. Plant in several bold zones using a different species in each.
Tip three: Whatever your plan, stick to it. Often we lose our nerve and at the last minute decide to mix everything up. Yes, a freshly planted garden bed containing a single species will generate a lot of comment (you’ll find yourself defending the idea), but those comments will shift to surprised appreciation as everything settles in and grows together.
Anthony Tesselaar Plants