Thoughts on how to create a well-designed garden retreat.

Local gardening


I was back home again in Indiana for the Memorial Day weekend.  While I was there, I visited with some family members.  One of my uncles asked me what was the best type of Spruce for him to plant.  I had no good answer for him.  I grew up in Indiana and studied at Purdue so I learned the plants for Indiana.  However, it has been over 20 years since I did any landscaping in Indiana.  So I forgot most of it.

Which brings me to my point.  Many times while looking for gardening advice, we look at books of more likely today, we look it up on the internet.  The internet covers the WORLD!  How can you know exactly what is the right plant for your area?  You have to find out what location the writer/blogger is referring to.  Plants listed as full sun in the northern states might need shade in the hot south.  In our area in NC, hostas are grown in the shade but in their native environment, they grow in full sun.  But they also grow in marshes in their native china so the moisture level stays constant for their large leaves.

As for spruces, The Norway spruce is grown in our area but they really would prefer to be grown one zone north of us.  The Colorado Blue Spruce is grown here but it would normally be found in more northern/ higher altitudes.  One of the biggest surprises for me when I went to Miami was seeing “house plants” being used as landscape plants.  You have to take local areas into context when looking at gardening ideas on the web.   Some websites such as Dave’s Garden will tell you where people are growing a certain plant.  Local garden centers are much better about local information than any of the big chains such as Lowes or Home Depot.  You might pay a little more for the plants but you get the correct information.  When you consider the cost of buying new plants to replace the ones that die, then usually you will come out cheaper.  That makes gardening a lot more enjoyable and a lot less frustrating.

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