13 Common Landscape Mistakes: 6. A Lack of Mass Planting

A lack of mass planting is a common mistake for many who like to dabble in gardening and landscape design.  The saying, “less is more” is so true when it comes to designing a landscape that will be pleasing to the eye.  Not less plants, just less varieties of plants.  People who look at landscaping or gardening as a collection of plants are never happy with the results. Overall, they might be happy with plants as individual entities but not with the overall feel of the garden.  Rhythm, simplicity, repetition and unity, all principles of good landscape design, can’t be met with a collection of non related plants.  What’s going to be more soothing to the eye, 20 different plants placed side by side or 20 plants of one or two varieties?  When I bring the ‘arboretum look’ to the attention of garden enthusiasts, they always seem to defend their decision of planting so many individual plants by telling me that they want a four season garden.  That’s is all well and good but I’m here to tell you that you don’t need 100 different plants to create a 4 season garden.  20 or so plants will do the trick.  Just as long as you are aware of each plants season of interest, you can create a four season garden.  More importantly, the 20 plants chosen, planted in large swaths, will create more of a statement than the 100 different varieties of plants planted individually.

Happy gardening!

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Richard Schipul

For the last 30 years, I have owned the landscape company Designing Eden LLC based in New Milford, CT. We offer landscape designs, landscape installations and garden maintenance services in Fairfield and Litchfield County Connecticut. I am currently the only Nationally Certified Landscape Designer in Litchfield County and sit on the board of the Association of Professional Landscape Designers and Mad Gardeners.


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