It is tempting, when shopping at the nursery, to select a wide variety of plants. Resist this temptation! Succumbing to it will lead to a hodge-podge, rather than a unified look. For the sake of your design, stick to a theme. In my case, I need to stick to the color scheme I mentioned. Also, too many different kinds of plants will make the space look too busy; 2 different plants of each desired color is plenty for my space. Repetition of the same plant-type promotes unity.
Here's how I achieved a unified look with my plant selection. I bought:
- 6 pots of Scotch moss
- 1 yellow daffodil
- 3 pots of wood spurge
- 3 pots of hens and chicks
- 3 pots of snow-in-summer
- 1 lamb's ear plant
- 3 pots of candytuft
I have acquired specimens of some of these plants in sufficient numbers to achieve unity through repetition. As the years go by and the daffodil and lamb's ear grow larger, I'll divide them. If I decide that they clutter up my rock garden too much, I'll transplant them to somewhere else in the yard.
Most of these plants were chosen with an eye to meeting the criteria already established, both in terms of growing requirements and design. Each plant I selected helps me achieve my design objectives -- and on more than one level. I not only had a color scheme in mind but was also seeking variation in plant-size and leaf-texture.
I'll discuss the latter in greater detail in Step 6, as I present my plant selection....