When choosing any kind of plant for your garden or landscape, there are several factors to consider. When a homeowner is unsure of what type of plant he wants, I ask the following questions:
- Where is the plant being installed?
- What is the purpose of installing the plant? (Aesthetics, Fragrance, Functionality, Animal Habitat, Food Source)
- How much time do you want to devote to maintenance of the plant?
- What is your budget?
These basic questions should be considered before planting to ensure the plant thrives and you are happy with your selection. The location will determine several things about the type of plant we need: soil, hardiness zone,functionality or purpose, and size.
ex: Putting a rosebush on the border of your front walk may seem tempting, but I believe any thorn bearing plant should be planted away from a large traffic area.
In the example above, instead of a rosebush I would suggest smaller perennials which don't require too much care and are more suitable for that space. If you are looking to attract birds to your property, a hosta var.Patriot is an excellent choice. Hostas require part to full shade which is why they are often planted under tree canopies, against walls, and between larger shrubs.
Hostas will thrive in zones 3-8 when planted in moist, rich, and organic soil. The racemes produce lavender bell-shaped flowers from July to August. In addition to the beautiful flowers, the inflorescence produces nectar which is valued by hummingbirds. I have seen them in action and it is pretty amazing to watch! Slugs that feast on hosta leaves will also attract robins and ducks.
A low maintenance and low cost perennial, I suggest adding this plant to your home or garden as an edging, shade border, or massive ground cover plant. You can find them at a local nursery, or just ask your neighbor if they have any hostas that need to be downsized. I hope this example illustrated the thought process that should take place before deciding what to plant. If you need suggestions for your home or garden, please leave a comment or send an email and I will be happy to assist with your questions.