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How to Design a Great Yard with Landscape Plants (page 2 of 4)

Make sure you put the right plant in the right place. Learn how to choose and where to place your plants so you can create a low-maintenance landscape that will thrive for years to come.

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Consider Soil

Plants need specific soil types to grow their best. The great thing about soil is that you can change it by adding amendments. For instance, you can make clay soil, which is slow-draining, more porous and faster-draining by adding organic matter, like compost. Or you can create a completely different soil type in your landscape by building and filling raised beds, which also add some nifty hardscaping to the scene.

When you place the wrong plant in the wrong kind of soil, you’ll get mixed results. Worst-case scenario, the plant dies. Best case, it survives, but with lackluster results. Each soil type accommodates a different palette of plants. Before you embark on creating wholesale change in soil, research the kinds of plants that grow in the soil you have. You might find you can design an eye-catching landscape.

Pictured below: Butterfly weed, Asclepias tuberosa (left), is a native wildflower that’s a favorite among bees and butterflies. It grows well in either dry, rocky soil or soils with medium moisture. Red hot poker, Kniphofia uvaria (right), demands well-drained soil. This plant is growing on heavy clay soil that doesn’t drain — and isn’t doing well.