Creating Vertical Elements From Interesting Standards
Succession planting is especially effective in gardens that don't have a lot of space but there is another way to maximize our space and increase our views. And that is by using vertical elements. Steve has done a great job of that with a number of interesting standards. Steve enjoys making standards out of vines or shrubs that would normally not be grown as a small tree. He enjoys the process of taking a plant like Hydrangea paniculata, weeping beech or Catinis or certain types of Crepe Myrtle and from year to year pruning off side branches and getting it to the height he wants and then letting it do its thing. It's fun. He typically starts them off as small plants. The hydrangea started very small, the same with the Wisteria which is in its 2nd season. Eventually it will be about 6 feet tall. And that's a good tip for gardeners. Start with small plants, often times it can be tempting to plant something large. By starting with something small your relationship with that plant is one of the biggest advantages. They are allowed to integrate into the native soil better when you start small and with younger, smaller plants one typically doesn't end up with circling roots that can oftentimes occur with older container plants. And it gives you time to figure out how that plant will integrate into your landscape. Steve enjoys that part of the process.
Photographs courtesy of InstantHedge
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