Secrets of Rich Landscaping

What makes landscaping look neat, lush, full, and rich? Before starting the Reclaimed Garden, I drove around my neighborhood to see what my favorite landscapes had in common. These tips work for landscape beds, planters and pots. Here’s what I found…

(Photo from DIY Network)

Multiple Layers of Plants

Plantings were arranges so plant beds and flower beds had 2 to 3 levels of plants, stepped in front of each other. The tallest plants were at the back, medium height plants in front of them, and the shortest plants were at the very front of the bed. Single layers of plants looked stark and unfinished.

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Clump Plants

For maximum impact, multiple plants of the same type were grouped  closely  in odd numbers (3, 5, 7 etc) into clumps. Plantings that alternate between single plants of different types diluted the impact of the plants and make the plantings look bland and sparse.

Crowd Plants

Plants that are grouped closely make beds look lush and full. New landscapes are usually made from young plants installed far apart from each other. Instead, install plants, no matter what size, much closer that labels recommend. This will make the beds look full and mature right from the beginning. You can always thin plants later as they grow and move them to other locations, pots or pass them on to other gardeners.

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Mix Foliage Shapes and Colors

Jason Cothren of Black Bird Environments recommends mixing different colors and shapes of foliage. Mixing leave shapes, sizes and colors makes each plant stand out.

(Photo from

Keep Plants Separate

Remove weeds and trim plants so that each plant type is separate from others. When different plants grow together or weeds creep in, landscaping looks messy and unkempt.