Plan your planting scheme

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There’s less to do in the garden in winter so it’s the perfect time to reflect on which plants thrived and which didn’t and make plans to achieve your dream garden this coming year.

Whether you have just a few gaps to fill, need evergreen screening or have a whole garden to plant, it’s important to research and plan first to avoid costly impulse buys that can fail.  With so much choice it can be a bit daunting if planning for yourself so a visit to our nursery for inspiration, ideas and advice is a great place to start.

In the meantime, here are a few tips on how to stay focussed. 

Consider the aspect:  Once you’ve identified areas that need improving, establish how much sun the plants will receive and when.  This tends to dictate the planting style and helps you focus on choosing the right plants for the right place.  For example, shady spots suit shade loving foliage plants such as ferns and hostas where blue and white accent colours will shine to create a restful scheme.  A hot sunny spot is perfect for drought tolerant Mediterranean style plants such as olives and lavender or tropical palms.

Consider the soil:  It’s important to know your soil type to ensure the plants you choose will thrive.  Is it acid or alkaline, sandy or clay for example.  Note plants that are already thriving in your garden and your surroundings and consider using more of the same, adding plants that will combine well to fill the gaps.

Plan for year round interest:  This is the most common request we receive when asked to design planting schemes.  You need a good combination of evergreen and deciduous trees and shrubs together with long flowering perennials for a succession of colour and interest each season.  Imagine how the plants will complement each other in terms of foliage and flower colour, shape, texture and height, considering how they change throughout the year. Finally be bold. Plant in 3’s or 5’s or more for impact.  It’s a challenging process but one that, when done well, will continue to delight for generations to come.

For small planting projects you’ll find a trip to our specialist plant nursery with a photo will suffice.  Recommending the right plants for the right place is what we do at the Big Plant Nursery. For larger projects there’s always the option to call in our design experts to do the planning for you.  An on-site meeting to discuss your aspirations could result in either a simple recommended plant list or a more complex planting plan depending on the scale of the project.

Whichever route you choose it starts with deciding your aspirations for the garden and now is the perfect time to plan improvements in the garden.

For planting ideas and advice visit or contact us at the Big Plant Nursery, Twyford (part of the award-winning Creative Landscape Co.) Ask about our ‘At home Planting Consultancy’ and Planting Design service where we come to you.

Call 0118 934 1757 or email