In the first part of this post, we went into some reasons as to why green fingers are not always green and why your plants tend to disappoint you. If you are ready to go trooping off to your nearest nursery, arm yourself with the necessary information that will help the nursery people understand your open space better and thus suggest the best plants for it.
Here is what you have to do…….
- Observe where the sun sets and where it rises. This will help you determine if your balcony/yard//porch/ terrace faces north, south , west or east. Remember the sun sets in the west and rises in the east.
- Note whether the place intended to house your new plants will have full sun only in the morning, or only in the afternoon, just in the late afternoon, all day or never at all.
- If you only have tap water and no well water, this should be factored in as some plants tend to be finicky about the kind of water they are given.
- Is your open space very windy, very sheltered, exposed to traffic fumes or excessive dust of any sort?
- Measure your space to help decide on what is the maximum size and height of plant and maximum weight that can be accommodated. The weight issue is especially important on balconies. Factor in any seating, doorways or views that cannot be interfered with. A little sketch of your space will help.
- Gauge how much attention you can afford to give your plants on a daily or weekly basis. For instance of you travel often, delicate plants which require daily attention may not work for you.
- Remember to ask about watering schedules, feeding, typical infestations to watch out for, re-potting frequency and dormant seasons if you are getting any flowering bulbs or bi-annuals.
- Lastly, think about style as this will influence the type of plants you choose. Do you want a shabby chic effect, a sleek effect, a higgledy piggledy effect or a neat and well organised space?
- Finally, do you have pets? Mention the cats and dogs to the nursery people as they will guide you on how to avoid cats from using your flower pot as a litter tray and how to impede dogs from peeing on or digging up your new acquisitions.
That is about it. All it takes now is to shop around the nurseries, take home your purchases and enjoy them as long as they last. Hopefully they will give you many years of pleasure.