22 Jul 2019
Like kinds of plants can refer to plants with similar growing needs or physical traits. Growing either of these groups of plants in the same area will make maintenance easier and encourage healthier results.
There are many advantages to creating garden beds that group plants with similar needs. For example, it is practical to group azaleas, gardenias, camellias and hydrangeas in the same garden because they all need acid soil and some shade. There is sufficient diversity within these varieties to create a lovely setting which will bloom for a long period of time. You can pepper other acid lovers into the mix to create the look you want. This kind of garden will need less care since the whole area will be providing the same soil, light and humidity conditions for plants that need them. The same concept works for creating alkaline, wet, dry, fast or slow draining, full sun, or any other garden that appeals to plants that require those special conditions.
Ponds and other water gardens
Ponds and other water gardens are obvious examples where plants of similar needs thrive together. Native and drought-tolerant plantings work best with the same principle. (Native gardens are the easiest to care for since they will prefer the same garden conditions you already have.) Sometimes it is obvious: planting cacti that love the sun and low water will not only look strange paired with lush, tropical plants but will die quickly if offered the same conditions. Mixing plants with different needs will take planning and careful maintenance.
You can also plant gardens of all one type of plant. Bulbs would be less successful due to the relatively short flowering habit of most bulbs. You would have to do a lot of research to find diverse types that would flower in succession and there would be a lot of unattractive foliage between flowers as you wait for the foliage of the previous bloomers to die down. These are best inter-planted with other plants that can hide foliage when flowering is done. Bulbs need the energy to flow back into the underground storage (bulb) for next year’s growth. If you pull off the leaves before they die back, the whole plant will die and nothing will come back next year. So use bulbs more for creating visual accents in gardens that offer conditions that will suit the type of bulb you choose.
Daisy gardens would be a good choice for a like-kind of flower garden as there is a wide range of daisy-flowered plants from tall sunflowers to shrub daisies to colorful chrysanthemums to bright Gerbera Daisies to tiny Bellis Daisies. And there are many more. They come in a huge variety of colors and forms – enough to create really interesting groupings. So a daisy garden can become a theme of its own.
Grass gardens also create their own ambiance. Since grasses come in so many sizes, shapes, and colors, you can create a whole landscape of textures without any other types of plants. They also offer another dimension in a breezy area as grasses sway gracefully adding motion and sound to the garden.
One more idea for planting like plants together is if you want to create color effects. You can have a whole garden of one tone, like diverse plants all with white blooms. Or try a palette of all pastels or bright colors.
So as you plan for spring, consider creating all-of-a-kind gardens. They make for eye-catching designs and easy care.