Everyone wants to know the secret to having a beautiful garden. Is it a special fertilizer or a good sprinkler system? Perhaps it has to do with how the plants were raised or a special planting technique. Or maybe it is just for people that truly have a “green thumb.” Some of those things might contribute, but they are not the secret. I’ll tell you the secret if you’re willing to listen.
The secret is: “Right plant, right place.” Now you might think that’s intuitive, but you’d be surprised at how many people try to override that concept. I’ve done it myself and watched healthy plants fail. Sometimes you can catch your mistake soon enough to move the plant to a more suitable place. This year my rain lilies (Zephyranthes atamasca) finally bloomed because I found the right spot.
|Zephyranthes atamasca was finally happy|
when I found a wet spot for it
How’s the moisture level? Some plants can die from being too wet because their roots aren’t adapted to deal with it. On the other hand, some plants are quite happy even in occasional standing water! Know the moisture level requirements and the tolerance of the plants you’re using.
Mix the two concepts (light and moisture) together and you might get a magic combo: part-shade plants that can take more sun as long as they get plenty of water. Or you can find plants that can take a drier environment when protected from the hot afternoon sun. You have to know what they can take.
|Coreopsis auriculata thrives again|
Or an area now has more shade than before because the trees got big and plants are no longer blooming. My side patch of coreopsis is thriving again after I thinned out a few trees that had grown up. A successful gardener is alert and reactive to such changes.