By . Garden. Published at Friday, January 05th, 2018 - 21:21:22 PM.
Overuse of common plants. With over 400,000 species of flowering plants in the world, it often amazes me that no one can seem to find anything to put around trees besides a ring of hostas. One of the most common mistakes in landscaping I come across is the overuse of the same old humdrum plants. While there are hundreds of different varieties of hostas that can be used to create beautiful shade gardens, that singular ring of variegated hostas around every tree in the neighborhood is quite boring and unnatural looking.
By definition, a mandala is a geometric shape or pattern that symbolizes the universe, a meditation tool for creating sacred space, relaxation and focusing the mind, or a symbol used as a gateway to a spiritual journey. Mandalas are usually a circle that contain starburst, floral, wheel or spiral patterns within it. A mandala garden is simply a garden space with plants that take on this design principle. Traditional mandalas were actually a square containing a circle which contained these patterns. Also, in traditional mandalas, the four directions, north, east, south and west, or the four elements earth, air, fire and water were often represented in the mandala pattern.
The first step to a pocket garden is to look around the space and consider the challenges and assets. Lighting, ability to provide water, theme and many other considerations need to come into play. In most cases, maintenance will be an issue.
Like hosta rings around trees, yew, juniper, mugo pine, spirea and daylilies are often overused as foundation plantings. They are all nice plants that can be used in combination with other plants to create beautiful landscapes, full of varied but unified colors and textures. However, if a landscape designer comes to your home for a consultation and says, We will just put a row of yews along this side, a bunch of spirea and daylilies on that side, a big sprawling juniper here, and rings of hostas around all the trees, simply thank them for their time and call the next landscape designer on the list. Most likely, if you are considering spending money on a new landscape, you are hoping for actual curb appeal, not just yawns from passersby.
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