Gisella Aleshire. Garden Design. April 19th , 2018.
Maybe my favorite rule of all time, all the more charming for its need to be adjusted for inflation: It is better to plant a 50 cent plant in a $5 hole, than a $5 plant in a 50 cent hole.
Just yesterday, as I was starting the design of a patio that I wanted to separate from an adjacent play area, it gave me instant guidance for how tall a hedge I would need, the area was 17 feet wide, and so my hedge should be at least 6 feet.
In my own garden, I remember laying out an arbor, with its posts 10 feet high, and listening to trusted friends wondering whether it was not a little too tall. Thankfully I stuck to my guns, and some 18 years later, wreathed in wisteria and anchored at the ground by clusters of pots, the arbor seems just right.
Imparted by Ralph Snodsmith, my first official gardening teacher at the New York Botanical Garden and talk radio host (a character whose working uniform was always a forest green three-piece suit), there is no greater planting wisdom. No matter how brilliant a plan one conceives, if the plants are not well planted at the right height, in a sufficiently sized, and properly amended pit, the results will likely be poor. Some rules just can not be broken.
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