Show Notes

In this episode, we discuss how to find the right plants for your space.  Are you overwhelmed with what to plant in your yard?  Does the nursery always seem to let you down?


  • Reason
    • Right plant = less work
      • Happier
      • Fewer problems
      • Better growth
      • Better foliage & blooms
  • Know your conditions
    • USDA zone
    • Existing soil conditions
      • soil test
        • extension office
      • texture
        • clay, loam, silt, sand
      • structure
        • aggregates
      • Fertility
      • pH
      • compaction
      • depth
    • Water
      • Frequency
      • Quantity
      • Drainage
    • Sun exposure
    • Root expansion space
    • Wind exposure
    • Allelopathic plants?
      • Walnut, oak, hackberry, grass, etc.
    • What is your current chemical use?
  • Find your plant
    • What plant can meet aesthetic desire and fit space conditions
    • What plants are non-invasive and low maintenance
      • Ohio Plants
      • Herbaceous perennials
        • Prairie nursery
    • Conditions to consider
      • Max dimensions
      • Foliage density
      • Color
      • Bloom
      • Texture
      • dispersal
      • Sun
      • Soil
      • Water
      • Fertility
    • Not always necessary
      • Pest & Critter resistance
      • Root pattern
      • Pet resistance
      • Plant compatibility
        • Growth
        • appearance

Links for today’s episode:

this is the aesthetic ecosystems podcast

I’m Ben Hale your virtual design guide

to help you and your family have a

healthy beautiful landscape with less

work what’s up and welcome to episode 9

of the aesthetic ecosystems podcast we

are creeping up on double digits guys

one more episode and we’ll be the

episode 10 I’m super stoked about that

but let’s let’s crank out a good one

today episode 9 is gonna be a great one

today we’re gonna be talking about what

are the right plants for your space

we’ve kind of gone through a progression

here of talking about why low

maintenance landscape design will help

you save time and why it’s important for

you and your life and how it can

actually change your life if you use

that time appropriately we talked about

how to make a healthy landscape we’ve

talked about disease problems we’ve

talked about a lot of different stuff

with your existing landscape but let’s

say you ready to you want to slap some

plants in the ground I get it

I love planting plants and it’s really

important to make sure you’re getting

the right plant for your space so that’s

what today’s episode is about come on

that’s fun stuff right I just want to

say too last episode I was definitely

feeling towards the end I was definitely

feeling a little horse my voice is still

recovering from a little bit of a head

cold that I had and and so hopefully

today we’ll be able to crank out a good

one for you I’ve got my herbal tea here

man you know what I have to put in a

plug I guess a shameless plug for

traditional medicinal –zz as a brand of

tea I’ve been drinking especially when I

get sick they have this one called a

throat coat of all names and basically

it uses some different herbs I think

it’s marshmallow root that has kind of a

slimy texture to it and and man it

actually really helps your your throat

kind of feel better and so it’s kind of

what I’m chugging down here today as

we’re talking it’s got some

the herbs in it that help heal your heal

your throat as well as kick your immune

system into gear and and I’m I’m

enjoying it and one of the things I

actually love about them is is their

little tea bag tags have little quotes

on them and today’s is certainly fitting

it says plant kindness and gather love

and man what’s more fitting for for

determining what right plants to put in

your space and and so it’s just that’s

got to be more than coincidence right so

a great tea here and great podcasts

coming up so grab your tea as well and

let’s enjoy a good podcast and let’s get

right into it so what are the right

plants for your space and what I’m

talking about your space this is

anything in your landscape so we could

be talking about a garden that you’re

putting in we could be talking about

something you want to put in between the

paver stones to kind of fill some voids

there or we could be talking about your

lawn we’ll get into more details about

establishing and planting a lawn and

what’s the right type of lawn and how

much lawn to have and and all those

things in later episode but for today

you know these considerations hold true

for your lawn as well there’s a ton of

different grass varieties with a ton of

different maintenance levels to them but

also just adapted to different

conditions and different regions so this

certainly holds true as well for for

this so I’ve got today’s episode broken

out into three primary categories the

first is the reason for determining the

right plant for your space secondly

knowing the conditions of your space and

third knowing the right plant for your

space so when it comes to why you should

look for having the right plants in your

space it all comes down to what we’re

talking about with the whole aesthetic

ecosystems brand this is about saving

time for you saving time for your

landscape and having a healthy landscape

and a healthy you at the same time this

all ties together so the less healthy

your plant is the more work you have to

do to maintain it

or if you don’t choose the right plant

the more work you might have to do to

keep it in a certain condition say like

a pruned tree if you’re not selecting

the right plant likewise if you have an

unhealthy plant you might have to treat

it with certain things and and through

that you know you have some potentially

unhealthy chemicals coming through your

landscape as well that can increase the

risk of health problems for your family

at the same time so just it really does

all come together with having the right

plants for the right specific location

as well as the the region you live in

and that’s what we’re talking about

today so when it comes down to it the

synthesis is this is that the right

plant equals less work so your plants

are happier it has fewer problems it has

better growth and also most of the time

it also has better healthier foliage as

well as better blooms and so who doesn’t

love better blooms when it comes to when

you’re planting flowers or attractive

plants in your landscape that pretty

much sums up the reason we want to have

the right plant in our space so we

understand that now how do we know what

is the right plant what is the right

space for your plant it kind of goes

both ways right say you want a specific

plant knowing the exact spot in your

landscape that it will most likely do

the best is very important and

alternatively knowing what you want to

plant a certain space and knowing what

plant to put in that space is very

important as well so we’re kind of more

focusing on that piece but you can also

keep in mind the first piece like say

you want a specific plant you can

determine how it’s going to do best

based on the conditions you have

throughout your landscape so even though

you might have a consistent type of

condition like consistent rainfall

throughout your landscape you do have

different areas where the rain becomes

concentrated and less concentrated so so

that makes an impact as well as all

these other conditions we’re going to be

talking about today so let’s get right

into it

we talked about some of this yesterday

just before I get into it and yeah I

tricked you that right so

we talked about some of this yesterday

with determining the root cause of

certain plant problems and there’s

that’s why we’re talking about in more

depth today is is if you determine the

right space and know the conditions of

your site

well you prevent some of these problems

in the long term so that’s how this kind

of goes hand in hand with the previous

episode and also helps you of course

save time so first make sure you know

what USDA zone you live in I’ll provide

a link in the show notes for a USDA zone

map you can also just quickly google

this you know type in your city or your

nearest big city and type in USDA zone

USDA is the US Department of Agriculture

and they’ve broken the United States

into multiple zones and if you live in a

different country you can also look up

there’s other similar distributions of

how to plant your plant so just type in

like planting conditions zone or

something and and most likely you’ll get

some information on your country or your

region and what plants can do well in

that space but for the US there’s this

USDA zone map and basically it’s a

generally speaking it’s a horizontal

distribution going up the latitudes from

south to north in the United States so

basically it’s it’s warmer to colder and

it breaks them up based on the low

temperature I think it’s something I

don’t quote me on this but it’s

something like for the 10-year average

what’s the what’s the average lowest

temperature that you get in the summer

and that’s how the zones are determined

I think it’s something like that and

essentially that tells you what types of

plants can can survive in that cold

temperature and similarly what plants

can survive in that heat that comes with

the the higher low temperature in the

south so for example fruit trees they

require a certain amount of cold hours

and a lot of deciduous trees as well

require similar things in order to grow

properly and to produce fruit as well so

USDA zone is very important just for

getting a general idea of whether or not

the plant grows well in your space most

plants even on the tag when you purchase

them say at Home Depot has a list of

what zones the plant can grow in and

just a quick note since I mentioned Home

Depot’s so some of these big-box stores

they’ll have plants there that you you

would assume that they’re always you

know going to grow in that space but

it’s actually important to check the

conditions on the tag that’s listed as

well as do I hope you have done the

research before you get to if you’re

purchasing plants say at one of these

big box stores or at any nursery for

that matter that you check the what you

hopefully know what plant you’re getting

before you get there and and part of

that is these conditions sometimes they

actually have plants there that don’t

really do well in your your climate so

it’s important to check that because

part of what nurseries and especially

these big stores even say Walmart right

sells plants some of these big stores

they they sell you what the consumers

want but it’s not always a plant that’s

well adapted to your space and this

isn’t just for the temperature piece

another good example is is there’s tons

of plants that are sold here in my

region and that are meant to grow in

acidic soils like rhododendron is a

plant that is is generally speaking it

comes from mountainous regions that are

more acidic soils east of us and they

don’t actually do very well without

continuously amending the soil here so

I’m not just talking about temperature

here but also other conditions as well

so that’s kind of a bit of a side here

like gonna watch out make sure you know

what you’re getting before you get to

the store and don’t always trust that

because it’s on the Shelf there and

because it has a price tag on it it

doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s going

to grow well even in just our climate

not specifically the space you’re

planting in okay so USDA zone make sure

you know it it’s very important and next

the soil conditions so I really

recommend you get a soil test done

you know what I’ll probably

the future do a little short thing on

I’ll get a soil test done for our yard

and just show you what kind of how to do

it what kind of report you get out of it

but for now essentially what you do is

you look up your local Extension Office

so each county has this office it’s

usually part of the whatever regional

State University you have so for for

southeastern Ohio we have an Ohio State

University or the Ohio State University

Extension office for Hamilton County in

Butler County

so the counties around us each county

has a separate office and these offices

there they’re meant primarily for

agriculture but they’re they’re there to

serve the public as well and so they can

answer questions on your your region

soil and as well as do these specific

soil tests and so you can send it in a

sample of your soil they usually give

you instructions on how to take the soil

sample we can get into that in the

future as well but and then what you get

back is a report and that tells you

different conditions about your soil and

these conditions can be very important

for when you’re planting your garden and

so if you have a specific area you have

in mind

you want to take the sample from that

space because you might have very

different soil say in the in your front

yard versus your back yard or a wooded

space versus a front facing slope of

your lawn so the more this does cost

money to do the more you can afford and

feel comfortable doing the more samples

you have the better but of course don’t

overdo it but usually sending in a few

samples a different spaces gives you a

very good idea of what type of soils you

have I’m gonna do a big episode later on

soil both the chemistry’s that we’ll

talk about and some of the physical

characteristics here as well just in a

short bit but I’ll go into greater

detail and also we’ll talk about the the

living component of soil as well which

is very important but for now I just

want to give you a few of these

characteristics just so you’re familiar

with them the more you hear them the the

better you’ll retain it and and this is

all important stuff that you’ll get as

part of this soil test that you

so one is the texture this is a pretty

common classification and basically

texture equals particle size is the the

short way to think about it so your soil

texture some of the terms you’ll hear is

clay silt loam sand so these are all

different characteristics of different

sizes of particles and usually a loam is

considered a mixture of some of these

different types of materials so your

clay is your very fine particles silt is

emitting a medium range particle and

sand is your more coarse particles and

that’s all the detail we’re going to

talk about right now but in general

though the more hybrid mixture you have

the better but that being said if you

have say a dense clay soil going out

there and dumping a bunch of sand on

it’s not necessarily a good idea and so

this is more to understand what what

your base soil is the chemical aggregate

size of your that’s not the right term

actually so your particle size what what

the particle size of your your inert

soil is and that will help you determine

what types of plants do well in that

space structure structure determines

what types of clumps your soil forms as

it starts to aggregate so this is where

aggregates are clumps of the mini

particles these the small particles of

your soil and how does that form

different types of soils form different

aggregates and this is just kind of good

for knowing drainage and how it does and

drought things like that it we don’t

want to really get too deep into texture

and structure but that’s kind of what

they mean and yeah that’s all we need to

know for now fertility is the organic

matter generally speaking of your soil

as well as the make up of different

minerals in your soil so your nitrogen

level your phosphorous level your

potassium level are the most common ones

right those are the three big ones that

are usually listed but you also have

tons of other minerals that are very

important in smaller amounts so calcium

iron magnesium it goes on and on there

are a lot of micronutrients

or ions metal ions and such that are

necessary for plant growth and important

for plant growth and usually some of

those are listed not all of them but

it’s good to know and pH is the acidity

this is how acidic or basic or similar

terms are acidic in alkaline your soil

is so the more acidic it is the more

hydrogen ions you have present in your

soil the more basic the more hydroxide

ions it’s probably too much chemistry so

I’ll dial it back basically it’s a good

term to know for certain plants so your

if you take a typical say pine forest

it’s generally acidic soil and if you

take say this is very very broad

generalization but yeah your Pines

generally go in acidic or azaleas

rhododendrons blueberries those are

typical acid loving plants and then your

let’s I’m trying to think of a good

basic is your like say maples general

hardwoods forests

this is a huge broad there are acidic

hardwoods for sure but yeah I don’t know

how good other good examples to give you

right now so let’s move on

compaction this is how compressed your

soil is so the more compacted your soil

the less able it is to hold water in

trap it and the more it holds water the

more of course moisture you have there

and the usually the better plants do in

that space also not just water but the

more oxygen and air circulation the soil

has which is healthier as well so the

more of that less compaction you have

the more healthy your soil is generally

unfortunately most developed spaces are

pretty compacted soils simply just based

on the nature of development so as

construction is occurring you have heavy

equipment rolling over stuff and let’s

put it this way when you walk on top of

soil you actually compact so just the

pressure of your fee

compact soil so you can imagine when we

have heavy equipment going over stuff

it’s doing a pretty extensive job about

compacting soil so when you have

compacted soil it’s a little tougher for

plants to grow but it’s good to know

what level of compaction you have and

also your soil depth is and specifically

here I’m talking about topsoil as well

as subsoil so your topsoil is your space

that has organic matter cycling through

it and it’s where most of the life

occurs most earthworms are in here and

you know beetles and stuff your topsoil

is you know the deeper it is the better

for sure and usually having just even a

say an inch of topsoil is really good

compared to some of these compacted

sites that we live on the more topsoil

you have the better for sure and then

your subsoil is more your there’s a lot

less organic matter in the subsoil and

this is more your where a lot of

physical structure and chemistry is so

this is your clay or your sand subsoil

and this usually there’s multiple zones

of it but it usually goes down hopefully

a few feet and down to your bedrock and

so it’s also good to know how far down

your soil goes how what’s the depth of

your soil and you can usually get some

general understanding of this if you

aren’t willing to go out and dig a deep

hole in your yard

or if you haven’t done that in the past

you can usually find some information

with your Extension Office as well and

or your local soil survey that sometimes

is a county thing and they’ll help you

understand generally speaking how deep

until it till the bedrock and also the

water table that’s also helpful so if

you have a hard pan or bedrock that’s a

few inches below you might have a tough

time growing some plants I’ll be honest

and so it’s really good to know that

before you’re getting into this stuff


that’s most of the soil bit let’s move

on to water so water of course is very

important and knowing how much when and

where it goes on your property are

important things so how much is

basically how frequent do you get

precipitation in what form and at what

quantity so this is where knowing if you

gets a torrential downpours twice a year

and that’s most of your water that’s

very important to know so it’s kind of

like a flood / drought condition and

there’s plants adapted to those types of

locations as well as you have say in the

Pacific Northwest you get a lot of rain

over a long period of time for a lot of

the year so you know that’s considered a

temperate rainforest area so the the

plants that grow there are much

difference and then say the plants that

grow in southern Texas so it’s important

to know your precipitation quantity and

frequency and patterns throughout the

year and you can find most of this stuff

online pretty easily as well when you’re

talking about your specific site it’s

good to know the pattern of drainage

across your site so when it’s raining

where does the water go where does it

run away from quickly so this is your

slopes usually right and it goes much

faster across slopes that are compacted

as opposed to spaces that really soak up

the water as it falls so that’s your

good healthy soils if you have a say a

forest in space or a really mature

prairie space on your property that has

really good soil it it might soak up

really well and you don’t have tons of

runoff so so you might have a slope that

actually if as it’s a medium slope you

might actually retain a lot of the water

there over a longer period of time if

you have good soil but so where does the

water runoff so these are your if you

have a lawn with a slope it’s gonna run

out there pretty quickly and then where

does it pull up where does it capture

and these are your wet spots you know

after a rain go out there after a big

rain and take a look around and see

where it’s there’s still water sitting

around and where there’s less water and

and this really helps you understand

where to put for one where to put your


where’s going to be the most comfortable

space for walking

throughout the year even after rains and

where’s your grass can do best because

they like soils that aren’t saturated

completely for long periods of time and

then where are you gonna put your

gardens that are say water tolerant

where are you going to put your gardens

that are drought tolerant and this is

very important for figuring that out

okay a couple other things to talk about

here I touched on them in last episode

but I wanted to touch on them again

because these are very important too for

for preventing the mistakes that happen

in the future with your plants so sun

exposure where are you getting the most

Sun at what time of year or not just the

most somewhat how is the Sun pattern

throughout the year in this space you’re

considering and you need to figure this


so you know what plans to put there so

the sun exposure is very different in

say so let’s just pick out the dates

that are the equinoxes as well as the

the Solstice so the Solstice is when the

days are either shortest or longest so

that’s generally speaking that’s

December 21st and June 21st

so there are opposite times of the year

so you have the most Sun and this is

northern hemisphere of course you have

the most Sun on June 21st that’s your

longest day of the year

where’s the sun shining and you can find

this stuff online if you want to get

precise the more precise you get with

how your Sun patterns throughout your

property the better I’ll just be clear

with this so if you’re planning

especially if you’re planning a big

project this is very important to know

your whole property but if you’re just

planning a garden just get a general

idea of where school where’s the Sun

gonna be on June 21st and at noon and at

the 9 a.m. and at 9 p.m. where’s the Sun

gonna be shining on that space that’s

very important to know for what types of

plants you put there with what solar

exposure and what heat tolerance and

then think to December 21st especially

if you have a growing season during this

time as well so if you’re talking

southern US this is very important as

well so on December 21st how high is the

Sun going to get at noon and where’s the

Sun say at 10 a.m. and where’s the Sun

at 5 p.m. and understand that so

you know what to do with your plants for

the same reason so a solar exposure can

be very important in these cold months

or these shorter day months especially

in the south where you still have plants

growing and then same as is the peaks

also know where the Sun is going to be

at the equinox so this is generally

speaking this is March 21st and

September 21st and on these days where

is the Sun going to be shine as well and

granted it’s going to be kind of the

average of the other two dates that we

talked about so let’s look underneath

the soil now underneath the surface so

your roots it’s very important to

understand especially with the more

mature plants you have the more

perennial they get so this is your woody

plants especially where are the roots

going to go and what type of root growth

do they have you have some trees or even

plants but specifically trees that have

a tap root they’d shoot a straight route

very far down and if they grow mature

and they grow well and you have good

soil sometimes these roots can penetrate

as far as thirty thirty feet deep and

they’ll have side shoots going out as

well from there but but tap rooted trees

can penetrate very deeply so you got to

make sure they have the space to grow

and likewise you have some plants that

shoot out very fibrous roots very far

horizontally sometimes even up to the

surface of the soil and so this is like

your silver maple has a surface roots

that they’ll run out very far beyond the

drip line of your tree and they can

cause a lot of problems if you don’t

plan for it and so knowing where your

roots go is very important especially if

you’re planning a garden that’s near any

sort of concrete structure that’s a

paved surface or a foundation or a

septic system as well as you utilities

so make sure you’re planning properly

for these structures and in a tight

property now you have to be very careful

for these things so make sure you’re

kind of figuring out how your plants

going to grow what’s the mature size of


and generally speaking you want to plan

whatever the mature crown height is and

width do you want to plan at least the

same for the underneath the ground and

and based on the root pattern sometimes

more vertical or more horizontal so just

make sure you try and understand that as

best you can similarly make sure you

plan in for the top so powerlines roofs

roof roofs roofs roofs

yes roof we’re gonna go with roofs so

powerlines roofs anything above light

poles things like that other trees so

you want to plan for all this as well as

your plant grows how is it going to

interact with whatever’s above it make

sure you understand the wind this can

really affect tree growth especially as

trees grow and they if you have a windy

site how is it going to interact with

that is it wind resistant plant and can

it thrive in that situation or do you

have to build structures or plant other

plants to help with wind buffering plan

for other plants as well that might

interact that we talked to it more in

depth about this yesterday but I want to

touch on it here as well so if you have

plants that secrete chemicals that

inhibit plant growth so look for what

plants might be compatible with the

plant you’re considering so if you have

an oak tree you know how does how well

does it do with your grass how and or

how well does it do with some bushes do

you want to plant it next to and this is

again where Google is your friend try

and see what you can dig up on it and

figure that out so there’s certainly

plants that secrete chemicals to inhibit

growth of other types of plants and so

it’s very important to figure this out

and last I want to touch on

understanding what your current chemical

use is on your site and if you intend to

continue that so if you do intend to use

chemicals on your yard well how does it

interact with the plants you’re

considering and make sure you can figure

out if it’s going to your chemical use

is going to hurt the grow these plants

or not okay so that’s enough about our

site and

standing our site I want to get into

finding our plant now let’s we’re gonna

just focus on one plant if you’re

planning a whole garden base and you’re

doing this process for each types of

plants you’re considering so yes this

can be a lot of work but this is very

very important to do before you’re going

and digging a hole in the ground and

putting a plant in it so just make sure

you get this piece right and it will

save you tons of work in the future

so first the the biggest thing because

we’re talking about healthy and

beautiful landscapes here right we’re

not talking about ecological restoration

of a stream bed or whatever if you’re

into that stuff that is awesome I love

ecological restoration but our specific

focus here is your landscape right you

want to have something that’s welcoming

attractive and so the first important

piece here is what plant can meet the

aesthetic desire you have and fit the

space conditions so what plan is gonna

look right make you feel happy or make

it look appealing get the desired

condition that you want out of your

landscape what plant will do that and

then make sure it fits the conditions

that you have on your site so I might

love you know the look of of a coconut

tree right but here in Ohio it’s not

gonna happen right so I have to figure

out how I can get the the feel I want of

a specific maybe there’s a desired plant

that I would love to have but it’s not

gonna happen right so what can I do with

the pallet of plants that grow in my

area and that will give me a similar

appeal that I want to have so that’s an

extreme example of course but there are

ways to do something like that even in

my location to get kind of a tropical

feel I’m not gonna get a palm tree right

but I might be able to do something

similar and have that that feel so we

certainly want an appealing plant that’s

going to meet our our needs of

beautification or our desires of

beautification with our yard but while

we’re doing so we also want to make sure

we’re considering plants that are non

invasive or non-operative

and low maintenance at the same time so

making sure that they’re they don’t need

tons of stuff to keep going and to keep

happy but I do want to touch up upon the

piece of non invasive nests

we sacrifice you know environmental

integrity for the sake of beauty and

here we want to try and do both because

we don’t want to be hurting the the

broader landscape of our area just to

just have some and just to have

something appealing in our yard okay so

some examples of this if if you live in

Ohio or nearby say Kentucky or Indiana

or Pennsylvania I certainly urge you to

check out a recent project I completed

with with a lot of low maintenance

designers across Ohio so I did an Ohio

low maintenance plants project where I

gathered all of their favorite plants

that they use in their landscapes and

and put it together into one free

resource so if you live in this region I

certainly suggest you go over to

aesthetic ecosystems calm slash Ohio

plants and check out the articles that

put together there and there’s also a

free download for the resource as well

if you want so if you live in that area

you’re in luck because we’ve got some of

this figured out for you already if

you’re outside this area don’t you worry

because you can figure some of this out

on your own it’s just a little less

accessible sorry but you know putting

this together for all 50 states it’s

kind of a no-go for me at this point but

yeah so if you live in Ohio check that

out and also I do have a resource that

fits most of the u.s. not all of it

especially if you live west of the

Rockies this isn’t always the case but I

really love the Prairie nursery and I’m

not sponsored by these guys or anything

so this is a heartfelt recommendation

the Prairie nursery is a nursery up in

Wisconsin and they’ve done a lot of work

to preserve a lot of the native Prairie

plants from the Midwestern US but in

doing so there’s a lot of plants that

are also just native more broadly to the

eastern US and even the southern US so

they have a great resource a perennial

plant nurse

they do have online shipping so check

them out and yeah just take a look at

them they have a lot of herbaceous

perennials so they don’t have a great

selection of trees or anything like that

but if you’re looking for your kind of

Prairie type plants that you want to put

in your gardens check them out as well

and of course I’ve listed or mentioned

these guys multiple times as well the

Missouri Botanical Garden has put

together a great plant resource if you

want to find plants that fit your space

they have a great resource to do so over

at their website and I’ll put a link in

there the show notes as well alright

with that let’s get into it so when it

comes to considering your plant that

you’re selecting here’s I’m just going

to kind of go through a list of

conditions to consider and then it’s up

to you to figure out how that fits into

your space because every situation is


even if we’re talking about two

different locations in the same yard

it’s it’s a different situation so this

is up to you to kind of put on your

thinking hat and and figure out how it’s

going to work in your space

so first the maximum dimensions right

what type of plants are you looking for

you’re looking for a plant that grows

six inches in height and spreads to six

feet wide or are you looking for a plant

that grows you know a tree that grows 90

feet tall at maturity and takes 50 years

to get there which one is it so

understanding your maximum dimensions

height and width is very important next

your foliage density so you do you want

something that gives you kind of dappled

shade or do you want something that

gives you dense shade and this of course

mainly goes for trees that I’m talking

about here that go above us but this

also goes for your low growing plants

that maybe you’re planting a mixed

species garden space and do you want

something that you can see through to

the plants behind it so maybe it

provides a foreground or they maybe want

a denser plant that provides a dense

background and so understanding your

foliage density is is good for that this

is more of an aesthetic aesthetic thing

for for your garden or a functional

thing when you’re talking about your

mature trees what type of color do you

want so

different foliage provides different

colors at different time of year so you

get more maybe you get richer Browns and

reds in the offseason and you get deeper

greens with certain plants or even

reddish color foliage or kind of a

yellow-green foliage so even the foliage

itself gives you different color next

would what about blooms do you want

something that has blooms for how long

at what time of year and what color so

the blooms are important what about

texture so different types of plants

based on their structure and their

foliage provide different types of

texture so you might want something

that’s like a like a grassy plant that

gives you a lot of vertical texture with

with kind of a wisp enos to it or you

might want to unless something like a

Japanese maple with a lot of jagged

texture that that provides some bold

color that’s very punctuated so knowing

your textures that you want in your

garden is important

what’s the dispersal of your plant so

this is to determine how it’s going to

spread is it going to spread by seed is

it going to spread by roots occurring is

it going to stay in place is it going to

slowly spread as it clumps out and forms

bigger clumps so knowing this and

whether it’s going to fit into the space

you need is very important what about

the sun exposure we talked about what

conditions of some we have does you

plant like a certain type of sun

exposure maybe it’s very tolerant of a

wide variety of sun exposure

maybe it’s very intolerant so knowing

this is good

same with soil and your water and your

fertility so I ran through those really

quick but these are all very very

important so knowing the right

conditions that your plant prefers and

like I said some plants are very very

tolerant of a wide variety of conditions

but knowing what their preferred

condition is good as well so knowing if

if this is where it’s going to grow best

it’s going to be happy most likely the

plants going to look better there now

that said especially with certain

herbaceous plants sometimes having the

the wrong or the non ideal condition for

the plant actually gives it a different

different aesthetic appeal so like I’m

thinking of golden

rhod for example right now it’s a common

in Ohio it’s a common undisturbed area

we’d basically but it looks beautiful in

late summer and fall and this is quickly

becoming a plant that’s desired for the

garden as well and when you plant it in

a fertile garden goldenrod has a

tendency to flop over and a lot of these

prairie plants have similar type of

situation happen when they get too happy

basically they’ll grow too fast and they

tend to flop over especially without

stuff around them supporting them up

whereas if they’re in slightly less

fertile soils that maybe are slightly

less moist as well they’ll be more rigid

and they’ll stand straighter and they

they bloom just the same just as much

beauty but you get them to have that

that nice vertical standing plant that

you might want okay now a few more

conditions that you might want to

consider that aren’t always necessary

but depending upon your need just things

that I thought about that you might want

to think about as well is what about

pests and critter resistance so plants

that maybe can withstand a little bit of

munching on from certain insects or

maybe that are not appealing to most

insects similar to when I say critters

especially deer a lot of people have

deer problems so understanding which

plants are not palatable to deer as well

as other critters maybe rabbits or

something what about the root pattern we

talked about root expansion space

knowing your root pattern is important

given the space that you might be

planting in and this also goes for

smaller plants as well I’ve used the

tree example but make sure you

understand it for different plants when

you’re planting a garden knowing if you

plant two plants that have different

root patterns it’s usually more ideal

than having two different plants of

different species in the same space that

occupy the same root pattern because

they might be competing for the same

resources pet resistance so if you have

a dog especially some dogs you know or

more in more likely to eat certain

things and also knowing that your plants

aren’t toxic to your pets as well are


what about plant compatibility so both

in growth pattern and appearance so kind

of thinking about the different plants

you’re considering and seeing how they

look together and how they might grow

together so I mentioned kind of the root

pattern as well this is important as

well so knowing how your roots grow with

your different plants and if they occupy

different spots that they are not

competing for the same amount of

fertility okay so that kind of wraps up

what I had today for talking about how

to plant your plant and select it well

not to plant it but how did plan for

planting your plant before you even get

to that point right so before you get

overwhelmed I want to say just just have

fun with this this is a really fun

process if you you kind of get into it

and figure out you know what plants you

like what’s appealing to you and for

what reason and then going to find what

plants actually will just give you what

you want

without you having to do tons of work

you know once you make a plant happy

it’ll do the happy work for you right

it’ll it’ll look great the way you want

it to it won’t cause as many problems

and it’ll be a lot easier to take care

of and you’ll have the beautiful

landscape you want so that’s what we’re

talking about here that’s why to me this

is a really fun process it’s you know

you a lot of times you you discover

plants that maybe you didn’t even know

about that that I had they’re native to

your space or that are well-adapted

exotics and they they give you exactly

what you want a really close to it they

look beautiful and they don’t take tons

of work so if this sounds like a lot of

work to you and you just feel

overwhelmed right now I am offering

consulting so if you go to aesthetic

ecosystems calm slash consulting you can

check out the various options there for

connecting with me and getting a digital

consultation to help you can move

forward and we can really help working

on beautifying your landscape so go

check that out if that sounds like

something you want

and likewise if you just want to work on

saving time right now without having to

make some massive changes or massive

investments go over to aesthetic

ecosystems calm slash 27 hours that’s to

where you want to spell it it’ll take

you there and and check out the free

resource I have there for how to save 27

hours this season with your landscape to

give you more time back to do what you

love and that’s a resource I compiled

just to get you started on this path

this journey to making a positive change

with your landscape so you can make a

positive change with your life ok now

it’s time to talk about the launch party

guys excuse me not party but partay the

launch party is for the first two months

of the show from March 11th through May

help spread a wart spread the word about

the show I really appreciate your

enthusiasm and interest in this show and

I want to get you guys involved and have

some fun while we’re doing it so this is

a chance to have some fun too for us to

get connected to win some prizes and

let’s talk about the prizes before we

talk about what we’re doing so what are

the prizes weekly I’m offering a free

consultation with me Ben Hale which is

normally a $99 value so one person each

week that gets involved in the launch

partay gets a free consultation I’m also

giving away a free offer for one of my

ebooks ten ways to get more beauty with

less work which is a $19 value next the

grand prize there is only one of these

were giving away through this whole

launch party so at the end of the launch

partay the organic lawn care manual by

Paul Tookie so Paul to key himself has

offered to give away one free book to a

lucky winner that’s getting involved in

this launch party and this book is all

about how to manage a healthy lawn from

anything from a golf course style on to

your low-maintenance lawn which of

course is something I prefer here on

this show right

I own this book I’ve read this book

multiple times I’ve given it away it’s a

kind of a tattered and worn version that

I have

and I used some of these practices in my

own lines so I love this book and I

highly promoted as well and you’ll hear

me talk about it throughout the show but

Paul Tookie has been kind enough to

offer a copy of his book as a grand

prize and there’s also a special

surprise for everybody that’s going to

be getting involved in the launch partay

the rolling river nursery out of

California has offered a special

surprise for everybody that’s involved

the rolling river nursery is a USDA

certified organic nursery so I went

online and I looked around for nurseries

that have online availability ship

through the continental US and have some

great offerings and rolling River

nursery is being kind enough to become

involved with our launch party and

they’re not only are they online

availability but they also are certified

organic which means they don’t use any

harmful herbicides or pesticides that

you have to be concerned with your

family about and so what you’re getting

is a safe and healthy plant they also

offer a ton of edible plants and trees

and shrubs cacti and succulents so they

offer several trees and shrubs that are

adaptable throughout the most of the

United States so definitely worth

checking them out and in addition these

guys are also involved with a non-profit

in Southern California to help local

food movements called planting justice

org so if you want to learn more about

them you can go to rolling River nursery

calm and I also want to give a shout out

to Paul to Kies website for his organic

lawn care manual and his other works is

Paul to keep calm PA UL t uke Y and to

sum up guys ok you want to learn how to

get involved with this launch party go

over to aesthetic ecosystems calm slash

pod launch and that’s p OD lau nch

there’s a link in the show notes and

that’s that’s going to give you all the

instructions on how to get involved

there’s two ways specifically to get

involved one is through sharing with

your peeps on Facebook and the other is

through leaving a review on iTunes both

of these are going to help spread the

word about the show and get other people

other friends listening to it as well

and I sure appreciate your help here and

and likewise this

gonna be a fun time so so going over and

– ascetic ecosystems calm / pod lunch to

get involved don’t forget to check out

the show notes there we’ve got all the

links we mentioned in the show today and

also hit that subscribe button if you

haven’t done so already to get more

shows downloaded into your your whatever

you’re listening to right now and with

that guys thanks for tuning in and make

sure you live with passion and make

tomorrow better than today