Spring Garden Plans Being Formulated Now
Many gardeners are enthusiastically planning for a lovely yard next spring. Many are anxious to plant foliage plants that will be both attractive in the yard and useful in flower arrangements. These two uses are not always possible if the planting is to be kept within the bounds of artistic planting.
A home is landscaped to give an attractive setting or frame for the house. We must think first of the aesthetic value of our shrubs and foliage plants and then of their practical value. Many evergreen shrubs need regular pruning to keep them a size and shape that is attractive and in this case both purposes can be served.
Variegated and regular pittosporum are useful for arrangements either with flowers or alone. These grow fast and soon require pruning. Eleagnus is another shrub which can stand severe pruning. Its new branches, often useful in arrangements, will not hold up, however, unless laid flat in water for several hours before using.
Rangoon creeper is a vine with interesting foliage that is sometimes useful in arrangements. Its prolific growth can certainly stand severe pruning. Confederate jasmine is also used for cut material, but it does not grow as fast as other creepers.
Italian jasmine branches are used as line material and pruning will not mar the plant. Variegated euonymus and golden privet are used for both ornament and for background material in arrangements.
Magnolia leaves are excellent material either green, glycerined or dried. Ficus or rubber plant of the variety macrophylla is a lighter green and has smaller and shinier leaves than elastica or the better known rubber tree. The leaves of this plant are more useful for cutting than are those of larger leafed varieties.
Pandanus, aspidistra, dracaena, canna, especially the red leaved variety, red leafed castor bean, philodendron, dietes, bearded iris, and many others are pretty. Not all can be grown in one small yard and yet if there are several, no one plant will suffer from excess cutting.
If you have a new yard to plant, sketch a landscaping plan for the whole planting. The plants you choose for the dual purpose of cutting and of serving as landscape material will have to be placed to best advantage.
Members of garden clubs who have studied flower arrangement have learned that they must plan carefully in order always to have material. Through exchange, by purchasing and sometimes through the slow method of growing from and cuttings they are gradually acquiring the plants they like best and hence are never without some type of material for basic arrangements.