stickywire

Let’s go gardening: 1, 3, 5 …

by Stickywire on Tuesday March 27, 2012

If you can’t see the connection between arithmetic and gardening, take a close look at a good-looking garden and compare it with one that is boring and somehow unnatural.

Good gardeners will plant in odd numbers – 3, 5 or 7 in a row or group instead of 4, 6, 8 and so on.

A single plant will look good in a garden if it is a stand-out, the one tree or shrub on which you have blown the budget because it looks so dominant.

You can use two plants but think of these as porch lights that illuminate what comes between them. A boxwood or small evergreen tree will be the bookends for some attractive plantings.

When you plant more than one or two specimens in your garden, plant in odd numbers. Three plants can be placed in a triangle, not an unnatural row. These plants need not be the same species or even vegetation. For instance, you can mix two mounding plants with a statue, fountain or birdbath.

Five is a popular number for good gardeners because it also is common in nature. Use five plant combinations in edge plantings or along pathways. 

There is no gamble in using seven plants in combination in a garden; this is always a number that makes a statement. Plant three shrubs along one side of a path and four on the over and the total of seven will look great. Just don’t overdo groups of seven in an urban garden; two combinations of seven plants are as much as most city gardens can take.

You can go up the scale beyond 7 to 11 or more as long as you don’t crowd the space in your garden. By avoiding even numbers, you will create a garden that is naturally pleasing and interesting. It’s as easy as 1, 3 5. 

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