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The Magical Gardens of Disney
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Brian Bennett

Right Plant in the Right Place

Quite often, consumers are lured into purchasing plants on sale that may be out of season or near the end of their bloom cycle. Not only the season but the mature size of the plant must be taken into consideration. Following a few simple guidelines and basic tips can help assure your gardening success. A small amount of research and minimal preparation may turn a garden nightmare into paradise!

Assess Your Landscape

The First tip in choosing the right plant is to understand your own garden. Investigating soil, light conditions, water availability, and wind exposure are all factors that must be noted prior to making your plant selections. Look for "microclimates" in your landscape that change with exposure to sunlight, wind, water or other variables. Decide what purpose your plants will fulfill, such as forming a hedge or standing alone as a specimen plant. Consider the amount of time you are willing to invest in maintaining your landscape. It is necessary to consider the size your existing plants will reach as they mature.

Investigate Your Local Flora

If a plant or tree is thriving in your community there is a good chance it will do the same in your landscape. A plant found to be flourishing as a native in a local undeveloped location may be a great addition to your garden.

Prepare the Site

Prepare your garden site before purchasing your plants. Correcting drainage or erosion problems, amending and preparing the soil or eliminating weeds are all easier to solve before installation begins. Altering light conditions by adding more shade or thinning trees to add more light are easily done prior to your installation. To insure quality plants, purchase them after you have prepared your site—let the garden center maintain them until you are ready to plant them.

Use Your Resources to Choose Your Plants Wisely

Your plants are an extension of your home and may be permanent fixtures in your outdoor "rooms." Avoid impulse purchases. Give your plants the same consideration you would give wallpaper, carpet, paint or furniture selections. There are many resources that can guide your selections. Try consulting your local county co-operative extension agency or checking out books are your library.

  • Look for "keys" in your favorite gardening catalogs.
  • Learn how to read and understand the USDA Hardiness Zone map.
  • Learn how to read and understand the Heat Zone map.
  • Look for All-America Selections winners.
  • Look for All-America Rose Selections winners.
  • Find out what your neighbor's successes have been.
  • Ask the staff at your local gardening center.

How to Select a Healthy Plant

Seemingly minimal problems at the point of purchase could take years off the life of your plants.

  • Purchase strong, vigorous plants.
  • Insist on strong upright trees and shrubs from from insect and disease damage.
  • Avoid pot bound plants if possible.
  • Look for plants that have a healthy green color free from yellow margins or dropping leaves.

Enjoy Your Garden

Show it off, take a picture, or just go sit in your garden. Inside, your new furniture may depreciate and the wallpaper fade, but your garden will grow and grow and become more beautiful each season. Learn proper maintenance techniques for your plants, experiment and enjoy!


TABLE OF CONTENTS

Introduction

Garden Tours

Barb's Top 10 Disney Garden Attractions

Brian's Top 10 Disney Garden Attractions

Tips: Right Plant in the Right Place

Tips: Interior Plants

Backyard Habitats

Butterfly Gardening

Bonsai and Penjing

Water Gardening

Flower Gardening

Cutting Gardens

Disney StyleTopiary

Disney Style Horticulture at Disney's Animal Kingdom

Disney Style Hanging Baskets

Disney Style Floating Gardens

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