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Plant Driven Design is Smart Gardening

or why most landscapes don't function

Imagine if you tried to build or repair a Toyota vehicle with Chrysler parts or Vice versa.  Not only would you waste your time, but in all likelihood it wouldn't run.  Yet this is the same strategy employed by many "Landscape" designers and installers:  using plants not suited for your sites particular conditions and often without regard to the impacts on surrounding natural areas.  Many landscapes are installed using one simple strategy:whatever the local nursery has in stock. Often the plants chosen are invasive species such as barberry (Berberis), Burning Bush (Euonymous), or Japanese Spirea leading to degradation of the local environment.

Plant driven design uses a different methodology:  Plant species are selected based on several different factors including (and often most important) site conditions. compatibility with other plants used and being aware of a plants potential impacts on the surrounding natural environment-positive or negative.  A plant driven design complements your property and the surrounding area by using Native species that provide food or shelter for birds and insects or non-invasive non-natives that don't harm the local ecosystem.  Plant driven designs are also lower maintenance than conventional designs.  

If your landscape or garden isn't based on plant driven design, expect to work a lot harder maintaining it.