Michigan Landscape Design

Michigan Landscape Design

What Is Landscape Design?

Landscape design is the art of arranging and modifying outdoor spaces to enhance the beauty and functionality of the area. It involves the use of plants, hardscapes, water features, and other natural elements to create a harmonious and attractive outdoor environment. In this article, we will focus on the basics of landscape design, specifically for plants in Michigan.

Michigan has a somewhat humid climate, characterized by cold winters and warm summers. It is home to a diverse range of plant species, from deciduous and coniferous trees to flowering shrubs and perennials.

When designing a landscape in Michigan, it is essential to consider the climate, soil, and light conditions for the chosen area. Understanding these factors will help you choose the right plants for your garden and ensure their survival and growth.

(Featured Image: A Michigan Landscape by Bright Lane Gardens)

How To Start Your Own Landscape Design:

1. Site Analysis

The first step in landscape design is to analyze the site where you will be planting. Look at the topography of the area, including the slope, drainage, and exposure to sunlight. Consider the soil type and pH level, as well as any existing vegetation or structures that may impact the design.

In Michigan, the soil is generally acidic, with a pH range of 4.5 to 6.5. Some plants thrive in acidic soil, such as azaleas, rhododendrons, and blueberries. However, other plants prefer neutral to alkaline soil, such as lilacs, daylilies, and hostas. Make sure to test the soil before planting and amend it as needed to create the optimal growing conditions for your plants.

pH Tester by Hemdre does 4-in-1 pH testing for michigan landscaping projects.

pH Tester by Hemdre https://amzn.to/40ijUIX

2. Plant Selection

Choosing the right plants is crucial for a successful landscape design. Consider the color, texture, form, and size of the plants, as well as their blooming period and maintenance requirements.

In Michigan, there are several plant species that are well-suited for landscaping. These include:

  • Trees: Maple, oak, birch, aspen, and dogwood are all popular tree species in Michigan. They provide shade, visual interest, and habitat for wildlife.
  • Shrubs: Lilac, hydrangea, spirea, and the native ninebark are excellent choices for flowering shrubs. They add color and texture to the landscape and attract pollinators.
  • Perennials: Daylily, hosta, black-eyed Susan, and coneflower are some of the most popular perennial species in Michigan. They bloom from spring to fall and come in a variety of colors and sizes.
  • Annuals: Impatiens, petunias, marigolds, and zinnias are popular annuals in Michigan. They add bright pops of color and are easy to care for.

When selecting plants for your landscape, consider their maintenance requirements. Some plants may require more frequent watering, pruning, or fertilization than others. Choose plants that are well-suited to the amount of time and effort you are willing to invest in maintaining them.

A small patch of purple coneflowers, which are native to Northern Michigan.

Coneflowers by Hardwick Hall

3. Plant Placement

Once you have selected your plants, it is essential to consider their placement in the landscape. Think about the plant’s mature size, growth habit, and preferred growing conditions.

In Michigan, it is essential to consider the exposure to sunlight when placing plants. Some plants, such as bleeding heart and hostas, prefer partial shade, while others, such as coneflowers and black-eyed Susans, require full sun. Consider the amount of sunlight your landscape receives throughout the day and choose plants that are well-suited to those conditions.

In addition to sunlight, consider the topography of the area when placing plants. If the area you’re considering planting in is lower than the surrounding areas, it may be prone to flooding. Some plants can handle wet roots while others will fail to survive.

View of landscaping around the edge of a home in Michigan.

Home Landscaping by Joe Haupt

Using Native Plants In Landscaping

Native plants tend to be excellent additions to most landscaped areas. Because they have adapted specifically to Michigan’s climate and conditions, native plants tend to require less upkeep than non-native plants.

Using native plants throughout your landscaping can also help the overall health of your yard. They provide essential food and shelter to a variety of pollinating insects that will continue on to other plants in the vicinity. Native plants can also help contribute to good soil health.

Buy Michigan Native Plants For Your Landscaping!

If you’re ready to start a landscape project this season, we can help! Bright Lane Gardens offers a wide selection of native plants, flowering shrubs, perennials, ground cover, annuals and more. We also have all the supplies you’ll need to get the job done.

If you’re new to planting and need some help with your design, the staff at Bright Lane Gardens can help point you in the right direction. For more information and ideas about landscape design and gardening with Michigan native plants, visit our blog!