Arranging aloes in your garden… It’s one of those things that can pose a challenge.
This article illustrates four simple ways to arrange plants in a landscape for that beautiful layered look. Use these steps to create a more professional and natural-looking garden at home.
One of the easiest ways to arrange plants in your garden is by grouping them. This is also known as planting in drifts, but the term ‘drift’ is not often used in our neck of the woods so let’s stick with group planting. Using group planting with aloes, creates an impactful sight displaying the beauty of these wonderful plants.
In gardening, unless a particularly formal design is required, it is advisable to avoid planting an even number of any particular variety, simply because odd numbered groupings are more natural and pleasing to the eye. Usually when group planting, it’s recommended that you simply do so in odd numbers like 3, 5, or 7. If you are fascinated by the concept of the Fibonacci sequence (also called the Golden Ratio), said to be prevalent in the natural world (from shell structures to spiral galaxies), you can use 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13 etc. Whether we are attracted to the Fibonacci sequence by the magic of mathematics or by aesthetic considerations is uncertain. In nature the sequence is common.
Our brains struggle to determine the individual number of objects that make up groups larger than 7, so when you are opting to plant groups with more than 7 plants, the even/odd design trick is no longer a gamechanger. When planting in large groups, the goal is to make it look like one large statement instead of separate plants. For aloes, the rule of thumb is to plant them closer together than you typically would to get your plants to mesh together – without them actually touching.
Why use odd numbers in your garden, you may be wondering?
Even numbers are easier for our brains to process because they bring symmetry. When we plant in odd groups, it takes a bit longer for our brains to process, which makes a grouping stand out.
2. Create a Focal Point in your planting area
A second way to arrange plants in your landscape, is to create a focal point. Pick a superstar plant that you love or even position a sculpture or other object as the focus of your garden bed. This selected plant, sculpture or object will become the focus of your garden bed.
Another great way to create a focal point is by using a contrasting colour e.g. Aloe ‘Tangerine Tree’, a plant with bright green leaves and beautiful orange flowers. Then arrange other colours e.g Aloe ‘Ruby Blaze’ (in this case bright red), around the focal point to bring it all together.
3. Arrange your Plants in Rows
By arranging in straight rows, you’ll be creating more of a traditional or formal look for your garden. This is a nice and clean layout that many gardeners enjoy using. This option can also be used very successfully in a narrow driveway space or a small space next to a wall.
4. Weave Plants in and Out of Rows
Not sure if your style is formal or informal? – try the technique of weaving plants in and out of the rows for a more casual design.
Create a foreground, middle-ground, and background with your plants, then weave the plants in and out of each row. Some medium-sized plants can be pulled forward to the front row and smaller plants can be pushed back into the middle row, looking from the sunny side.
You can also experiment by bringing larger plants from the back row to the middle row and putting middle row plants in the background. Akin to the technique of braiding hair – mixing 3 different rows of plants into a “braid”, to tie the garden together. This will give your garden a more layered and casual look.
For ideas on how you can combine Sunbird Aloes Early to Midwinter flowers in your garden, read this news article on our website “Sunbird Aloes Early winter groupings for your garden”.
Reference: Amy Fedele on Prettypurpledoor.com