Seek Expert Advice for a Great Fall Garden

There’s so much to consider when planning a garden. Location, sunlight, soil health, plant selections and timing are just a few things to keep in mind. So, where do you even begin? Start with a little research and a visit to the local garden center.

“First, take pictures of the landscape,” says Sean Ducey, manager at Whispering Hills Garden & Landscape Center in Cary. “If you’re looking to start a project and have no direction, take pictures. Next, pay attention to sunlight and the environment around you. Pay attention to some other conditions – low spots that might collect water, soil conditions.”

Ducey has spent 21 years at the nursery helping customers to find the right product and design for their landscape, whether it’s plant material or landscape accessories like rocks, paver stones and mulch. Ducey and the nursery staff leverage their knowledge to help customers establish a successful landscape from the start.

“It’s not just about planting plants for a customer and walking away,” he says. “It’s also giving them the knowledge and background on why we chose these plants, and how they should maintain them, as well as how they’ll respond to their new environment.”

Design your landscape with all four seasons in mind. One approach is to ensure at least one-third of the landscape is evergreen, says Ducey. Boxwoods, yews, cypress and low-growing spruce are popular choices that add greenery all year.

It’s also important to consider the level of maintenance your landscape requires. Some plants or garden arrangements need more upkeep than others.

“If you’re a busy homeowner, let us know,” Ducey says. “There are plants that are extremely drought tolerant and rugged that would work better for you.”

Homeowners will also find many landscape centers go an additional step.

“We provide installation services for customers, or they can tackle the project themselves,” says Ducey. “We are able to accommodate any of our customers’ needs.”

Whispering Hills Garden & Landscape Center is located at 8401 S. Ill. Rt. 31 in Cary, (847) 658-5610.