The Q&A Archives: planting on mounds

Question: We have 3 mounds in our backyard and we just purchased about 50 monrovia plants from a nursery nearby and we were wondering what the rule of thumb is for planting on mounds. We have a few palms and a patio tree also alot of grasses also other shrubs. Is there supposed to be a few bigger plants and then small grasses and ground cover or does it look better one mound all bigger plants and then another mound smaller plants. We have no idea how it should look or even what look we want. Thanks for any suggestions!

Answer: Your "islands" or mounds are essentially raised bed planters; they will offer good drainage and the soil will warm up earlier in the spring so some of your plants may begin to grow and flower earlier than in other places in your yard. Depending upon where the islands are located and where you're standing near the house, windows, walkways, patios, etc., you may want to make one side a focal point. If you'll see all sides, then make the center the focal point and work down from there. Usually the top is where you'll plant the largest plants and then graduate down to the lowest plants. I'd set a tree or large shrub off-center and work down from there, planting things in groups of 3 or 5. A single plant of any type might look out of place, so try grouping your plants around a single shrub or tree. To help you envision things, set your plants out on the mound, then step back and look at the effect. Walk around to make sure everything looks nice from all angles. When you're happy with the way it looks, plant your new plants.

Enjoy your new yard!

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