Copyright Natural Habitats 2016

It’s in the eye of the beholder

It’s in the eye of the beholder


Plants are generally the last thing to go in the ground at the completion of a project, and the first thing seen by visitors to your site. Do we underestimate the importance of the plant palette and the role they play in portraying our projects in the best possible light?

Sometimes size does matter.  The impact of a large specimen tree and its relationship to its built environment can make or break a project. But not just any old tree. We need to consider the site context, the site content and what we are trying to achieve. Too big can be an uncomfortable fit, too small and its disappointing.

We need to consider the trees form and function. Trees come with a range of habits, tall and erect, short and spreading, evergreen, deciduous. The trees we choose need to fulfil a variety of roles in our landscapes. Do we want to screen, produce fruit, attract birds or compliment the architecture. Frame a view or block something unsightly. There is a lot to consider when selecting the right tree for the job.

The accompanying shrub palette is just as important. Will the plants perform in the environment, over an extended time? Plant material should be considered for its colour, form and function. Does it flower? When does it flower? Does it fit with the concept? The art of plant selection goes well beyond budget and the variety of plant material is exhaustive. It’s not a case of one plan fits all occasions.

Plant material takes time to develop and reach full maturity, there isn’t an endless supply of plants which are “just right”, forward planning does allow time to develop before going in the ground. Early procurement allows working with budgets from the outset and fewer surprises as the project unfolds.

The moral of the story, engage the landscape architect early on in the project. Involvement from the outset allows working collaboratively with the client and other consultants to produce a landscape fit for purpose.

The Landscape team at Natural Habitats can help with your next project from the outset and ensure a well resolved landscape.