Keep the following tips in mind to put together a beautiful yard that will be the envy of the neighborhood.
Step 1: Look at the foliage Look at the plant's foliage. The leaves should be green and should not show signs of stress. Signs include yellow or faded leaves, leaves that are wilting, or -- in general, leaves that are unhealthy in appearance.
Step 2: Choose compact plants Choose compact plants. Plants that are tall and spindly may have grown under light-starved conditions, and may not do well in your garden.
Step 3: Look for disease Look for signs of disease in the plants. If you purchase a diseased plant, the disease could spread to the rest of your garden. Signs of disease include areas that have turned black, mushy, or covered with mold. Leaves that are sticky could also be diseased.
TIP: Look for signs of insect infestation. An infected plant can introduce pests into your yard. Signs to watch out for would be holes, leaves with uneven edges, and egg casings on or around the plant.
Step 4: Avoid root-bound plants Avoid plants with roots extending outside the container, or that can be too easily removed from their containers.
Step 5: Examine the plant stems Examine the plant stems. If they are cracked or scarred, the plants may not be strong enough to survive in your garden.
FACT: In 1661, Louis XIV commissioned Andre Le Notre to design the gardens of the palace at Versailles; they took 40 years to complete.