Then reality hit.
I found that I could not find a lot of plants that I wanted locally. Which meant, I could change my plans or find these plants by mail. I tried mail order for a while, and still do get my plants by mail order occasionally. But the plants you get through the mail are quite small, need a little more care than the plants you can purchase that are larger, and sometimes the shipping costs can be quite high.
So, I plan my beds differently now. I can't say it's better, but it's more exciting!
Now I go to the local plant stores with a general idea in my mind. A general idea of the size of the bed, a general idea of the size of plants needed, a general idea of the bloom color desired. Then I look at tags. When I get home, I research the plants I don't know. (I don't purchase my roses like this, but most other plants.) Sometimes I'm disappointed. But sometimes I'm very pleasantly surprised!
Such was the case for this plant:
I had never heard of this plant before, but the tag stated that it was cold hardy to zone 6, and would grow 2 to 3 ft. high and wide. Ding, ding, ding! We have a winner! I purchased it on the spot.
I would have never planned this plant in my garden. I had never heard of it before, and it looks quite delicate to me. Like it might shrivel up and die in our heat. Like it needs a lot of water.
But, no, it has thrived. Thrived! In extreme high heat, and through a lack of water. A lot of the plants surrounding this one has expired. But this one never skipped a beat. It keeps blooming, no matter what is going on with the weather.
In researching this plant, I've learned that it will die back to the ground in colder zones, coming back from the roots in spring. That it will sucker and form a dense planting, if allowed. Commonly called "Pink Chinese Indigo".
I've found a new plant that I would plan into more beds - if I planned that way!
How do you plan a new bed?