The principle methods of drafting planting plans

The whole and only purpose of a technical planting plan is to enable whoever is to do the planting to make sure that the right plants are obtained for the scheme and that they go in the right places. It is the green equivalent of a technical construction drawing to enable the correct building of a structure made from hard materials. In terms of our discussions in this chapter, the crucial aspect here is the placing of plants: their distributions, arrangements, spacings and patterns. Now, this is relatively straightforward if one is dealing with individuals—the placing of individual feature plants in a bed or lawn, or the grouping of standard trees, for example, into an avenue. But things start to become more complicated when one is dealing with groups of plants that interact to give a particular desired effect. And it becomes very complicated when a strongly naturalistic outcome is desired. As discussed in the other chapters in this book, the defining characteristics of ecologically-informed and naturalistic plantings are that they do not follow rigid rules, plant groupings are complex and intermingled, and they have a very dynamic development in which plants do not necessarily stay in the same place over time. How can all this be communicated in a way that is relatively accessible?