Plant around your scape or scape around your plants?
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Old 02-08-2013, 07:43 AM   #1
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Plant around your scape or scape around your plants?

Do you fashion your hardscape with the plants you want in your mind or do you make your hardscape and then decide on plants after?

Any reasons why? Asking mostly out of curiosity.
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Old 02-08-2013, 08:55 AM   #2
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I make the hardscape first, and then choose the plants around the hardscape.

Placement of rocks/driftwood/slopes and then planting seems like a logical order to me (and is my personal preference). Maybe some people find it easier to build a hardscape around plants that they decided on.

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Old 02-08-2013, 12:56 PM   #3
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Before I put my 2 cents worth in, let me say that I do not consider myself an "aquascaper" in the artistic sense. I just try to put something together that resembles a natural environment and is pleasing to my eye.

I put the hardscape together first, since I can change it many times without water in the tank until I'm satisfied with the general layout. The entire time, I'm trying to imagine the plants softening the lines and the hardscape highlighting the plants and breaking up the green monotony (low tech, I can't keep reds alive for long).

I typically have an idea of what plants I'm going to use. Pretty easy considering the short list of plants that I have been able to keep alive and thriving.
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Old 02-08-2013, 01:49 PM   #4
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I put stuff in the tank I like, found a piece of cool slate so i made a cave, found a cool piece of wood threw that in. Then i selected plants I had the best chances of not killing and put them where I thought would look good.
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Old 02-08-2013, 03:04 PM   #5
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It all tends to go hand in hand for me. I'm a thrifty sort though; while I sketch a lot of ideas for 'scapes when it comes to actually setting one up I try to keep purchases to a minimum. So I've always got a mental list in my head of what materials I have on hand or can switch out from other tanks.

Helped along by the fact that 90% of my set-ups are 3g and under. Easy to plant them up with just trimmings from my main tanks, hard to justify paying shipping for a particular plant when I only need one. And, honestly, I'm a tinkerer at heart. I don't think I'll ever be one of those who draw up an exact plan, follow it to the t and end up with a tank that looks EXACTLY like my original sketched plan.
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Old 02-08-2013, 05:02 PM   #6
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What I did was get some nice, simple plants, some driftwood, and the rock and artificial waterfall from my old tank, then I arranged the hardscape in a way I liked. After I got it looking nice, I added the plants in ways and numbers that I thought added to the look of both them and the hardscape.
In other words, hardscape first, plants next, no plans at all.
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Old 02-08-2013, 05:29 PM   #7
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It's unanimous: hardscape first. The hardscape is what a terrestrial gardener would call the "bones" of the garden.
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