7 Landscaping Mistakes

We all want to have a beautiful yard, with easy care landscaping that is the envy of our neighbors. And, being a nation of do-it-yourselfers, many of us create our home landscape design by looking at garden magazines with inspirational articles, plans and pictures.

Home Landscape

Your landscape should enhance your home

But it takes more than photo inspiration to make a workable garden or yard plan. Here are seven of the more common mistakes to avoid in your home landscaping design.

1. Not Planning:

Never start your landscaping without first making a plan. And put that plan on paper. Look at the existing features of your yard or the area you want to landscape, and note what’s already there, what the soil is like, and what parts have sun or shade.

Design with the features that exist, rather than trying to impose inappropriate elements. And make sure your plans take into account how you and your family plan to use different parts of your yard.

2. Neglecting to Develop a Style:

The style of your landscaping  should seamlessly flow into the architecture of your home. All the plantings, accessories and decks should enhance the appearance of your house. And that one style, be it formal or informal, southwestern or woodland, Japanese or Tuscan, should be carried out everywhere.

3. Poor Plant Choices:

Before you head out to the nursery to buy flowering plants, have in mind the colors you want to work with. Choose a variety of colors that work well together and enhance your home’s color and style. Choose plants with a variety of heights, textures and shades of color and greenery.

Refrain from impulse buying; just because a flowering plant grabs your attention doesn’t necessarily mean it will fit with your other plants and color scheme. And remember, match the plants to the growing conditions.

4. Neglecting the Big Picture:

Shrubs and trees grow. That’s a fact that sometimes escapes us in the heady rush of planting. Check all your plant labels, and see what you can expect in a year, or ten years. Give plants room to grow, and avoid placing those future giants where they will dwarf the rest of the border or block your windows and doors. It’s a heck of a job to move a tree or large shrub!

5. Failing to Allow for Maintenance:

It’s essential that all your plants have a source of water. Allowing for low maintenance automatic watering in your landscaping plan can solve your irrigation problems. Use mulch around your shrubs, trees and perennials to conserve moisture and deter weed growth. Less work means you have more time to sit back and enjoy your creation.

6. Using the Wrong Tools:

Before starting any landscaping jobs, make sure you have the right tools. You’ll be much more efficient, and the job will be easier and shorter. Some must-have tools are a good shovel, a planting spade, a good rake and a sturdy wheelbarrow. Along with these, get some small tools like trowels and pruners, and of course, good gardening gloves.

If you don’t have a budget for some of the power equipment that is only occasionally used, then rent it. And keep your tools clean and sharp.¬† One good trick for shovels and hoes it to have a pail of coarse sand that is imbued with oil. Shove the blade in – it will clean it and the oil will protect the blade from rust.

7. Ignoring Seasonal Changes:

As you set out your landscape design plans, remember that we have 4 seasons. You’ll want your gardens to be attractive at all times. Find flowers that bloom at various times of the year. Select plants with different foliage colors and textures.

Look for deciduous shrubs with interesting bark or colorful twigs for winter interest. Add some perennials that have attractive seed heads. Choose evergreens shrubs and trees with varying heights, shapes and foliage.

As you make your landscape plans, remember that your house is the central part of your landscape and garden. You want your yard to look wonderful when you’re looking out your windows. Equally important is the view looking toward it from the street. So, make those plans, and remember – gardening is fun and rewarding!

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