When homeowners contemplate landscape design, what immediately comes to mind is aesthetics. The functionality of the design you are mulling over, however, should take priority over aesthetics.
Most people don’t realize the value of landscaping. Indeed, a well-landscaped yard or garden is a wonderful sight but it also adds more value to your home as its sale price will go up significantly with such a feature.
Landscaping is not just putting together a group of plants to make it look like a garden. There are many rules to follow in landscape design to avoid making it look rowdy and unkempt, and ensuring you have an efficient irrigation system..
If you are planning to restore your lawn, here are five common landscaping mistakes that you should avoid.
Mistake #1 - Not Having a Plan
Without proper planning and maintenance, landscape design can evolve into a disaster. A plant is placed in a yard to serve a specific purpose. It’s not simply placed there just because there’s space for it.
It’s always better to begin from scratch. Sketch a plan for your whole yard and make sure to stick to it. Consider the following before you create your plan.
- Too many common plants – Every home improvement store features various plants but very often, people only seem to have few varieties in their yard. Instead of going for expensive and popular plants, look for something unique that will make your landscape design stand out. Native greenery like ferns are also interesting to accent your yard.
- Wrong positioning of plants – Any gardener will tell you that landscaping is not merely placing plants here and there. There are proper shade and light requirements for each plant in your yard, and they need to be situated in the right place in order to thrive. You also need to have basic landscaping tools like a shovel, spade, wheelbarrow, rake, tamper, etc., to efficiently manage the transfer of plants.
- Too big and too small - Most people forget that plants grow and mature that when they purchase a plant, it’s already too large or still too small to be planted. You need to consider the space where you are going to plant your shrubs to avoid overcrowding your yard. The right landscape design will look empty at first, but will be full of lush flowers and plants when all are full-grown.
Mistake #2 - Lack of Colour
If you have four seasons in your area, you should grab the opportunity to consider spring and summer when planning your landscape design. Autumn displays the most beautiful colours of plants, and you surely don’t want to miss that. Choose plants that shine their best during the fall season.
Mistake #3 - Irrigation Failure
It’s easy to admire the plants in your yard, but who will water them while you’re on vacation? You’ve already spent tons of money making your front lawn look beautiful, so the least you can do is install an automatic irrigation system so that you will no longer need to worry about who will water your plants while you’re gone.
There are also ways of making irrigation more efficient so you save on precious water. What you can do is conduct some research and get expert advice from a professional or someone knowledgeable in this area.
Mistake #4 - Mismatched Elements
Let’s face it, not all of us are gifted with great designing skills. A symmetric arrangement of elements will bring elegance to landscaping. It’s a common approach practiced by professional landscaping companies to make your garden seem more organized. But since those elements involve living plants, applying symmetry does not come easily if you plan to do it yourself.
Trees and shrubs have to be kept pruned in order to remain symmetrical. To ensure that you have matching elements in your design, you should not allow plants to overpower one another.
Mistake #5 - Eyesores
If you have a utility box standing awkwardly at the side of your yard, it will become an eyesore to your landscape design. Trash barrels, raised septic tanks, and utility boxes are unattractive to look at. Hide unnecessary stuff in your yard and tuck them away from public view. You may use foliage to obscure the ugly view beautifully, of course.
Mistake #6 - No Maintenance
In order to preserve the beauty of your newly landscaped yard, home garden maintenance is a must. With proper maintenance, your garden will blossom year after year. A healthy and well-designed lawn will not only create a positive expression but also establish a peaceful atmosphere around you.
Landscaping takes a lot of work. Behind each beautiful landscape design you see around your neighbourhood every day, rigorous work and maintenance are invested. So before you get any landscaping work done, be sure to avoid the mistakes mentioned above.
Landscaping is an investment. A beautiful view of your garden will not just refresh your eyes but will also give you a feeling of being one with nature right in your own home.
Rachel Hennessey manages the Pools and Landscaping Division of Hennessey LLC. She also works on Tender and Pre-Qualification and brings in new business to the company's Construction, Interiors and Civils Division.