10 Landscaping Mistakes to Avoid
Mistake: Not taking finished sized into account
When we draw our outdoor spaces, we always put the plants and shrubs in at their finished sizes. This is so that you don’t end up with plants that are already overgrown within a few years, or even sooner depending on the growth rate of the plant.
Instead: Make sure your plants have room to grow
Not having enough space for what you need, furniture etc
It is important to be thinking about what furniture you will need for, say, a patio or deck. A patio that is too small for any furniture isn’t so useful. That is why as landscape designers we usually go ahead and put both soft and hard seating in any design we do and design the patio around how you might use the space.
Instead: Design spaces with furniture in mind or even around the furniture
Pruning before researching
Certain shrubs need to be cut all of the way back for new growth while other shrubs do not bloom when they are cut too far back. So research is key for pruning! Even the many varieties of hydrangeas need to be pruned differently.
Instead: Research and plan ahead and prune accordingly
Planting too many varieties of plants
Limiting the amount of plant species in your landscape will keep a cohesive look on your property. You can still have pops of color even limiting the amount of plants but it will keep the aesthetic clean and strategic instead of messy and overwhelming. When your eye doesn’t know where to focus or settle, subconsciously you will feel overwhelmed without even realizing why!
Instead: Limit the plant species to create a similar feeling throughout
Buying plants before researching
This goes back to not taking finished size in mind, ie looking for a perennial for a 2’ area but buying one that spreads rapidly to 4’ which will suffocate your other plants. A quick google search will be able to tell you the basic width and height which should be taken into account before planting anything. Plants are usually labeled with where they should be planted, shade or sun. These suggestions are important to keep in mind because they will determine the health of your plants if they are getting the sun or shade that they need. Researching the nature of how a plant grows before installing it in your garden will how you keep invasive plants out of your beds!
Instead: Research and carefully select plants for your garden
Not taking your lifestyle in mind
Your lifestyle has more to do with how you will use your property than you think. The amount of kids, pets and company you have should influence the design of you outdoor space. Putting walkways and hardy plants in high traffic areas is essential in keeping your outdoor retreat looking at its best. Believe it or not, an outdoor space can be hard to use or hard to get to. Planning a patio around your kitchen access or the room you use most often can get you enjoying an outdoor space as often as possible. It is also important to use hardy plants or ground cover in areas that get the most traffic from kids and pets. The kids and pets, in general, aren’t really being careful about how they walk over your prized plantings, so planning ahead and putting the hardy plants as the first point of contact will save you headaches down the road.
Instead: Use a carefully designed landscape plan
Not keeping an eye on irrigation
One of the most common mistakes people make is not watering new plants, or especially new sod. Sod is arguably the “thirstiest” of any new plant or landscaping installations. Setting up an irrigation system is one way to keep your plants with plenty of water. That being said, it is possible to over water. So if we recently had a big rain, shutting the irrigation off temporarily is most likely your best bet. Your vegetable gardens will need more water than your perennials that are suited for where you live. So keep that in mind, that Your veggie gardens will need to keep being watered even after your new perennials, shrubs or trees may have established themselves.
Instead: Set up an irrigation system on a timer
Not keeping the view in mind, from inside too!
When we do landscape designs we document your doors of course, but also your windows. We take into account what you will be looking at from your indoor living spaces as well. An outdoor retreat should be able to be enjoyed all of the time, from inside and of course while you are using it too.
Instead: Consider how you will view your landscape from everywhere, even inside
Every landscape and hardscape project needs maintenance. A properly installed landscape or hardscape should have considerably less maintenance than a poorly installed project, but they will have at least minor maintenance that should be stayed on top of. Staying ahead of your maintenance will save you time and money rather than if you let it get out of hand.
Instead: Keep on top of maintenance
We suggest adding landscape lighting to every project. Landscape lighting adds safety and that wow factor to any outdoor space. Granted not having lighting isn’t so much of a mistake, as much of a missed opportunity. Adding up-lights to select trees gives your home a regal look at night. Adding installed path lights give steps or particularly dark areas added light to help you and your guests feeling more secure walking around at night.
Instead: Include lighting in your planning
There are many other things to take into consideration that our landscape designers are excellent at keeping in mind. For a landscape design that avoids the common mistakes, we highly recommend getting an expert design that is tailored to your home, your family, and your needs!