Although winter is generally a slow time of year for home and yard improvement, it’s also a great time to generate ideas for the upcoming spring. But before the snow thaws and people rumble back outdoors to prune and mulch, it’s important to have an idea of which landscaping practices will make a yard great, and which ones will make it a clunky eyesore.
1. Don’t make one-dimensional planting beds. By planting in layers, it’s possible to have plants that grow to several different heights within the same planting bed. By having plants of different heights in the same bed, the bed and surrounding area will appear to be fuller. This will also allow for inclusion of plants that blossom in complimentary colors.
2. Don’t overdo it. While there may be a temptation to turn a yard into a veritable metropolis of shrubs and trees, over-planting can lead to either a ton of pruning and trimming, or just a ton of overgrown plants. Be sure that when selecting trees and plants for a yard the height and diameter to which they are likely to grow is taken into consideration.
3. Do be sure to plan ahead. Even if a yard’s entire landscaping plan doesn’t come to fruition all at once, it’s important to have a sketched rendition of what will go where. That way, there is always a realistic picture in mind of a cohesive and beautiful finished product. It’ll lead to less disappointment, and set a bar for thorough organization
4. Aim for variety. Too much of the same thing is boring. Plus, plant redundancy can create unsightly gaps in landscapes – when entire swaths of trees or flowers lose their leaves or petals at the same time, a yard will be left with large empty patches.
5. Don’t plant too much grass. Although there is a certain aesthetic school that champions a sprawling lawn made up solely of dense grass, such a setup takes a lot of time, nutrients and resources. It can also exhaust the soil and limit the later introduction of further plant diversity into the landscape.
6. Don’t grow ivy on a house without being prepared for continual maintenance and the potential introduction of pests into the structure. In the case of a frame house, strictly steer clear of ivy.
7. Do pick a central theme or feature. Order can help make a garden and yard great. The inclusion of an anchoring feature such as a pond, fountain or fire pit will provide the eye with something to focus on and a means with which to generate a full and coherent picture.
Justin writes about home gardening and decorative landscaping for Edgemaster Curbing Machines.