Perhaps the most common landscaping mistake is not to have a plan. Most people buy a plant on impulse because it looks pretty. Or they get cuttings from their friend’s garden. Then they take them home and stick it in the garden wherever there is a bare spot without stopping to find out the plant’s needs or how large it will be when mature.
The result is a hodgepodge of plants with no cohesion. Some may need pulling out, but have grown too big to remove easily. Others have roots that suck moisture out of the entire garden to the detriment of those plants around them. Some are never seen at their best because they are hidden behind something that grew bigger than expected.
Another mistake is to have an extensive lawn just because everyone else does. Do you love mowing that much? If not, replace the lawn with something else. Grow moss if your lawn is a shaded area. Moss is a natural plant for shade so why constantly try to eradicate it? Moss is beautiful.
Many gardeners plant for spring and summer, but when fall arrives their gardens are bare. Not planting for every season is a common mistake, but easily rectified. Think of colorful berries if fall flowers seem rare in your area. Arrowwood viburnum has beautiful fall foliage and blue berries in the fall. Red and gold berries are provided by the non-poisonous Sumac varieties.
Many of these shrubs grow quite tall, but if you want something a little shorter, go for ‘Tor’ spirea (Spiraea betulifolia ‘Tor’) which grows to 2-3 feet both tall and wide.
For winter, a flat white landscape needs to be broken up by planting trees and shrubs. There are many available, so choose those that you like best. Considerations may be the kind that catch snow in the branches, have berries, pretty bark and interesting branch shapes.
Once you have a great landscape, you need to water it adequately in the hot summer months, but what happens when you go on holidays? Is all your hard work and expense left to frizzle up? The installation of an automatic watering system will ensure that this does not happen. It will also save you time and effort when you are at home.
Other problems cannot always be eliminated, so you need to work with what you have. If deer are a problem in your area, plant those kinds of shrubs and trees that do not attract them. If you have steep, rocky ground then work with it instead of against it. Growing plants suited to the environment is a less expensive option than trying to change what is there.
Don’t forget to make your landscape area into something that will fit your lifestyle. If you resent the time and effort that must be put into upkeep, or have nowhere for the children to play safely, you can change it to suit you with a little forethought and planning.
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