Top Mistakes to Avoid in Your Landscaping
Success in home landscape design is certainly attainable for do-it-yourselfers, but there are some pitfalls that should be avoided if maximum satisfaction is to be achieved. Thus the need for this list of the top mistakes to be avoided in home landscape design. The mistakes covered range from miscalculations that have practical ramifications to more subtle errors that negatively impact your enjoyment of your home landscape design.
- Piecemeal Planting
Failure to Have a Plan Many home landscape designs evolve helter-skelter. A plant is planted somewhere in the yard simply because there is room for it there at the time. Ideally, it’s best to start from scratch, draw a plan for the whole yard, and stick to it. Short of that, try at least to sketch a rough plan for one large area of your yard, and put all your energy into implementing that plan this year. This article introduces the do-it-yourselfer to drawing landscape plans:
- Having a Lawn Just Because “Everyone Else Does It”
Many homeowners make the mistake of assuming that having a grassy area in the yard designated as “the lawn” is somehow an obligatory part of home landscape design. But historically speaking, the lawn as we know it is a relatively recent introduction to landscaping. For those not attracted to that rather monotonous “green carpet” look or who dislike having to mow grass every week, it’s important to know that other acceptable options exist, especially for small spaces. Whose yard is it, anyhow?
- Insufficient Fall Color in Your Home Landscape Design
Spring and summer receive most of our attention when it comes to planting. Unfortunately, it’s easy to forget to plant for fall. Yet the fall season holds enormous promise for those landscaping enthusiasts willing to plan for it. Don’t allow your home landscape design to miss out on the colors offered by autumn’s bounty!
- Lack of Winter Interest in Your Home Landscape Design
If the fall season is often neglected in home landscape design, matters stand twice as bad with the winter season. Yet in the North, it is precisely in wintertime that we most need a yard decor that will bring us cheer.
- Failure to Irrigate
Many of us face a dilemma: we enjoy having plants in our yards, but we also like to travel during the summer. So how do the plants get watered while we’re gone? Sometimes a friend or relative can come to the rescue, but why chance it? There’s a lot tied up in your home landscape design, both in terms of money and sentimental value. But don’t ditch your travel plans! Just install an automatic irrigation system in your home landscape design.
- Planting on a Hillside Prone to Erosion
Do you have a steep slope in your yard? Is it tough to retain your topsoil there during a heavy rain? Have you tried growing your favorite plants there to no avail? The problem is that you failed to fix your erosion problem prior to planting. Build a retaining wall first, then do your planting afterwards.
- Failure to Work With What You Have
Do you have a rocky yard? A yard with a lot of shade? Or perhaps your yard’s problem is a punishing summertime heat that scorches all in its path? Sometimes you can successfully fight the terrain you inherit in your yard, as in the case of building retaining walls for slopes to fight erosion. Other times, instead of fighting it, it’s better to go with the flow and work with what you have. The key is to know what you’re up against and what options you have.
- Forgetting Functionality in Home Landscape Design
When one thinks about home landscape design, it is aesthetic considerations that immediately come to mind. Functionality, however, takes precedence over aesthetics. There is no reason you shouldn’t be able to have both; but when push comes to shove, one needs to be more concerned that a home landscape design is safe, convenient and usable.