Landscaping is a fun and exciting way to brighten up an otherwise dull-looking yard. However, there’s always that one house on the block with landscaping that’s, just, well… wrong. Don’t be that house. If you steer clear of a few simple missteps, you will have a great-looking yard of which you can be proud – not one that will have your neighbors rolling their eyes every time they pass your house.
1. Picking the wrong spot to plant
Failing to plant in the correct spot is a real landscape killer. If you don’t consider how much sun a plant will need or how much shade or water it takes to thrive, you risk killing it within a few short weeks. Instead, sketch out your yard space ahead of time and select plants that will do well in different shady and sunny parts of your yard.
2. Littering your yard with lawn ornaments
This should go without saying, but 25 yard gnomes are never a good idea. Everyone knows that person that fills his or her yard with pink flamingos and “cutsie” figurines may not be a member of the “in” crowd. A good rule of thumb: stick to one or two tasteful, reasonably-sized lawn ornaments in the front yard, and one or two in the back. Any more and you might end up overdoing it.
3. Hoarding outside the house
This is a piggyback rule that couples with the lawn ornament suggestion. Nothing destroys great landscaping like a lawn full of junk. Resist the urge to use your outdoor space as your own personal storage facility – a car on cinderblocks or an old fridge propped precariously in the front yard does nothing for your landscaping and makes it look cluttered and unkempt. Store unused items in closets and sheds and keep your yard free of debris.
4. Shrubs around the home are too tall
Tall plants block windows and make a home appear ghostly and overgrown instead of sprightly. Homeowners try to fight this problem by pruning the shrubs. However, when you prune shrubs too heavily to lessen their height, you risk damaging the plants and causing them to appear disfigured. To keep this from happening, choose plants that won’t grow high enough to block your home’s windows.
5. Plants are planted too close to the house
When you plant shrubs, bushes, and flowers too close to your home, you risk cluttering the look of your landscape and possibly damaging your plants in the process. An additional problem is that cramped plants could potentially block vents, which could lead to major moisture issues down the road. Instead, stick to this guideline: calculate the width your shrubs will be when they mature, and then add a foot.
Avoiding these common gardening “no-nos” is not rocket science – simply follow some “best practices” that will guide you as you whip your yard into shape. If you steer clear of these faux pas, you’ll have a presentable yard that you (and your neighbors) can be proud of for years to come.