The Biggest Mistakes Novice Landscape Designers Make

In haste to create the outdoor landscape of their dreams, many homeowners rush through the process and look back wishing they had taken more time.

The details of landscape design can be intimidating and cumbersome, but the more you research the information, the happier you will be with the final product. If you don’t have the budget for a professional designer, you will have to do the job yourself. While this is a money-saver, it has the potential to turn into a disaster. The planning stages are some of the most important and many new designers forgo this stage and hurry to installation. It is usually during the install and after completion that they realize they missed a crucial step.

Here are some of the top mistakes made by novice designers:

No Unity

If you have never heard of this term in landscaping, you have some work to do. Unity in the yard is achieved by the proper transition between elements, the right combination of plants and their proportions, and how often elements are repeated.

When designing your landscape, consider every plant as one part of a complete design. Be careful not to choose plants simply because of their look. Assess whether your selections fit together to make one cohesive whole. Look at their color, height, texture, and style and repeat elements that speak to your personal style without deferring from the main design theme.

If you plan your landscape on paper before you perform any installation, you will see the inconsistencies which will save you future headaches. If you are scared to get started, keep your design simple at first and add more elements as you feel confident.

No Balance

Take a look at your design as if it were separated into two parts. Are the two parts symmetrical? Try to keep both sides similar as it relates to sizes, colors, shapes, textures, and patterns. Each side should look like a mirror image of the other.

If you are a little adventurous and you want to break it up, consider adding different elements within the same color and plant family. If you stray too far away from symmetry, your garden will look disjointed and chaotic. Play with color and depth perception to make objects appear closer and farther. Generally, warm colors like red and orange draw the eye to the object making it appear closer, and cool colors like green and blue have the opposite effect.

No Transition

Your yard may look symmetrical but if your eye is taken from a tall tree to a small shrub within 12 inches of space, you need a lesson in transition. Each plant and element should gradually transition into the next and look as if they were meant to sit next to one another. Consider your garden as a whole. If it is small, a large oak tree will not work well within the space and vice-versa. If you want to add large and small elements, gradually increase their height instead of placing contrasting elements close together.

Take these tips into consideration before you start any installation. Plan each detail on paper and take the time to make your design perfect. A little time upfront will save you hours of future stress and heartache.