Yard and garden landscaping projects look great when done right, but you may find when you actually start the process that it’s a little tougher than you expected. Don’t get frustrated; all you need is a little support and guidance. Whether you’re looking at commercial landscaping or residential landscaping, there are some rules that will guide you on the path to success. Here are 10 tips to follow as you create and implement a landscaping plan:
Put Curb Appeal Before Backyard Landscaping
Start with curb appeal first, both because it will increase the value of your property — landscaping along the curb can increase home value by about 4.4% and adding hedges can boost it by 3.6% — and because accomplishing this smaller task will give you the confidence to move on to the backyard.
Pay Attention to the Basics of Soil and Sun
Take the time before planting to have your soil assessed, and choose plants that can work well in that type of soil. It’s also very important that you take into account the number of sun plants are likely to get; if they get too little light they’ll be sickly, but if they get too much they’ll burn.
Work With Native Plants Whenever Possible
Native plants will require less nurturing and keep your watering costs down.
Buy High-Quality Plants and Outdoor Furnishings
The outdoors is hard on natural and man-made materials alike, which is why it’s worth investing in high-quality pieces. If you don’t, you’ll end up buying replacements every season and spending more money in the long run.
Make the Most of Hardscaping Materials
If you’re hoping to keep your overall maintenance down while maximizing function, invest in quality hardscaping such as patios, walkways, benches, arches, retaining walls and outdoor fireplaces. These materials don’t take very much upkeep, but they make your outdoor space feel special regardless.
Remember the Importance of Landscape Lighting
A little lighting goes a long way in landscaping, but it’s vital for both safety and aesthetics.
Incorporate Plants of Widely Varying Scales
The best way to achieve a pleasantly balanced design is to incorporate plants of many different sizes, layering trees, shrubs, and small flowers to provide variety.
Use Few Straight Lines but Maintain Efficiency
Straight lines tend to look harsh and are difficult to maintain, so incorporating some curves will make your landscape design feel more inviting and make it easier to deal with. Make sure, however, that there are still efficient walking routes; otherwise, people are likely to take a shortcut across your grass.
Plan Out Your Seasonal Care Well in Advance
Don’t be scrambling to deal with each season as it comes — preparing at least one season in advance will help you minimize damage in the fall and winter and bounce back more quickly in the spring and summer.
Invest in a Landscaping Maintenance Company
A recent national survey found that 81% of people with a yard say upkeep is important to the overall look of their home. But are you willing to do all that maintenance to keep your yard in top shape? It may be best to budget a landscaping maintenance company into your plan from the start.
Do you hire a landscaping maintenance company, or do you try to tackle all your own yard work? Share your thoughts — and any of your own landscaping tips — in the comments.