The importance of embarking upon a landscaping project only after drawing up a plan cannot be over emphasised. Even if you intend working on your garden in stages, it is good to know what features you will include and where each one will be located. Decide where you want your pathways, bridges, nooks, garden seats or any other features. Without a blueprint, you won’t know where your pathways lead, or where your lake, pond or mini-waterfall should be. So take some time to think about your landscaping project before getting to work.
Don’t plant identical shrubs or bushes in all your garden beds. That would be dull and monotonous. The best designs incorporate vegetation laid out in layers, with shorter plants in front and taller ones behind them. This conceals bare tree barks or long stems of the longer bushes. Another advantage of this approach is that you can introduce complementary colours and textures into your landscaping.
Don’t let ivy climb all over your walls unless you plan to prune it regularly. An ivy-covered home looks lovely, but once this plant gets established, it takes over the entire building. It covers windows, chimneys, gutters, skylights and everything else. Ivy also attracts insects and pests that can easily gain access into your home.
Avoid planting tall trees too close to the house as it could be detrimental to the building’s structure. Roots cause damage to the foundation while branches can damage the roof or walls. Tall trees even block the view from inside your home. If the trees branch out extensively, your lawn will be completely overshadowed by the foliage.
The bigger your lawn, the more work you’ll have to do in maintaining it. Remember, this is your garden – not a football field! Extensive lawns take up a lot of time, money and effort. Plan a smaller lawn with other attractive features like flower beds, herbaceous borders, perennial low maintenance plants, bushes and small trees. This brings down your lawn care time so that you can spend longer enjoying the variety in your garden.
Strive for diversity with flowering plants in your garden. Otherwise, when they stop flowering, your garden will look bland and bare until the next flowering season. Mix up complementary plant varieties that flower in different seasons. This adds a dash of colour all year long.
Landscaping features should not overwhelm your home. They should set off the property and give it an attractive setting. If you choose fast growing hedges, they may shield much of the frontage. If you plant tall trees, they may block the entire view of your beautiful house. You will also end up spending a lot of time and money pruning and trimming them.
When planning your garden or lawn, remember that you will also need to invest time and energy to manage it. You will have to follow a maintenance schedule that ensures that your garden looks good. Gardens need regular weeding, trimming, pruning and watering. You’ll have to fertilise them, pluck fruits, eliminate pests and treat plant diseases. Lawns must be mowed regularly. If you think you can just plant it and forget it, think again!
In a household with little children and pets, avoid deep ponds and rockeries where children might get hurt. While planning your garden, keep the needs of your entire household in mind.
Avoid too many colours in your garden. Choose flowering plants and scenery that matches the colour scheme of your home. Geometric planting patterns can make up for a riot of clashing colour, and even look more appealing. By keeping these simple landscaping tips in mind, you can enjoy an elegant and attractive garden.