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Every year on January 1, we swear this year’s going to be different. That this is going to be the year we [blank]. We love to make new year’s resolutions, those promises to ourselves that this year will be one of renewal and newfound success.


Step away from the scale…and get outside!

The University of Scranton’s Journal of Clinical Psychology found that 45 percent of Americans usually make new year’s resolutions — to lose weight, get organized, save money, quit smoking and more — and 24 percent of them fail on those resolutions every year.

This year, set some more attainable goals: Take your resolutions outside and aim not to make some of these landscaping mistakes! Here are some of our favorite new year’s resolutions…with a landscaping twist.

Think Before You Act

So many mistakes are made by acting too quickly, in life and in the landscape! For 2014, resolve to think long and hard before schlepping back from the garden center with a bunch of plants that don’t complement one another.

Creating a well-thought-out landscape design that’s beautiful year round — and a plan for putting it all into action — all but eliminates the risk of your outdoor living space looking sloppy.

That means choosing trees, shrubs, perennials, and annuals throughout the year that go well together, provide structural as well as color interest, and offer beauty in every season, not just at the height of New York and Connecticut’s favorable weather. Year-round color requires careful planning, but it’s worth the effort!

Re-Examine Your Priorities

Many people say they’re going to do more of what they love in the new year. They’re going to re-examine their priorities and put their passions ahead of their daily drudgery.

When planning your landscape for the coming year, it’s important to leave room in your landscape for the things you love, too. Some homeowners, caught up in planting the foundation of their landscape — the trees, shrubs, and perennials — forget to leave room in their beds for the flowering annuals that give their outdoor living space character, color, and seasonal interest. Other homeowners make the mistake of planting only specimens that offer color during one season.

If you see a design in a magazine or on Pinterest that you love, make a note for yourself! Then talk with your landscape designer about how to make it a reality in your own landscape.

Cut Out The Fat

Ever heard of “too much of a good thing”? Well, the saying applies to a lot of things. Like enchiladas. And beer. And garden mulch.

Yes, mulch looks lovely and, in the right quantities, can help your trees and other plants grow stronger and more beautiful. But a really thick layer of mulch can actually do far more harm than good.

If you’ve got more than four inches of mulch down, it can become hydrophobic, which means instead of your irrigation water penetrating the mulch and getting down to your plants, it will simply roll off the surface of the mulch.

What’s more, that thick layer of mulch can actually suffocate your plants, preventing oxygen from getting through all that cover to help your landscape flourish.

To recap, too many enchiladas: heart attack. Too much beer: worst headache ever. Too much mulch: dead plants.

Don’t Drink So Much

Most homeowners know — often from expensive experience — what happens when plants don’t get enough water. But did you know that overwatering your plants can be equally dangerous?

It’s actually pretty easy to know if you’re overwatering your plants: you may see signs of wilting, mold or even root rot.

The best course of action: Know the watering needs of all your plants, and stick to them.

Clean Up Your Mess

Resolve to keep your landscape beautiful!

Committing to being methodical about your mowing and other lawn and landscape care tasks will not only benefit your outdoor living spaces aesthetically, but it will also improve the general health of your landscape.

So whether that means getting out on Saturday mornings to mow your lawn more regularly — lawns need to be mowed on a schedule, not just when you feel like it or “finally have the time” — or hiring Neave Landscaping to take care of all your landscape maintenance needs, this may be the most important resolution you make all year.

Let Neave Help

Resolving to correct these landscaping mistakes is much easier with a buddy to keep you accountable. So let Neave Group help with your outdoor resolutions for 2014, no matter what they are. Call our offices in the Hudson Valley at (845) 463-0592. If you’re in Westchester County, dial (914) 271-7996, and if you’re in Connecticut, call us at (203) 212-4800. You can also fill out our simple web form to have us get in touch with you.

Happy New Year, and happy planting!

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Image credit: Johnstone Fitness

landscape planning guide neave group cover

FREE Landscape Planning Guide

Download our FREE Landscape Planning Guide and start planning the landscape of your dreams!

Download Now