I’ll take a large perennial garden, a cobblestone patio, a koi pond, a waterfall and a large expanse of perfect emerald green turfgrass, please.
Whoa, whoa, whoa.
This all sounds just wonderful (and you might consider adding a tiki bar) but remember one thing: Who’s going to handle the landscape maintenance of your beautiful design?
You want to spend more time enjoying your landscape than taking care of it, right?
Here are eight points to ponder as you plan your future landscape design.
Do You Really Want Turfgrass?
Consider sedge. With grass-like leaves that grow in clumps, perennial sedges capture the calm comfort of a rolling lawn. Leave it unmowed to wave in the breeze or opt for a more formal look with just a few mows a year.
In moist, shady gardens with acidic soil, how about moss? Once established, it rarely needs watering. And no fertilizing.
Lilyturf. Even if you don’t plant it, say it out loud. It’s fun. Also called liriope, this evergreen ground cover has dark green leaves, tolerates a range of soil conditions and grows in sun to light shade.
What Hardscape is Right For You?
Brick and stone patios offer an elegant, old world look, but need to be filled in with sand that can settle and need replacing. You can get a similar, hassle-free look with colored and stamped concrete.
A gravel-lined sitting area might look pretty in that magazine spread. But if you have trees overhead that drop leaves, pods or weird fuzzy things, it’s a pain to constantly rake it out.
Plants — Beauty or Burden?
Some plants might be more trouble than they’re worth. Research each plant’s requirements before you choose.
Consider planting in masses — plants are easier to care for and mow around when in groups. And for the easiest upkeep, group plants with similar light, water, and care needs.
And keep this mantra in mind: the right size for the right spot. Otherwise, you’ll be spending too much time pruning.
Mulch should be part of any landscape plan. It keeps weeds out. It holds in moisture, which reduces watering. It releases nutrients into the soil. It makes your garden beds look tidy.
Mulch might not be as dazzling as some other landscape darlings, but it’s a maintenance workhorse.
Your New Deck: What Material is Best?
Pressure-treated lumber is still the number one decking material sold today. But from a maintenance standpoint, it doesn’t win any prizes. Pressure-treated lumber tends to crack, split and warp. And plan on regularly power washing and staining.
Maintenance-wise, composite decking and its cousin, plastic lumber, shine. They’re weather and stain resistant and won’t splinter, warp, rot or split.
If your landscape plan includes anything green, plan on installing an efficient automatic irrigation system. Today’s smart irrigation controls are so brainy, they’ll even turn off if you’re expecting rain.
Want Easy Care? Rock On
Rock gardens typically contain drought-tolerant plants that don’t need much care, and the rocks themselves offer an intriguing landscape element that’s completely self-sufficient. Call it a pet rock and you’ve killed two birds with one, um, stone.
Don’t Scrimp on Materials
Everybody’s on a budget, and it’s always tempting to cut corners. But if you opt for the cheapest materials, you could pay more in the long run when they wear out, fade or rot before their time.
Leave It To Neave
Thinking about all the ways to save on work is a lot of work. Make it easy on yourself and call Neave.
Neave Landscaping offers custom landscape maintenance programs to keep your property improvements looking great.
At Neave, we handle every aspect of your property, from lawn mowing to pruning, irrigation servicing to pool maintenance.
We can help you plan your outdoor design with the amount of landscape maintenance that suits your lifestyle.
If you’re in the Hudson Valley, call us at (845) 463-0592. If you’re in Westchester County, call (914) 271-7996; from Connecticut, dial (203) 212-4800. Or, fill out our simple web form, and we’ll contact you about setting up your free consultation.