The art of landscape design is harder than it looks. If you’ve ever tried it, you know.
Why does that flower bed out front look so small? Why are all the roses dying? Why doesn’t my yard look like that clipping I tore out of Better Homes and Gardens?
Landscape design is a skill. Designers are trained professionals with a keen eye for what looks great and the plant knowledge to know what will work — and what won’t.
Common Landscape Design Mistakes
The design pros at Neave Landscaping aren’t just wizards with design — they’re also pretty nice. Nice enough to share 10 common landscaping mistakes newcomers make when they attempt to design a landscape.
Too Much Wide Open Space
That huge expanse of lawn is great if you REALLY love your riding mower. Otherwise, it’s pretty boring. The most interesting landscapes divide large spaces into smaller, more intimate “rooms.”
Wandering from garden room to room creates a sense of mystery and allure. Have coffee on the patio, stroll through the perennial garden in the afternoon, entertain guests by the pond in the evening.
Sure, you want your landscape to be so beautiful that garden magazine photographers knock on your door. But don’t forget to plan for how your family will actually use your yard.
Are you planting a flower bed where your dog loves to urinate? Are you forgetting a grassy area for the grandkids to set up tents and kick around a soccer ball?
If you focus on beauty but forget function, you’ll stare at your yard, but you won’t really enjoy it.
Lack Of Lighting
If you focus on how your landscape looks during the daytime but ignore it at night, you’re wasting hours of potential enjoyment. And posing a safety hazard, too.
The evening can be a magical time in the garden — as long as you don’t trip and land face first in the sedum. As darkness settles in, you want your guests to feel safe and welcomed. That means making sure your porch, driveway, paths, and walkways are well-lit.
The landscape elements you enjoy so much during the day — a pretty pergola, a vine-covered arbor, striking tree bark — can continue to stand out during the evening hours with well-placed lighting.
Not Having A Plan
Landscaping is a big investment. Without a plan to follow, it’s easy to start planting willy-nilly. That leads to wasted time, wasted money and a landscape that looks like an uncontrolled mess.
Our design professionals create a thoughtful plan, deciding where to put plants and shrubs in relation to the shape and style of your house and yard, available light, type of soil, and your budget.
Too Many Types Of Plants
When you love plants, it’s easy to go crazy at the nursery and buy one of everything. Honey, look at this Japanese maple! Limelight hydrangea! Candyland climbing roses!
We know the feeling.
But collecting plants the way your Aunt Myrtle collects cookie jars makes for a cluttered, disorganized landscape. Unity, repetition and a carefully curated array of plant material make for a soothing, artistic design.
Forgetting About Hardscape
Sure, beautiful plants are the stars of your landscape. But don’t forget about supporting players like patios, stone walls, gazebos, arbors, pathways and fences.
Hardscape features and structures are the bones of your landscape, offering a place for your eyes — and you — to rest.
Planting In The Wrong Spot
When it comes to landscaping mistakes, this is a biggie. It’s easy to fall in love with a plant, tree or shrub and decide it would look fabulous next to your front porch, within view of your deck or in that bare spot by the pool.
But if you plant a shade-loving plant in the sun or position a tree next to the porch that will mature at 40 feet tall, you’re doomed.
Planting trees and shrubs too close to decks, pools, or patios can threaten the structure of all these elements. Position a thorny shrub next to your walkway and you’ll have grouchy guests.
Professional designers know your landscape’s needs, know each plant’s needs and quirks, and match them with care and expertise.
Ignoring The Seasons
It’s easy to get captivated by the showy plants of summer. Bright yellow daylilies. Huge drifts of spectacular purple Russian sage. Tumbles of bright pink roses. But stick to your summer-blooming favorites, and you’ll have a lifeless landscape the rest of the year.
Professional designers have a knack for choosing plants, trees and shrubs that will give you spring beauty, summer blooms, fall color and winter interest.
Once you’ve invested in a beautiful landscape design, you don’t want to risk your plants by ignoring their water needs.
The time to think about a professional irrigation system is before the plants go in, so all the lines can be properly placed and concealed. Each plant in your landscaping may have different watering needs, and a professional irrigation system takes that into account.
Assuming “It’s Done”
Landscapes aren’t frozen in time. They constantly grow, change, evolve. Be prepared to shift or replace plants as trees mature and your property becomes more shaded.
Perennials will need to be divided. A new variety of hosta might come along and charm your garden clogs off. Be open to a landscape that will get even better with time.
Trust Your Landscape Design To The Pros At Neave
Make those landscaping mistakes a thing of the past. At Neave Landscaping, we know a great, custom-designed landscape can change the way you love and live in your outdoor space.
Our designers are professionally trained, with degrees in landscape architecture, horticulture and landscape design. They’ve spent years creating unique, custom-designed landscapes that not only thrill homeowners, but increase their property value, as well.
Our design process begins with a consultation. Our designers will meet with you to find out your wants and needs, then create a plan that could range from a simple redesign of a walkway or foundation planting to a full landscape master plan.
The great thing about Neave Group Outdoor Solutions is we do it all — design and planting, carpentry, hardscape, irrigation, lighting, water features, and pools.
We’d love to get started on your landscape wish list.
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.