Common Landscape “Design” Mistakes

When I speak to people about the benefits of landscape design or why I feel so strongly about this important step in the landscape process, I am often asked what I see on sites that has been done incorrectly, or without the proper “know how” that could have been avoided by using the services of a landscape designer.

There are a few that stick out, and I wanted to share them with you. Even if you aren’t pursuing a landscape design for your property these few items might help prevent you from making the same mistakes:

1) selecting the wrong plant material – this covers many a long list of items however in short, plant material selection can go wrong in the following ways:
– wrong plant for the wrong location – selecting the wrong plant for your site. It is important to select plant material based on your site’s soil, light, drainage, and wind conditions.
– not taking into account the plants mature size – by selecting plants that have a mature size proportional to your property will prevent having to remove the plant later on once it outgrows its environs
2) not taking into account site restrictions – do you know your local bylaws? Have you considered whether you can get machinery into your backyard or whether you will need to do work by hand (based on the size of the gate access)? These important items can impact what you can, and may want to do in your space.
3) planting too much plant material – we all love instant gratification, today we are used to it. However with gardening time and patience pays off. Planting too much plant material in an area will likely end up requiring you remove it a few short years later, resulting in wasted time and money.
4) not paying attention to grading – by not paying attention to grading, steps are often constructed with the wrong rise creating trip hazards.

Landscaping is a lot of fun and spending time doing your research and consulting with the right people pays off creating a space that will bring you and your family years of enjoyment!


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