Steps to a Successful Landscape

tracys houseWe have all driven by those yards that make our head turn to take another look. What does that yard have that makes it stand out?  What are those people doing differently to everyone else?  Steps to a successful landscape is like following a recipe, if you get all the ingredients right, the end result should be rewarding. Here are some steps that will help you along the way to a beautiful yard.

Step 1 – Don’t Landscape Around Previous Mistakes.

We often inherit other people’s mistakes when we purchase a property.  Take the time to rectify mistakes rather than working around them.  For instance many builders will put in too many foundation plants on a property which results in a lot of unnecessary pruning for years to come, not to mention that the plants just look cramped.

Step 2 – Landscape Design Advice

It is a good idea to get some advice if you are not sure what to do.  This will prevent mistakes on plant choices. The Family Tree offers several avenues where you can receive landscape design advice. Our Sales Associates are very knowledgeable on plant material and design ideas; we offer a free “Quick Sketch” which provides a free design for a small area of your yard; and we offer a full landscape design plan service.  Take time to think about the design of the landscape.

Step 3 – General Landscape Design Ideas

Follow this recipe of things to consider when coming up with a design:

  • Feature the front door.  Don’t plant huge plants that will eventually block your entryway.   This is not very welcoming for guests.  Instead, plant annuals or containers near the front porch so that the eye is drawn there.
  • For bed lines, use large “S” curves, not a lot of small curves or angular beds.
  • Think of an evergreen foundation plant that can be repeated throughout the landscape for continuity.
  • The majority of the front foundation plants should be evergreen, so consider what the landscape will look like in the winter.  There are a lot of evergreen shrubs that also flower at different times of the year which is an added bonus.
  • Plant in groups of 3’s or 5’s or odd numbers, this just seems to look better.
  • Vary the texture of the plant material, for instance some shrubs will have small evergreen leaves, and some shrubs may have fine needles or large broad leaves.
  • Vary the height of the plants.  Use taller plants on corners or as focal points.
  • Choose some shrubs that have colorful foliage.  This will give an accent all year round but don’t go too crazy on a lot of colorful shrubs as this can look too busy.

Step 4 – Keep Your Lawn Healthy

The lawn is often the first thing that people see when they look at your front yard.  There are a few things to keep your lawn looking healthy – weed control, water, and fertilizer.  If you are maintaining the lawn yourself, refer to one of our lawn calendars which will show you the proper months for applying preventative weed care and fertilizer.

Happy Gardening!

Tracy Davis
Horticulturist/Designer

If you’re interested in making your yard truly stunning, check out Tracy’s list of the top 10 ‘must-haves’ for your landscape!

#1 Foundation Plants

#2 Trees

#3 Screening

#4 A Welcoming Front Entry

#5 Pops of Color

#6 Focal Points

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