Do you suspect that your landscaping needs to be updated? In my 30 years of experience in the field, these are the 10 most common reasons I hear from my customers. Do you see yourself in any of these examples?:
1. Your landscaping hides your house. This scenario is what I see most often: When the house was built in 1928, the boxwoods planted around the foundation were 2' tall. They are now 8' tall and you cannot see the windows or front door.
2. The wrong plant is planted in the wrong place: Are the Hydrangeas planted in full hot sun? Were 8' tall Schip Laurels planted in the front of your bay window? These are all instances where the correct plant material were not suited to their environment. Many times these plants can be transplanted into a more suitable site, but if not, new plantings will need to be installed.
3. Your plant material are declining:There are many reasons why plant materials decline. They have a lifespan just as we do- they may just be beyond their prime. They may be planted in the wrong place, as described above. The soil may be improperly prepared, not allowing the plant material to get the nutrients they need.
4. You are on display: Do you need some privacy? Can your neighbors see what you are grilling for dinner? Even if you love your friends, many of us need at least a little privacy in our front or backyards. Many customers ask me to add just a little 'separation' along their property lines. This can also be done in a natural way, so to avoid having a row of upright evergreens.
5. Your yard is eroding: Did you mean to plant that slope when you bought the house? Now the slope is falling onto your driveway through erosion. Many times erosion problems can be taken care of through the introduction of plant materials that can stabilize the slope. Many can be seeded and do not need to be installed individually. Ask your designer!
6. Wildlife is eating your landscape: Were 'deer candy' installed along your foundation? Depending on where your home is located, there are some deer 'resistant' plant materials that can be installed. You can read more about deer resistant plants for zone 7-8 here:
7. Neighbors are planting Leyland Cypress along your property lines. Did you mean to move that
junk car six months ago? That, as well as, other eyesores can be screened from your, and your neighbors, sight with landscaping.
8. No curb appeal: Do you need a prettier approach to your house? Do you love the house, but the front landscaping leaves you cold. Are you getting ready to sell your home? You should think about updating your landscaping before putting it on the market. You can read more on curb appeal here:
9. Only weeds instead of lawn?: Did your once beautiful lawn disappear into a sea of weeds and Bermuda grass? You may need a lawn overhaul before next season. Many times the lawn can be salvaged by a knowledgeable landscaper, have them take a look. It may only need a season or so of pre-emergent/fertilizer/overseed applications at the right time to get it on the right track. If that is not the case, a newly created seeded or sodded lawn may be needed. This may be the only way you can obtain the lush lawn you have always wanted. Irrigation may also need to be added to allow the grass to thrive, especially in the hot southern states.
10. Need Lower maintenance?: Did you purchase a home with a formal rose garden? Is there a large pond in the backyard and you have no idea how to maintain it? These are some instances where a landscape renovation may be needed to bring your yard into a more realistic realm for maintenance.
About the Author:
Lori Hawkins, RLA, ASLA has been a registered landscape architect and active in the landscape design/build industry for over 30 years. Her service area includes Greensboro, High Point, Winston-Salem, Chapel Hill and the Raleigh NC metro areas. For additional inspiring project pictures, design ideas, or great garden gifts, take a look at these websites:
GARDEN ART AND GIFTS: WWW.TriadGarden.com
DESIGN WORK PORTFOLIO: WWW.HawkinsLA.com