Friday, January 15, 2021
Jan. 15, 2021

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Gardening With Allen: Planning key to creating landscape


We just moved into a new home. The developer will be planting a lawn and a few plants for the front. We need to landscape the back. The finished front landscapes of other homes in this development are not very appealing. A few homes have done a more extensive planting in front. We have some funds available for landscaping. What do you suggest our best approach would be for landscaping our home?

There are several ways you could develop your landscape depending on the amount of funds available and how much of the work you would like to do yourself.

The best approach would be to hire a local landscape architect or landscape designer. I would start by looking at landscapes you like in your own development or other nearby areas. The best way to select an architect or designer is to ask the owners who designed and installed their landscapes. Also ask about how much the landscapes cost to install. Make note of particular plants that appeal to you.

A second approach would be to use a design-and-build landscape contractor. They do both design and installation. Most landscape contractors will also install a design made by a landscape architect or designer.

If you have more time than money, you might consider doing the installation of your own landscape with the help of professionals to do the design and some of the more difficult parts.

A third approach would be to get help from a nursery or garden store that has a landscape designer on staff. I would definitely get help from a nursery or garden store in making plant selections.

Regardless of who you hire or consult with, you should give some guidelines that will make your landscape not only beautiful upon completion but practical to maintain so it functions for years without major renovation.

Let your consultant know that you would like the majority of shrubs to be green year-round. With the wide selection of evergreen plants available in our climate there is little need to include shrubs that lose their leaves for several months.

You can greatly reduce your pruning maintenance costs if you choose plants whose mature size fits the location where they are planted. Make sure plant spacing allows for growth to their mature size.

Ask for plants that bloom or have colorful foliage if you like color. Consider using ground covers for part of your landscape instead of lawn. Although ground covers are more expensive than lawns to install, they greatly reduce maintenance time and cost.

Do you plan to entertain? Do you have children who need play areas? Do you want to grow some of your own fruits and vegetables? Would you like to include flowers? Plan your landscape to fit how you will use it.