10 Landscaping Tips of the Professionals

Do you wish you were a professional landscape designer? Many DIY landscapers struggle with landscape design and try to learn the ins and outs too fast. As a result, they make numerous mistakes and get overwhelmed by the stress of the entire process.

Landscape designers have many years of experience and practice and that isn’t something you can learn in three days. Regardless of your research (you should do some!), you could never amass the knowledge of a professional landscape designer. But, you can learn some of their tips and tricks to help you along the way.

Here are some tips from the pros that will help you make your landscape look more professional:

1. Add depth to the landscape by lining the outside of your property with taller trees. Smaller trees look better towards the front which creates more depth and an overall cohesive design. Taller trees also look nice framing the home.

2. Balance the planting. Don’t overpower the perimeter of your home with so many plants that it loses its style and beauty. Conversely, don’t leave it so sparse that you reveal too much of the home’s foundation.

3. Don’t plant foundation shrubs close together. They will mature over time and broaden their reach so give them ample space to grow.

4. Consider design lines when planting your shrub border. Don’t just plant them in any haphazard way. When the winter season arrives, you still want visual interest even though the plants may not be flowering. Use annuals, as well, to add interest to the winter landscape.

5. When planting shrubs under windows, consider lower-growing plants so maintenance is minimal. There is nothing worse than shrubs that grow past the window and block light from coming into the home. If you are willing to prune, don’t worry about it. But if you are a low maintenance person, go with the low-growing plants.

6. When choosing plants to be set together, match leaf size and texture. The leaves should be similar in appearance to create an overall aesthetic appeal.

7. Plan for the future. If you are thinking of having children, create a small area where kids can roam and play. The same principle applies to pets, especially dogs that need room to run.

8. Vegetable gardens need ample sunlight. During the planning stage, map out the vegetable garden area and work around it with the rest of your design.

9. Are there any items you want to hide? How about those ugly trash cans and power poles? Consider using trees, fences covered with vines, trellises and shrubs to cover unsightly areas and remove them from sight lines.

10. Beware of planting in areas where water runs down from the roof into the ground. Set plants away from your home’s foundation and anywhere excess water could cause a problem.

Remember, above all, not to overextend yourself. If you are a novice, start with plants that do not require much attention. As you become more experienced, you can alter whatever you want. Your landscape design will always be a creative work in progress.

Add security to your home with landscape lighting

Your home is meant to be a place of safety, security, and comfort.  Nothing can shake that foundation more than worrying about thugs and thieves invading your house  or property.  While there are many solutions to this problem, adding security to your home with landscape lighting or security lights is considered the #1 theft-deterrent by the majority of law enforcement agencies. Landscape lights can remove shadowed areas where thieves might try to hide.  They make your home less palatable to the would-be burglar by making them more visible to the neighborhood.  They also add to your personal security by lighting the path from driveway to doorway, giving you peace of mind as you return home each night.

Securely lit home

There are a few considerations when deciding to illuminate your landscape. The first is the type of lights you will use.  You will need directional lights such as bullet or flood lights.  Bullet lights will light up your trees, shrubs, etc. very effectively.  You can use flood lights to illuminate large areas of your yard or the house itself.  You will want to add some path lights for your driveway and sidewalk areas.  You can use from flower, pagoda, mushroom, or traditional shapes depending on what fits best with your overall theme.

Another consideration is how your lights are activated.  Some have light sensors so that when the sun goes down, the lights come on.  Other lights have  motion sensors, which means if anything from the neighbor’s cat to a prowler approach them they will illuminate instantly.  For you James Bond types, there are lights available with heat sensors which can be set to detect only body heat from human beings.  So if you are high-tech, or low, you can choose an option that fits you.

So you see, while landscape lighting is beautiful, it can also be very helpful in making you feel secure.  Whether you choose just to light that sidewalk from the driveway or light your entire place up like the Vegas strip, you can use landscape lighting to protect your property, family, and home.