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Home Landscaping: Common Pitfalls

A do-it-yourselfer (DIY) has all the skills, energy, and intellect to tackle their landscaping project, new or existing.

That is half the battle. The other half is the hidden pitfalls that a novice DIY will encounter. So, from experience and research, I have taken the liberty of collecting some significant pitfalls, which I address below:

a.) No plan, or as the Chinese would say, 'no ticket, no laundry.' Many landscapes have been the victim of random planting a plant because there was room, or it was a purchase that looked so cute.

If you are starting with a blank yard, drawing a plan for your entire yard and sticking to it will give you the desired results. Short of that, try at least to sketch a rough plan for one large area of your yard and put all your energy into working on that plan this year.

b.) Lacking fall color in your Landscape Design. We spend spring and summer planting, yet, come fall realize that we forget to plant for fall. The season holds tremendous promise for the DIY landscaper willing to plan for it. Autumn can present an abundance of color with the simple introduction into your landscape of the following; Arrowwood viburnum, Sumac, Fothergilla, Tor Spirea, American Bittersweet, Oakleaf Hydrangea, Virginia Creeper, Red Chokeberry Viking, or Black Chokeberry

c.) If the fall is often neglected in landscape design, surprise, the winter season takes a hit. This is not such a serious offense for us in the southern portion of the United States; however, the north needs a yard decor that will bring a smile and serenity. The following plant list will offer a nice balance between the transition from fall to winter:

red twig dogwood or red osier dogwood

plume grass


cranberry bush Viburnum

winterberry holly

birch trees

d.) Irrigation is the critical factor in any design. We love how our plants are doing in our yards, yet we also need some vacation time. How are the plants going to their water? We can ask a friend or relative to take over our watering chore during our absence, but we all had an experience that makes for a not too stable condition. You have expended a lot of effort, both in the elbow grease, money, and not to forget the sentimental value. A solution, install an automatic irrigation system. Not only will it allow you to go on your vacation, but it will also reduce your overall yard maintenance time. A good investment in my book.

e.) Have a steep slope in your yard, making it tough to keep your topsoil during a heavy downpour? Plants do not seem to help the erosion; you may need a retaining wall. A retaining is built first, and then your planting begins.

f.) The adage, 'the best-laid plans of men and mice, have often gone astray' is befitting the principle of working with what you have. What do I mean? Is your yard rocky and has a lot of shade? Perhaps the summertime heat scorches all in its path? In some instances, you can successfully fight the terrain you inherited, as in the case of building retaining walls for slopes to fight erosion. In the alternative, instead of fighting it, it's better to go with the general flow of your yard and work with what you have. The key is 'to know your enemy and what options you have. Research is your best companion.

g.) A crucial element for your home landscape project is using deer-resistant plants. You carefully drew up a plan and stuck to it. The soil is fertile, automatic irrigation system, you've followed the plant instructions faithfully, applied a generous layer of mulch around them. Then one day, you come out of your house and find your plants in shreds! What happened? Deer had a buffet-style snack of your plants faster than you can, "Bambi goes to market." Your yard did not have any deer-resistant plants. As an example of deer-resistant plants, I listed below some effective perennial ground-covers:

Allegheny spurge (Pachysandra procumbens) and Japanese pachysandra (Pachysandra terminalis)

Northern sea oats (Chasmanthium latifolium)

Blue oat grass (Helictotrichon sempervirens)

Liriope or "lilyturf" (Liriope spicata)

Bugleweed (Ajuga reptans 'Atropurpurea')

Creeping Myrtle, or periwinkle vinca vines (Vinca minor)

Deadnettle (Lamium galeobdolon)

Catnip plants (Nepeta cataria)

Sweet woodruff (Galium odoratum)

Creeping thyme plants, such as woolly thyme (Thymus pseudolanuginosus)

h.) A significant consideration in home landscape design is functionality. When you dream up your landscape design, you envision its' aesthetic qualities. Wrong! Functionality takes precedence over aesthetics. This does mean that one cannot have aesthetics and functionality, but the bottom line of any design is safety, convenience, and usability.

In closing, I would like to mention that the 'Books of Dummies' is an ideal research and information tool for your potting bench. My bookshelf has numerous editions of the infamous 'yellow and black books, covering many subjects.

Source to Buy a Wide Selection of Plants and Trees for your Home Landscaping


Viburnum Dentatum - TN Nursery

Viburnum Dentatum

Viburnum dentatum a deciduous shrub native to North America, featuring attractive clusters of white flowers, vibrant blue-black berries, and toothed leaves, making it a versatile and popular choice for hedges and wildlife gardens. Viburnum Dentatum earned its name because the inhabitants of the areas where it grew used the branches to create arrows in past centuries. The deciduous shrub's straight branches made it an ideal choice for that purpose. The Aesthetic Attributes Of Viburnum Dentatum The shrubs produce small clusters of white flowers that are about 4 inches wide, and they start appearing in the spring. Also, they produce small fruits as the summer progresses. Although it can expand as tall as 15 feet, it often stands under 10 feet in height. Its impressive size makes it a great shrub for hedgerows. Many people plant arrowwood shrubs individually in their yards or gardens. However, they are also popular choices to adorn the shores of creeks or ponds. The Sophisticated Beauty Of The Beautiful Shrub This rounded shrub has a graceful, elegant appearance. The branches and twigs have a grayish-brown color and are slender. With their ridges, they add a touch of rustic appeal. Greenish-brown buds create a contrast that commands attention. Its white flowers are delicate and look stunning against its colorful leaves. The toothed edges of the leaves give the plant the dentatum part of its name. Although they start with a green hue, they gradually turn yellow and red as the seasons change. During the summer, the bluish-black fruits add even more beauty. For anyone who enjoys a colorful landscape, this type of shrub does not disappoint. Additional Benefits Shopping At TN Nursery In addition to the aesthetic benefits of this shrub, there may be health benefits for some. It is also a great choice for people who want to attract wildlife. Several types of songbirds enjoy the fruit, and some animals eat the twigs and leaves. Since the flowers have nectar, they are helpful to bees. Butterflies are also attracted to the flowers. It is a great example of nature's profound beauty and its ability to change. It is a great choice for anyone because of its ecological, aesthetic, and other potential benefits.

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