A manicured lawn or lush foliage with brilliant hues might seem like a dream, but the maintenance can be a nightmare if you don’t choose carefully.
“The biggest mistake I see people make is they don’t get good-quality professional advice,” says Craig Jenkins-Sutton, co-founder of Topiarius Urban Garden and Floral Design in Chicago. “That doesn’t mean you have to hire a designer. Don’t go to a big-box store and expect them to give you good advice. A good garden center will be able to tell you, ‘This is a commitment plant.’” He suggests bringing in photos of your yard or a rough sketch on a piece of paper.
Ian Sopko, a landscaper in northeastern Pennsylvania, cautions against thinking that taking care of a yard is a piece of cake. While there are small things you can do to make the job easier, it will never be easy. “If you want a really nice garden, somebody’s going to have to spend some time on it,” says Sopko.
Two seasoned landscapers revealed their thoughts about the worst landscaping mistakes – based on years of experience in guiding homeowners to beautiful, low-maintenance yards – and how to overcome them.
1. Examine your yard first
Just because you see peonies shooting out of the ground in your neighbor’s yard, or tomato plants creeping up the fence line with juicy results, it doesn’t mean you’ll see the same in your yard. “Your house can be completely different from your neighbor’s,” says Jenkins-Sutton. That’s because of differing sun and shade patterns, as well as elevation within your yards. “You really need to pay attention to your site.”