Nearly every homeowner has the dream of a perfectly landscaped yard, but achieving that perfection is easier said than done. About 69% of homeowners in America know that to be true and confess their lawn could use some improvement. If your resolutions for 2019 include taking on the job of improving your landscape once and for all, knowing what not to do can be just as helpful as knowing what you do need to do.
Fail #1: Faulty Foundations
Paths and patios are great landscaping features because they are both practical and aesthetically pleasing, but a faulty installation can lead to costly and complicated repairs. The foundation for patios or walkways should be made of compacted base material measuring at least six to eight inches deep. Driveways should have an even deeper foundation that is 12 to 15 inches deep. These features should also have edging and paver restraints that are partially buried underground for proper edging.
Fail #2: Forgetting About Runoff Water
If you're not in the business of retaining walls or gutters, you probably don't think about where stormwater goes after it falls. When runoff water falls down your roof and onto your yard, it can erode soil and strip away nutrients. Healthy soil is made up of about 45% minerals, and stripping those away can have negative consequences for your property's plant life. In addition, if your property is situated on a hillside or slope, too much erosion can mean a serious foundational disaster. You may want to consider building a retaining wall to control erosion and give your yard structural support. Be aware that if you're building a retaining wall larger than four feet, you may need some engineering skills and to peruse local building codes.
Fail #3: Mismatching Your Home's Architecture
When your home already has a distinctive architectural design or is a period home, you don't want your landscaping to be at odds with it. For homes with a definitive period style, research what landscape and garden designs were popular during that period and try to mimic elements of them. For modern homes with stunning architecture, try to replicate the structural lines in your home's design in your landscaping.
Fail #4: Struggling Symmetry
Elegant landscaping designs often feature symmetrical elements that give a home a feeling of old-world sophistication. However, when symmetry is done incorrectly the landscaping can just look messy. This tends to happen with shrubs and trees arranged symmetrically, as they will grow at different rates and easily become asymmetrical. You will need to either stick to a strict trimming schedule or use symmetrical elements that are not living.
Fail #5: Overwhelming Ornaments
Lawn decorations can be the perfect way to inject tons of personality into your landscaping, but ornaments can easily go from fun and whimsical to overwhelming and off-putting. Once you reach that tipping point, the ornaments tend to detract from your overall landscape rather than enhancing it. Before you decorate, create a base map to sketch out where everything in your landscaping will be. This way, you can use your decorations sparingly and see the spots where they bring out the natural beauty of your landscaping.
About 83% of Americans believe that having a yard is important and approximately 90% of those with a yard believe it is also important that it is well-maintained. Your home's landscaping is what will make the first impression on any visitors, and as you won't get a second chance to make it better, you'll want the first impression to be as perfect as possible.