DIY Landscape Design

What is a landscape design? It’s not what you saw out your front window when the snow melted this month. Brown grass. Sticks and twigs. Leaves that cleverly evaded your rake last fall.

Make this the year you transform your yard into a landscape.

But where to begin?

Start at Home

You can find tons of online tools and apps to help you plan your garden, and some are free. These can be fun to play with, but unless you have some horticultural knowledge squirreled away, you shouldn’t rely on them too heavily.

For instance, not all of them take into account your geographic location, climate and soil type — all critical considerations when planting a garden. You can drag-and-drop some beautiful pink and purple azaleas into your back yard, but if it’s shady, they’re going to bloom late (if at all) and grow slowly.

Are any particular garden pests common in your area? Beetles, borers and grasshoppers can do some real damage to plants, as can animals such as deer, moles, squirrels and even your own dog! (Et tu, Fido?)

Don’t be discouraged by all the potential stumbling blocks. You can work around them.

What Sparks Your Joy?

First, decide what you like. For instance, if you love the look of azaleas and would like to plant them as a border between you and your neighbor’s property, make a note of this. When you consult the professionals, they’ll see if it’s too shady and suggest a good alternative that thrives in shade, such as rhododendrons.

But they have to know what you like, and that’s why it’s useful to create a wish list. Maybe you love the scent of lavender, but your soil isn’t sandy enough. The solution: Plant them in pots where you can create your own mix of soil!

Rapid Expansion

It’s also important to remember when choosing plants that, if cared for properly, they are likely to grow larger, and you need to plan for this expansion. Most plants, shrubs and trees benefit from some type of pruning, and this helps them keep their shape, but they’ll still grow — some faster than others.

Many gardeners love the smell of lilacs in the summer, or the look of holly in winter. But these plants have the word “tree” after their name for a reason — some species of lilac can get up to 15 feet tall, and some holly trees can grow to 40 feet! So don’t plant these too close to your house, or too close to a border if you think your neighbor might not love them.

Designing a landscape can be fun, but in order to avoid costly and frustrating pitfalls, it’s best to enlist the help of some experts. Rely on Earthworks Landscaping to guide you in the right direction. We bring life and beauty to hundreds of yards in and around the Layton, Utah, area. Give us a call when you’re planning your landscape design this spring.