10 Common Landscaping Mistakes (with solutions)


Landscaping can be complicated. We have laid out a few situations that we have learned from to help you get the most out of your landscape. Many of these mistakes are totally unavoidable by consulting a designer in the planning stages of your new landscape and by developing a relationship with a local nursery to help answer your questions.   Remember, having a professional landscape plan is a great way to avoid a lot of the following.

Landscaping mistake #1 – Planting in the Wrong Place

Mistake: People often do not take into consideration the proper sunlight and exposure for their plants.

What to do: Be sure to pay attention to the little tag that you get when you buy the plant. Remember that plants grow, and spacing is very important when first planting. Also think about focal points, plants can be placed strategically to create different interest throughout your landscape. 

Landscaping mistake #2 – Planting Too Deeply

Mistake: One of the quickest ways to kill a tree is to plant it too deeply. If you put too much soil around the tree, it can actually choke it because there is no air allowed to go to the root system, also causing root rot.

What to do: By looking at the main stem, where the largest branch is and then where all of the tentacles come out – that’s the root ball, and that’s what you want to meet, right along the surface. A good rule of thumb with plants is to dig to the height of the container in which it came.

Landscaping mistake #3 – Forgetting the View From Your Window

Mistake: It may seem like common sense to think about the view from inside the house, but a lot of people forget it. You can still enjoy your landscape from the indoors and during all seasons by placing focal points strategically with windows. 

What to do: Place your containers according to your design, and then go inside and look through every major window to see what they’ll look like before you plant. When you look out, you should see the window framing certain landscape elements – this works for boulder placement and statuary as well. 

Landscaping mistake #4 – Picking the Wrong Plants

Mistake: Many people choose a plant because it looks pretty. You have to take into consideration your particular backyard, with filtered light or shade, and what’s going to work best for you.

What to do: Do not buy a plant because it looks good right then! Get a design and consult your local nursery. Designs are crucial in helping to plan plant quantity, spacing, flow of a planting project. 

Landscaping mistake #5 – Scattered Color

Mistake: Too much color without a sense of harmony can become a distraction.

What to do: Define your desired landscape style. Work with a designer to establish a plant palette you’d like as well as which colors work well together. A designer with help take note of the color of your house and other elements to make sure your property flows.

Landscaping mistake #6 – Failing to be Family Friendly

Mistake: A lot of people get carried away with the theme of their yard. They don’t think about how they are going to use the lawn or the area — they just think about how they want it to look. For example, a rock garden is really attractive, but probably not the best thing for a family with small children.

What to do: Consult with a designer and make a list of what you want to do in your yard. From this list the designer can help prioritize things and help you make the right decisions for a functional landscape that meets your goals.

Landscaping mistake #7 – Neglecting Curb Appeal

Mistake: Do not underestimate the power of curb appeal. A lot of homeowners put all of their energy into the backyard, but the front of the house is where first impressions are made. 

What to do: Even if the backyard is your main priority, even having just a simple, clean look in the front can do wonders for your curb appeal. Having some foundation plantings and keeping things clean can go a long way to create a good first impression.

Landscaping mistake #8 – Overlooking Maintenance

Mistake: Not planning for garden maintenance.

What to do: Plants are living, growing things! Part of having a garden is also planning time to take care of it. Make up a maintenance schedule and abide by it. Weeding is something that will be reoccurring, pruning and shearing to keep size and shape are important as well. Talk with you designer about this or consult your local nursery – also many plant tags list maintenance as well. 

Landscaping mistake #9 – Ignoring the Seasons

Mistake: Not planning a garden for year-round color or interest.

What to do: Having a landscape designer is crucial for this part. Various plants bloom at certain times of the year. If you’ve got a lot of plants that are blooming in the spring, remember that in the fall you’re going to need some other plants, if you want foliage. Evergreens for winter. Also, statuary and boulders create year-round interest as well! 

Landscaping mistake #10 – Not Having a Plan  (Greenprint Design can help with that, click here)

Mistake: Starting a landscaping project without a plan. 

What to do: Having a plan can be crucial for a functional design and to keep within budget. Spending a little extra on a design in the beginning stages of your landscape planning can save you big money in the end. Knowing your correct quantities, and purchasing the correct plants for your area are just a few things a design can help you determine.    That is why Greenprint Design exists, to get you a quick and easy landscape plan that matches your need and budget.