Landscape Edging EDGEucation

Landscape Edging EDGEucation


Landscape edging comes in an array different styles and there are so many options to choose from.  Depending on the desired look you are going for, the edging you choose for your landscape can have a big effect on functionality and curb appeal. Here I will summarize my top three landscape edging options and how you can install them with your next landscaping project.



The “natural edge” is the most cost effective landscape edging type. This edge is created by digging down, using the ground as a lip to hold in mulch, etc. Creation of the natural edge is best performed with a flathead shovel. Dig down approximately 3 inches and then “feather” the dirt back into the bed. Clean out the debris (dirt clumps, turf) from the bed space.



For a sleek, clean look steel edging is the way to go. Fairly easy to install, but it may be smart to have an extra hand to help with efficiency. Steel edging can be great to create smooth curves and sharp angles. Being a thinner material, steel edging can be used to help separate elements in the landscape – for instance separate mulch from rock, to ensure a good clean separation.



A stone edging is definitely going to be the most time consuming for installation and prices can vary, but this type of edging can add character and uniqueness to your landscape. Whether you are using rock cobbles, brick, limestone edgers, or pavers, the install process is mainly the same for all. First step is to excavate a trench in the line the edging is to be installed – depth of the trench depends on stone material selection and placement (for example, the trench will be deeper for bricks placed upright as opposed to them being placed on their side). The edging should be up about 3 inches from the ground – this factor can help determine your trench depth as well. The next step is to lay out all of your stone material along the trench so it is ready for install. Third, you will want to set the edging in concrete for stability. On average, you will want to sit the stone edging in about 2 inches of concrete. Some people may choose to skip the concrete part of this installation, although I highly recommend it – if you want a long lasting edge that won’t settle and is more stable, do the concrete.


Adding an element of edging is important for a successful landscape. A good, clean edge can really set off a landscape and have a dramatic impact. There are more than just the three types mentioned above, but these are the ones I have found the majority people enjoy. Now you can consider yourself EDGEucated.


Tip: Use a hose to lay out your desired edge line. This helps to visualize and gives you an accurate guide before you start digging. The hose is great to illustrated desired curves!

Tip: Always, always, always try to implement edging around rock – it will shift and it’s the last thing you want to deal with when mowing along a bedline. I usually avoid natural edging around rock – I usually gravitate toward steel edging for this.

Tip: By setting stone edging in concrete you are giving it a great base and also insuring stability. Think about how the mower bumps edging or kids walk along the stones – it won’t shift if it’s concreted in!

Spring Landscaping Projects

Spring Landscaping Projects

Spring Landscaping

Finally, a new growing season is here!

In most of North America and Europe, winter is coming to an end.  In the landscaping world, homeowners are starting to think about doing some clean up and getting their yard off to a good start for the growing season.    Gardening and landscaping are a fun way to enjoy the outdoors while boosting your curb appeal.   Once the threat of frost is gone, it is time to make a spring landscaping plan.

Five Tips for Spring Landscaping

  • Know Your Hardiness Zone
    • Depending on your hardiness zone.  Once you know what zone you live in, you can look at plant labels and talk to your local greenhouse about when you can start putting specific plants into the ground.  With a landscape plan from Greenprint Design, we offer the option of plant labeling so that you can install at the right stages. (it can also help with budget when you aren’t buying everything at one time).
  •  Get Inspired
    • Whether this is your first landscaping rodeo, or you’re a seasoned veteran, we all have an ideal aesthetic or two.  Get inspired by looking around your own neighborhood.   When you see a home that really looks great, usually there is a significant amount of landscaping planning that highlights the house’s best features.  Small landscaping details can be very subtle, and make a big difference.   Also, browse the internet and find a style that fits your taste and property.   English garden, Japanese, contemporary, native plants?  Whatever your preference, Greenprint Design can craft a landscaping plane that matches your need.
  • Plan for Maintenance
    1. Alright, so you have a style in mind, but are you prepared to keep up with it?  Each plant and aesthetic can have different needs.   If you are passionate about gardening and love getting outside and dirty, this may not be a big concern for you. However, Greenprint Design understands that busy people may like gardening, but don’t have the time to commit each weekend.   When you order a spring landscape plan from us, you can specify if you want low-maintenance planning, and we will suggest plants and design accordingly.
  • Plan for Growth
    • Each tree and plant that goes into a landscaping plan has needs, and one of them is always room.   It is tempting to get instant gratification by loading up a garden bed to achieve a full, lush look.   However, a few years down the road, plants may become overcrowded and die, or grow abnormally.   Greenprint Design has professional landscape designers that will help you take plant growth and spacing into account.
  • Get a Professional Landscape Plan
    • Greenprint Design offers affordable landscaping plans online.  We want you to have a beautiful yard without dropping thousands of dollars on a plan and installation.   By getting one of our plans, you can have peace of mind that you are selecting and installing the right plants and trees for your area and design preferences.   Greenprint Design is proud to work with you, and create custom plans.




Winter Landscape Care. Wait, Winter? YES!

Winter Landscape Care. Wait, Winter? YES!


Many people think that once winter weather has a arrived, that it’s time to “let it be” when it comes to landscaping. In a sense, this is true since many plants have gone dormant and are getting their beauty rest to prepare to bust into spring. But, paying attention and caring for your winter landscape can yield long lasting results and help to brighten up those dreary winter days. There are two main things to focus on when it comes to winter landscape maintenance: watering and mulching.

Winter Watering

In some climates, there is enough snowfall and constant moisture that folks won’t have to worry about watering their landscape plants in the winter. For those of us who experience warmer winters or drought periods, it is important to take into consideration winter watering – mostly for our trees, shrubs, and lawns. It is especially important to water in the winter months if your landscape was just freshly installed in the Fall.

Many people are “put off” by watering in the winter because of the low temperatures and risk of freezing water hurting plant material. It is safe to water plants when temperatures are above freezing and the ground is not frozen – so it can soak into the soil around the plant. Once the water is applied, if temperatures drop below freezing, it will not harm the plant. So for example, if the ground is not frozen and the afternoon high is 39 degrees but the low at night is 27 degrees, you are safe to water in the afternoon when the temperature is above freezing.

Winter Landscape Mulching

Winter months can get dreary and bland and seem downright ugly sometimes, but a simple clean-up and mulching can do wonders to spruce up the look of your landscape and help protect your plants as well! Mulch acts as a blanket for your landscape plants insulating and protecting against shock from temperature changes.

With temperature fluctuations, plants go through a lot in the winter. In an unmulched situation, a warm, sunny winter day will warm the soil and a shrub may slightly begin to grow – only to be damaged heavily once freezing temperatures return. Also, the “freeze/thaw effect” causes soil movement, and any unmulched plants can actually be pushed up out of the ground from the soil upheaving and moving around with temperature fluctuation. It is recommended to lay between 3-6 inches of mulch for adequate insulation. Many people also prefer to use a weed prevention under mulch. Mulch itself is actually a natural weed control, but if you decide to install more weed protection, use a landscape fabric that will allow air and water penetration – not a plastic base alternative.

So, if you’re a person that enjoys being out and active in your garden, don’t let the winter blues bring you down. Keep the hose handy, clean up dead fall stuff from your winter landscape, spruce up with a layer of mulch, and enjoy your garden year round! If you are in the KC area and want help with yard clean-up and landscaping, in any season,  contact us today.

Trends in Landscape Design

Trends in Landscape Design

Top Projected Trends in Landscape Design


It’s important to keep up trends in landscape design – especially when they play to the advantage for the client and the environment. The American Society of Landscape Architects wrote an article listing different landscape design trends and elements and showing their popularity by percentage. Many water-focused elements took the top spots, as this is a major issue in many communities. It’s good to see many people realizing they can make a difference in the environment by altering their personal landscape to be more sustainable.

According to the ASLA, here are the top ten project types with the expected highest consumer demand:

  • Rainwater harvesting – 88%
  • Native plants – 86%
  • Native/adapted drought tolerant plants – 85%
  • Low-maintenance landscapes – 85%
  • Permeable paving – 77%
  • Fire pits/fireplaces – 75%
  • Food/vegetable gardens (including orchards, vineyards, etc.) – 75%
  • Rain gardens – 73%
  • Drip/water-efficient irrigation – 72%
  • Reduced lawn area – 72%

Top 5 outdoor hardscaping trends in landscape design:

  • Fire pits/fireplaces – 75%
  • Lighting – 67%
  • Wireless/internet connectivity – 66%
  • Seating/dining areas – 64%
  • Outdoor furniture – 63%

Top 5 garden trends in landscape design:

  • Native plants – 86%
  • Low-maintenance landscapes – 85%
  • Food/vegetable gardens (including orchards, vineyards, etc.) – 75%
  • Rain gardens – 73%
  • Water-saving xeriscape or dry gardens – 68%


When choosing landscape elements to include in a design, the selection can be very broad and complex. By studying the trends in landscape design, Greenprint Design can narrow options for clients to aid in simplifying design decisions. Also, these trends help show proven successful landscape materials and functionality.

In this recent study in particular, it is great to see sustainable design features in top ranking spots. Make sure to remember this article as you consult with Greenprint Design during the initial contact phase. Together we can beautify your landscape and keep the environment healthy.

Get a plan from Greenprint Design today to see how we can help you create and affordable and trendy landscape.

Adding a Rain Garden to Your Landscaping

Adding a Rain Garden to Your Landscaping

Adding a rain garden


Many people don’t think of a rain garden as an element to include when planning out their landscape. Chances are on your property, you have some sort of drainage area where stormwater flows each time it rains. Rain gardens can be a great solution to help manage excess water and still preserve the beauty of your landscape.

According to the Prairie Rivers Network, a rain garden is defined as a vegetated depression specially designed to capture and use rain and snowmelt, collectively known as storm water. Rain gardens receive storm water runoff from upstream drainage areas such as roofs, driveways, and lawns. 

Rain gardens are low-tech, inexpensive, sustainable and aesthetically pleasing. 

Benefits of a rain garden:

  • Filter pollutants from runoff
  • Recharge groundwater
  • Conserve water
  • Remove standing water in your yard
  • Reduce potential of home flooding
  • Create habitat for birds & butterflies
  • Survive drought seasons
  • Reduce garden maintenance
  • Enhance property value


When planning out your rain garden, it is important to note existing drainage patterns. It will be easiest to take advantage of this established drainage pattern to maximize the potential of your rain garden – take note of where current low spots are and direction of run-off. It is best to incorporate your rain garden in an area with partial to full sun and it’s best to keep the garden at least 10′ away from the house. Rain gardens for single-family homes will typically range from 150 to 400 square feet – but any size , even a small one, will contribute to solving local water pollution problems.

Incorporating a rain garden into your landscape can be your personal step to help do your part for the environment. They are an inexpensive way to do your part to help with stormwater management, protect your home/property from excess water, and have a beautiful element for your landscape. You have the facts, now get digging!

10 Common Landscaping Mistakes (with solutions)

10 Common Landscaping Mistakes (with solutions)

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.